Cape Town - One of the continent’s biggest dance events has been taking place in South Africa and continues this coming weekend. Called Global Dance Supreme, it’s an extravaganza of workshops, battles and performances, with internationally renowned choreographers from the US and France here for the occasion. Among them is Monsters of Hip-Hop Show Alumni, Candace Brown and renowned choreographer Buddha Stretch, who’s worked with Michael Jackson.
This weekend they hosted two hip-hop workshops in Randburg, and will now be among the judges deciding the winners of the Africa and Inter-Continental Dance Championship taking place at Walter Sisulu Hall in Randburg on September 15 and 16.
More than 1 500 top dancers from 20 countries will compete for a grand prize of R130 000. Dancers of all styles and ages are eligible to participate in the qualifier.
We caught up with Brown ahead of the competition to see if she has advice for the competitors. She encouraged entrants to focus on the intention driving their routines: “When you know what you want to say with your movement, make it relatable to the audience and show how much you love it.”
Brown is no stranger to creating iconic routines, which she’s done for more than a few famous people, including Janet Jackson.
She says about the experience: “I still get emotional thinking about it. Janet was the reason I started dancing, and this was my biggest dance dream. It was the best experience. She’s kind, down to earth and sweet. The first day she walked into rehearsal I was going crazy on the inside.”
Choreography is no longer something that just trained dancers practice, and more dance moves are going viral due to social media. I ask Brown what styles of choreography are emerging right now.
“One of the most prominent is commercial dance. Everyone has titles for what they believe certain styles should be called, but for me commercial dance is a fusion of many styles, and is featured in a lot of pop culture today.”
Another judge is Buddha Stretch, who’s worked with the likes of Rosie Perez, Mariah Carey, Diana Ross, Wyclef Jean, Jermaine Dupri and Da Brat. He also worked with Will Smith in the Men In Black and Miami videos, but he says his most memorable moment was with Jackson.
Stretch is excited about being in South Africa, telling #Trending “Music is the universal language; dance is its interpreter.”
Tickets for the Africa and Intercontinental Dance Championships cost from R150 to R200 and are available at computicket.com