HOT - Hip Hop Showcase

The Auckland Performing Arts Centre: TAPAC, Auckland

06/10/2007 - 06/10/2007

Production Details

Facilitated by Jonny 4Higher

A showcase by specialist dance groups covering different forms of Hip Hop from the last 20 years.

From Krumping to Popping, from Locking to Twerking – did you realize there were up to 9 styles within this form?

This programme will also showcase the music & graphics that are an integral part of this contemporary culture. 

When: Sat 6 Oct
Where: TAPAC
Time: 5.30pm / 8pm
Duration: 90 mins including interval
$28 Adult / $25 DANZ members &
Groups 8+ / $20 Concession
Ticketing: Ticketek / Ph: 0800 842 538 /

Dance , Hiphop ,

New shape-shifters on the block

Review by Dr Linda Ashley 10th Oct 2009

At the start of the film that opens Posue Dance Company’s Jumpers we are told that hip hop has become a global counter culture. Who could argue? As counter cultures go, Hot reveals a certain state of maturity of what was once an alternative – disliked by some because of its overt gangsta associations. This show is not at all threatening; quite the opposite: it is truly delightful and engaging.

Five years down the track and DZIAH Dance Company (Billie Paea, Wyllis Maihi, Wayde Webster, Anesi Fano and Eric Marsters and others not named) open the show with a sizzling, fluid, technical performance that hits the audience with the force of a meteor. They dance with a dynamic range to be envied and shift from Fred Astaire fluidity to high energy breaking and then suddenly to hilarious comic gags. Contact work is amazing and technically they present some of the tightest work I have seen in the festival.

Shifting gear somewhat, Ghost Dance Crew combine hip hop and urban dance into a silky theatrical and kind of contemporary number. Performers John Purcell Puleitu, Jeremiah Faitala and Sean Papuni are accomplished dancers who can dance an array of moods at the flick of a switch. Again humour plays a part of the rich choreographic landscape and recognisable contemporary and contact moves are blended in seamlessly, making for a hip hop look of quite a different kind.

Ending with a kung fu film in a Chinese takeaway reminded of how important humour is for the dance industry and how difficult it is to do as well as Ghost in their The Remedy Collection (2008-09).


Ending the show from New Caledonia, Posue Dance Company give us their premier Jumpers. I was informed that choreographer Soufiane Karim hails from Paris and is employed to run this company. There is a distinct French feel about the 30 minute show brought to a head by a lengthy solo that mixed mime of Marcel Marceau and poppin’ around a single spotlight. But the real meat of this show is in the group choreography danced by Soufiane with Kelly Caihe, Thomas Hnaissilin, Yoan Ouchot and Ludovic Wenethem who share an obvious love of their dancing. As a premiere this show possibly needs some editing in places but it is an involving and again another shade of the global phenomenon which is chameleon like as it takes on the flavvas of wherever it is danced.


Music throughout the evening is the to be expected intricate and well-mixed affair and drives the energy of the show without overpowering the dancers. Actually, it would be pretty impossible for anything to override these dancers. In many ways the hip hop counter culture reminds me of contemporary dance in its globalisation and shape shifting ability. In fact of course modern dance was once a counter culture – but watch out there’s a new kid on the block!



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How do you keep it real in the You Tube era?

Review by Dr Mark James Hamilton 09th Oct 2007

DJ Consciousness’s pre-show mixing got the audience rocking. A lad climbed on stage to bust some moves. Hot brings street culture to the theatre – actually, it’s truly dance from suburban garages and church halls transposed to a big posh place.

Boogie Hood open. One fella epitomises sartorial elegance in a raincoat, polished shoes and perfect cornbraids. His ultra-cool kit matches the aplomb of his nonchalant funk.

Next up are poppers Anticks and PJ, evoking images of rigid automatons and broken bodies tugged around on strings. Dynamic impulses course through their joints, like pellets whizzing around a pinball machine. Their hands dislocate their own torsos, knocking their ribcage, hips or head oddly off line.

“I say Hip, you say…Hop” calls our MC. A locker runs onto stage. With expansive fluidity Jandal J bounces into the splits. He leaps high, clicking his heels like leprechaun. Shaking his tush and circling his forearms as wee propellers, he drops into a crab and can-cans lightly. It’s a cute routine.

The breakers simulate a battle waged by rival crews. The younger guys buy the fourth-wall, never casting us a glance, while Samson (a face on the scene) plays to the gallery. ‘Heaps of awesome stunts to try at home: dive to balance horizontal on two hands, then rise on one palm to a vertical hand stand; invert yourself and freeze, holding the pose while hopping on one shoulder. With feats like this it’s no surprise even showman Samson – with a helmet and unfeasibly fast head spins – can only solo for a moment.

Breakin’ has got severed from its birth context, as dance in the rhythm rich interludes of phat tracks. Tricks have become the be all and end all – and too much of any good thing cloys.

Throughout Hot, aerosol art is projected on the backdrop. At times we see Technicolor murals with exquisite rotund relief. Sure, it’s not authentic gang tagging, but TAPAC’s no ghetto either. Sweet n Sour knows that, and best in show goes to them. Their slick highly rehearsed brand of stage dance is to South LA hip-hop what Bollywood is to village folk, but their striking formations work wonders. They all drop into a half circle, in press-up stance, and spring horizontally from the floor in split second canon, like dancing water shoots in a Versailles fountain.

The krumpers didn’t deliver. We’ve all seen the ripped six foot Black guys in Rize, tearing off their shirts to thrust out their pecs. ‘Nesian krump gets no further than a baseball hat removed and replaced. While atomic explosions flared on screen and in the DJ’s track, squibs of daring bounced between the krump lads, and the vibe never left their heads, let alone the stage.

Hot shows the full spectrum of local hip-hop in one setting, thanks to curator Johnny 4Higher. He says hip-hop plays to wider and wider audiences. In part, that’s gotta mean “whiter and whiter” audiences. Is hip-hop a new exotica? Are ‘Nesian youth minstrelling as Black Americans?  How do you keep it real in the You Tube era?


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Simultaneously interactive, aggressive, competitive and explosive

Review by HOT - Hip Hop Showcase 07th Oct 2007

In every school in New Zealand the influence of HipHop culture will be present or repressed, but happening. Another cleverly curated show by tempo’s Festival Director, Mary Jane OReilly, gives dance audiences opportunity to view this street art form in the context of performance.

I can see why schools could hate the stuff.  It’s so much an expression of youth at large. The skill is ritualised, it is not an act, the dancers are not abject or controlled by the form. They are inventing it. Here musicality and origins do not define what we see. Obvious influences of American songs, TV and gang cultures become submerged in the pleasure of viewing the uninhibited physicality of the youthful body.  

According to the articulate commentary by HOT facilitator, Johnny 4Higher, there are four ingredients – street art (bombing and graffiti art), the MC, the DJ (music) and the dancers. A fifth element I thought, was the high level of interactivities between the proponents of the various hip hop styles on show. As Jonny 4Higher took us through an historical development path, the dancers became more or less interactive, aggressive, competitive and explosive and at the same time, they watched each other. For tempo, this is what becomes the show.  


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