I Love This Dance

by Ted Cleaver

I Love This Dance is a French battle concept that pitches expert street dancers against each other in exhibition battles. All invited competitors are authorities in their style. The audience and online viewers decide who won, but there is no prize for winning. The concept challenges dancers to represent their style to the fullest against the representative of another style. So a bboy might take on a popper, a dancehall king light the stage on fire battling a krumper, and newstylers (hip hop) demonstrate their versatility together with house dancers. Each dancer chooses one song to which he/she can prepare a set, while each dancer has to improvise on the song chosen by their opponent. This is what’s so refreshing about I Love This Dance: All invited dancers have the opportunity to show off a devastating choreography for 50% of their performance, however the ability to freestyle on an unexpected song is and remains the benchmark for musicality, creativity, and personality.

The way the event is organized is a tribute to excellence in dance. So far, two editions have taken place with about 10 battles per event. Again, each battle consisting of two rounds per dancer is an exhibition – no one advances to a next round. That means that the artists have exactly two rounds to showcase their skills. I Love This Dance has produced some of the best battles and most mind-blowing runs ever. There is something about the concept that pushes the competitors to peak performances. Moreover, the organizers came up with some very interesting match ups. Dedson versus Grichka pairs two styles (dancehall vs krump) that are relatively small compared to the big four (newstyle, house, popping, locking). Mar20 versus Djidawi is a bit of a grudge match between two heavy weights in newstyle and popping. There are many more excellent battles; these two however are by far my favourites. I highly recommend anyone even remotely interested in dance to take in the mastery at display by these artists.

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