We go dancing with Flying Steps
Last month, World champion breakdance crew Flying Steps went to Australia for Red Bull Flying Bach, which fused their cool dance style with the elegant music of 18th century composer, Johann Sebastian Bach. While they were in Sydney, Something You Said’s Tammy Potakh took the opportunity to get them to teach her some sick moves.
DAY 1 – WORKSHOP:
I dust off my old and weathered jazz boots and shyly head down to Sydney Dance Company to meet another group of people. We’re all here to participate in an exclusive workshop with KC-1 from German dance troupe, Flying Steps. Twenty minutes of making complete fools of ourselves, in attempt to master the moves he taught us, we were all sweaty and out of breath with tomato red faces. It was all in good fun and I got to interview their leading lady and eloquent ballerina who hails from Japan, Yui Kawaguchi.
What was the highlight of your Eurovision 2011 experience?
I loved the whole show more than big events – we just did an eight minute performance. The stage was really slippery, so each time I see the video I think “oh no!” [laughs] but the b-boys were good.
How long have you been dancing for?
More than 20 years. I practice everyday because I have to and if I didn’t then I wouldn’t feel confident with my body.
What do you do before you go on stage to dance? Is there a group warm-up or do you do your own separate thing?
I do it on my own because they have a totally different discipline. My part is based on classical ballet and I need more of a calm and slow energy before I build up. The show is about the encounter of 2 different worlds so I try to keep myself a little bit distant before the show and not mix with them from the beginning and then in the show we slowly combine. There are a lot of elements, for example, classical meets breakdance and woman meets a man.
So then would you say that there’s a story behind your performance? If so, what does it tell the audience?
Yes! Well in short, there’s the b-boy crew Flying Steps and they are training for the new show then I just fall down into their world as a stranger. The audience doesn’t know where I come from but I dance totally different, I look different. I am quite curious and I try to approach them and then there’s a love story, a story of friendship and fighting. Everything is danced to Bach – it’s really strong.
So if you weren’t a dancer, what do you think your occupation would be?
Hmm. I was actually considering becoming an architect but my body said “I wanna dance!” [laughs]. Also if you really want to become an architect you can still do it at 30 years old but as a dancer you can only dance when your body still has power.
DAY 2 – SHOWTIME:
Choreographed by Vartan Bassil, the Red Bull Flying Bach is “The fascinating hybrid of classical music and breakdance. The dazzling fusion of high culture and the best the streets can offer” – as put in the show program. My friend and I went to watch their sold-out Sydney show and they were incredible! There were multiple stories interlaced through strong tableaux, art installations, slapstick comedy and standout fluid ballet movements contrasted with sharp hip-hop choreography.
You could hear gasps, howls and all sorts of responses from the audience throughout the show. Inspirational and leaving the audience in awe of their talents, Flying Steps truly deserved the standing ovation that they’d received.
Red Bull Flying Bach is touring around the world in 2013, check out their dates here.
Words by Tammy Potakh