Two Kerala dancers launch line dance battle amid COVID-19 lockdown

‘Quarantime Online Battle’ is underway for those pursuing different dance styles

Arjun Govind and Vineeth AV relentlessly practiced their dance moves for the dance battle. What if the contest takes place online? They want to give the best of themselves because they have been selected for the next round.

“I do krumping and an online competition is a first for me. For the next round, the track will be sent to my WhatsApp number at 4 pm and I will have to upload my dance video within two hours, ”says Arjun, based in Thrissur, in his final year of engineering. Vineeth AV, who loves “breaking”, also admits that an online contest is a “fresh” experience. “I miss my daily sessions with my team. But this competition motivated me to step it up, ”says Vineeth, who works in video design and editing at Thiruvananthapuram.

Anand NC

The lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 has made artists think outside the box and dancers don’t take it easily. Dancers Anand NC and Sumesh Sundar have launched “Quarantine Online Battle” in which competitions are held in three categories: break, all-style and krump. While the preliminaries ran from April 6 to 9, the final takes place on April 14.

“I had doubts about the success of an online battle because we’ve never done it before. But when Sumesh ettan also suggested the same idea to make the most of the lockdown period, I was all for it, ”says Anand, 23, a Bboy and native of Thiruvananthapuram, better known as Zylent in dance circles.

Excellent answer

However, the duo admit they weren’t prepared for an overwhelming response. Registration was free and they had 88 dancers in the all styles section, 44 in krump and 22 in station wagon. “We thought there would be participants from all over Kerala and cities like Chennai and Bengaluru. But we were pleasantly surprised to get entries from Maharashtra, Delhi, Assam and even the United States. It was difficult for the judges because there were extremely talented dancers, ”says Sumesh, 28, who runs Myself And My Moves, a dance studio in Thrissur.

Know the style

  • The Krump, a street dance popularized in the United States, has intense, lively, and energetic movements and some of the main movements are arm swings, chest movements, and stomping.
  • Break, breakdancing or b-boying have evolved as part of hip-hop culture and involve several acrobatic movements such as the spinning headstand, power moves, and freezes.
  • Waacking or Whacking is characterized by rotating movements of the arms to the rhythm of the music, especially above and behind the shoulder.

The judges are Bboy Crazy bright (breaking), Funky Back (krump) and Isai (all-style), all based in Chennai. “As there were more competitors in the category for the station wagon, the top 18 were chosen in this style, while the other two have 16 competitors each,” says Anand.

In the next few laps, a lead is sent to competitors’ WhatsApp numbers at 4 p.m. daily. Before 6 p.m., participants must upload their dance video to their Instagram pages and tag Anand, Sumesh and the judges. The results will be posted on Soul TV (Anand’s YouTube channel) and Myself And My Moves Instagram pages at 10 a.m. the next day. Content should be at least 40 seconds long and may be up to one minute long. “In the end, they will only have one hour to prepare and download the video,” he adds.

Sumesh Sundar

Some of the contestants took part in another online battle, “Chance,” hosted by To The Culture, a Mumbai-based dance community, which held competitions in 10 styles. “While I couldn’t get far in this battle, I felt like I was part of an online battle. It was better than sitting idle at home. Since I continue to practice, it helps me improve, ”says Pavithra M, a business graduate from the capital, who will face two other“ waackers ”in the next round.

The selected videos will be uploaded to Instagram pages from the first eight levels. The winners in each category will receive 1,000. “We have pooled the money ourselves because it will be difficult to get financial support from any other party at this time,” Sumesh said.