This is footage of Arkansas-born tricking phenom Brandon “Li’l B” McCuien, rumbling and tumbling at Loopkicks Camp 2011 in San Jose, California. Utterly bonkers. (And the random tacked-on ending is hilarious.)
Last week’s BTC starred a gorgeous, mega-talented yogini in an elegant-yet-questionable ad that blurred the lines between art, athleticism, sexuality and voyeurism. This week’s BTC features, uh… these guys:
In this advert, an exquisitely beautiful and powerful yogini, Briohny Smyth, clad in fetching skivvies, moves through her acrobatic morning practice in a million dollar Manhattan apartment for all us wistful voyeurs while her oblivious bedroom companion snoozes away in the background:
Well played, Equinox. Manipulative as hell –as many have noted– but still. Well played, ye bastards.
Recently, the street dance documentarians ventured deep into the NYC underground (literally) to document the Flexing prowess of the Brooklyn-based NextLevel Squad.
Flexing (also called Bonebreaking) is a relatively new and potently individualistic fusion dance form that evolved in NYC out of Jamaican bruk-up, and incorporates popping, gliding, contortion, as well as various moves gleaned from martial arts, jazz dance, ballet, gymnastics, and whatever else looks damn good.
There are many, many things to love about this video… not least of which is watching a burgeoning subculture breathe new life (so to speak) into ye olde gas-mask chic!
Yet another Doomsday has mercifully passed us by. Meanwhile, the horrors taking place around the globe stay their course. Corruption, scandal, and greed continue to rocket to the front pages of our newspapers.
Has there ever been a more dire need for magic?
In the shimmering hills that surround Los Angeles, art, wonder and the hope that only a spectacle can birth are being celebrated. The hard-working ghost of Harry Houdini is traveling the country via Houdini: Art & Magic, a comprehensive retrospective chronicling the life of an immigrant Rabbi’s son turned bonafide American showman. On a recent drive back from Malibu, the first stop on my long-overdue west coast vacation, street markers with stiff black flags trumpeting the arrival of Art & Magic at the Skirball Cultural Center had me jumping out of my passenger’s seat.
I had first seen the exhibit at the Jewish Museum in March before it closed at the end of the month. That same week, Houdini’s last living assistant, Dorothy Young, died in a retirement community in New Jersey at the age of 103, three days before what would’ve marked Houdini’s 137th birthday. The stars were aligning rapidly before me, and I, a sucker for synchronicity, could not churn out the review I wanted in time for the exhibit to end. I sat among pages of obsessive notes describing what I had seen at the museum, from Houdini’s diaries, to photographs of him with his beloved mother, and his performance trunk curling with worn and cracked brown leather. I swooned over the thin, almost romantic curl to his handwriting, lamented his untimely death, and dug up details from the obituaries of Dorothy, a woman who, at the age of 17, had been selected by the magician from a crowd at Coney Island, and kept her stalwart promise never to reveal his secrets.
Singing, dancing, contortionist/acrobat sibling sensations of stage and screen, The Ross Sisters, Aggie and Maggie and Elmira Ross (real names: Veda, Betsy Ann and Dixie), have been internet legends for years, thanks to gunked up, third generation bootlegs of their astonishing act from the 1944 Technicolor musical, Broadway Rhythm, circulating on YouTube. But here, at last, is a crisp, clear, DVD quality upload of the girls in all of their wildly contorted, three-part-harmonized-and-grinning-all-the-while glory:
Via E. Stephen, who says, “Their facial expressions are priceless… even before they all exhibit unnervingly inhuman capabilities.”
This has already gone ultra viral, for obvious reasons, but it’s gotta be catalogued here, too.
The women and men behind the masks: Marion Motin (Quality Street and Swagger crews), Julie Moreau (Swagger crew), Nicolas Medea (R.A.F crew), Marvin Gofin (R.A.F crew).
You’re watching La Preuve Par 4’s performance at the 2010 Juste Debout, an international street dancing competition in France. La Preuve Par 4 is comprised of two members of R.A.F crew (winners of the 2009 World Hip Hop Championships) and two members of the Swaggers crew. The music was composed and remixed for them by soFly.
EDIT: Here’s another, high res video of the same performance, shot from higher angles. This footage was taken by YAK FILMS. You might recall Coilhouse expressing a lot of love for them a while ago. Nowadays, it looks like this youth-led alternative media team is venturing a long way from Oakland, proving themselves to be invaluable curators of street dancing on an international scale. Inspiring stuff.
Hot on the heels of Mer’s discovery of Jordan Catalan… Oh, the clip below features aerial performers Leo Hedman and Yam Doyev (performing as Leo and Yam) in a steamy duet inspired by 20′s/30s silent films. Hedman’s femme fatale and Doyev’s pinstriped gentleman take on the comic side of sexual traditions while putting on a fluid, athletic, physically rigorous performance. In their own words, the flirtatious exchange “takes a wry, satirical look at the ways we conform to the gender roles assigned to us… and what happens when the mask drops and we find that our identities are a little less straightforward than we imagined.” This November, lucky Coilhouse readers living in London can witness the premiere of Leo and Yam’s first full-length show, titled Panoramic. Check their site for details.
Hedman’s other solo performances – inspired by Nosferatu, Psycho and more – are not to be missed. More images and clips, after the cut.
So sayeth my old chum and fellow east bay resident, author Eli Brown, regarding this viral video of four phenomenally talented young guys TURF dancing in the rain at the corner of 90th Ave and MacArthur in East Oakland:
No Noize (red jacket), Man (black jacket), BJ (striped shirt), D Real (white shirt). Directed and edited by Yoram Savion.
TURF stands for “Taking Up Room on the Floor”. It’s a roughly decade-old form of street dancing that originated in Oaktown. This particular footage was shot a little under a year ago. Via the Bay Citizen:
In contrast to other street dances, TURF aims to tell a story. And so “Dancing in the Rain” is a memorial to dancer D Real’s (he’s in the white shirt) brother Rich, who was killed in a car accident on that corner.
The day after Rich died, D Real and a few dancers were gathered in YAK Films’ Yoram Savion’s office at Youth UpRising trying to think of a tribute that went beyond the standard R.I.P. T-shirt. Youth UpRising is a youth leadership center in Oakland with a professional dance studio.
Before his brother’s death, D Real had strayed from dancing and was beginning to dabble in music. In one of their last conversations, Rich told D Real to forget about music and focus on dancing, his real talent. So in memory of Rich, D Real and three friends who were willing to brave the pouring rain danced for this this video.
The aforementioned YAK Films production team has one seriously mind-blowing YouTube channel, and their mission statement brings joyful tears to my eyes: