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Going globally by means of street dance,an expression more than words! Interview on 「s**t kingz」,a foursome dance team.

At Kanagawa prefecture,the "Magnet Culture"=(MagCul),which creates regional prosperity
by appealing and attracting people through cultural and art activities,
as a part of its efforts,will be helding the
"Part2 National Senior High School Japan Avenue Street Dance Battle" in which
nationwide senior highschool students will be performing exciting dance performances,
at November 6th (Sunday).

The guest performer on this tournament day will be 「s**t kingz,
known not only nationwide but worldwide,
by their advanced technique and high entertainment quality.

We have interviewed these 4 members about the appealing aspects of street dance,
the difference between Japan and overseas countries dance scene aspects,
and how to enjoy the day of"Part2 National Senior High School Japan Avenue Street Dance Battle".

――s**t s**t kingz successful activities are well acknowledged by dance fans,
but could you please introduce what kind of dance group you are once again?


shoji:Next year will be s**t kingz's 10th year since we have been founded. At first,we were all individually performing at clubs until kazuki called out to the four of us and started dancing together and whilst we were getting trained at the US,we happened to win a big dance contest called "BODY ROCK" for 2 years in a row. Since then we started getting opportunities to perform and have workshops at overseas countries,and to choreograph for national and Korean artists. Since 3 years ago we also started stage performing by ourselves.



――There are many forms of self expressing through bodily means other than dance, as in singing,band performing,living theater,etc. What is the most appealing aspect in dance for all of you?

Oguri:I love listening to music and to sing too but when asked "why dance?" I think...because of the ability to be able to feel music with your entire body. When dancing,there is a sensation of the music flowing through your whole body from head to toe, its refreshing just like diving in a water pool. I love this feeling of unity of the body and music.
NOPPO:There are truly so many elements in the art of dance. The unity with music is one of them and just like sports, the more you train yourself you level up, there is pleasure also in this stoically mastering. In the creating of a show,there is alot to absorb from other sources other than dance too,such as theater,musical,and movies. This almightiness is a great charm of it too.
kazuki:Yes,not only in streetdance that we do, but there are infinite possibilities in the art of dance. Depending on how much you train yourself,on the music, and on the situation,anything can be possible. I suppose there is a similar feeling with singers and actors, but I personally find dance having the most potential of infinity possibilities.
shoji:And also,since there is no need of words in dance, it can transcend all different kinds of cultures. There are wonderful musicals and theaters all over the world, but without subtitles everyone may not understand it or you might miss out the story or/and the great acting whilst reading the subtitles. But with dance,anyone even without any knowledge of dancing can just follow the performance directly,and feel it by intuition and sensation. I think the charm of dance as an entertainment is the excitement that brings about.

――s**t kingz's speciality is the streetdance born from the 1980's Hip Hop music and culture. There are alot of young people aiming street dance and is a very popular genre,isn't it?

NOPPO:Streetdance is intimately related to Hip Hop music and to music that is popular to young people. Popular music changes at a fast rate and new dances are founded along those changes too.Following those changes might be one of the greatest charm in streetdance.
shoji:Even so amongst such a scene,Japan has somewhat evolved in a rare way... For example,Rock Dance,Break Dance,and Pop Dance having long histories in streetdance known as the genre "Old school" never gets out of style. Young great dancers are always born and always evolving. At oversea countries,especially in Europe,there are places that only perform new dances.Meaning there are many craftsman type dancers in Japan. But still,they cope flexibly with popular styles and rather, there are many young dancers who create new styles. Both of these elements coexisting might be the interesting aspect about the Japanese dance scene.
kazuki:We don't acknowledge everything ongoing worldwide but,the style and ambience differs depending each country. Japanese people have a true spirit of an artisan and are skillfull with interesting group dance formations and are strong at battles. You can tell that they are working hard on their training. However they are quite quiet...including us,but I guess that is Japanese identity.



――So the nature of a dancer differs depending on their country?

shoji:Yes,they are all different.Spanish and Philippines are especially enthusiastic. Even when we go to take a lesson,they are loudly playing the flute and/or drum, and makes us wonder if they are not interested in hearing to what we say(laughs). Italians are merry people too.
NOPPO:Its an ambient that would never be seen in Japan, but I very much enjoy meeting dancers with different styles.

――You were saying that the charm of streetdance is its intimate relation with music, and each of you from s**t kingz have done choreographies for Japanese artists. What is your perspective to the relationship between Japanese streetdance and music?


Oguri:There are people who dance the usual "HipHop/R&B cool moves",but mainstream tends to dance along a more catchy tune in an idol way. So Japanese choreography is worldwidely known to have a peculiar relationship. We personally would like to see streetdance to become more of the mainstream, but the music itself has its own peculiar uniqueness to it so.
shoji:But we feel that streetdancing elementary and junior high school kids population is expanding massively,so we are hoping to see the further rising of streetdance.Since opportunities to get to know streetdance through means of compulsory education has increased too.
Oguri:Dance becoming a required subject at school expands ranges of experiences for the children and makes us happy. From that,for example,they may get to know us or any other great dancers and become interested to the point that they might start their own dancing lessons, and that would be even greater.



――In that sense,s**t kingz joining as a guest in the November 6th opening of the
"Part2 National Senior High School Japan Avenue Street Dance Battle" will have the
opportunity to see all the young people's energetic dance,joining from nationwide
superb senior high school dance clubs at the tournament,right?


kazuki:It's great that such a tournament is being held. I myself used to be in a dance club during my senior high school years. I also parcitipated in school versus school contests and a contest called "Dance Koshien" of a TV program. I also used to join a nationwide senior high school contest called "DANCE ATTACK!!" with NOPPO every year and it was really exciting! When all the participants are restricted for only senior high students, everyone's skill levels are alike and makes it even more stimulating.
NOPPO:I used to often think, "Wow that person being the same age as me can dance so well!I gotta practice more!" It was a precious occasion giving me the opportunity to recognize the many ways of dance expression possibilities.
shoji:I had not yet started dancing during my senior high school years so I envy those experiences very much. Being able to see the dances of people out of your local area alone is quite a precious experience. Its great to entwine and inspire each other,which may even eventually lead to dancing together in the future as adults. Its a great pleasure for us to be able to participate in a huge street dance tournament in the Kanagawa prefecture,since it is also our hometown,except for Oguri.
Oguri:In that sense,my hometown is Tokyo but my mother used to work at the Kanagawa government office so I feel a close intimacy with Kanagawa, therefore arising me a strong fighting spirit unto this occasion.
shoji:After all,this tournament's main stage is at the Japan Avenue Street, passing in front of the the Kanagawa government office! Another great element about this tournament is that it's free and anyone can come to see the event lightheartedly.

――It would be great if people who have never had the chance to see a live performance of street dance to come and see it on this occasion. On what aspects should we pay attention in order to enjoy the senior high school student's performances on that day?

Oguri:Its best to enjoy street dance intuitively rather than rationally. Instead of paying attention to the technique aspects, I recommend to pay attention to the facial expressions of the dancers. Its not fun to watch a highly technical dancer if dancing with a frowned face. A dancer with a good facial expression is pouring emotion unto the dance.
shoji:Its much more fun to watch street dance as an entertainment rather than evaluating the superiority or inferiority of each dancer's technique. In order to participate in a nationwide tournament,I think each team has gone through a lot of effort to adjust every timing of their choreography with each other and so on. I think their enthusiasm towards dance,and all the effort and time they have spent will show,so I hope the audience will feel their passion through their performance on stage.
kazuki:Every team's uniqueness will show through their music selection, costume and formation. There might be school teams coming about simply by expressing their athletic dance skills, others by expressing their dance under a specific theme and charm. I wish the audience would feel each team's theme and give applause and cheers to the performances they think is good.
NOPPO:In all means in a loud voice!
shoji:When the crowd becomes roused,it brings the performers spirits high! Because street dance is about having fun,both the performers and the crowds! Please give them a shout even during their performances.

――I am sure that among the senior high school students who will be performing at the tournament, that look up to s**t kingz would be aiming as to also become professional dancers. What kind of advice would you give them?

NOPPO:I think that dancing is not about "training this first to get better at this". You dance,and when you realize what you need to reinforce in yourself and train on that,you get better,so just keep on dancing a lot.



Oguri:In such occasions,I hope people will maintain a wide perspective and experience many types of dances.It's important to use the dance you are good at as your weapon but every other experience out of that will always come in handy. Also,polish your good taste.Not only in the aspect of dance, but also in music,fashion,etc.keep in touch with many good stuff. Lastly,regularly stretch and take good care of your body.
kazuki:I also believe that experiencing many types of dances is important. I myself used to practice break dance for 3 years at my senior high school dance club. It's a completely different genre from what I dance today but the practice of break dance I had at senior high school came in handy alot later and if I had'nt got to know break dance then, I believe I would never have had the chance to dance at all in my life. When an interest is developed in yourself,whatever it might be, go ahead and challenge it at your fullest.
shoji:Also,study English!There are lots of encounters outside,lots of excitements awaiting, but there are many people afraid to go overseas because of the language barrier. There is no language barrier in dance itself but in order to attain further knowledge words are necessary. There are dance camps being held in Japan for foreign dancers and there are many Japanese who go overseas to teach also. I believe this phenomena will be increasing furthermore. Do not waste these kind of opportunities,study English well during your school days!

――Such an advice from s**t kingz since having lots of overseas experiences.
What is s**t kingz's further aim?


shoji:Our main aim is to create performances which will make everybody smile and enjoy. For people with no knowledge of dance,we wish them to enjoy the contents of our performance,and for the people who love dance,we wish them to enjoy the quality of our dance. This year too,from September 9th at Tokyo Zepp Blue Theater Roppongi, by the author Mari Yamazaki of the cartoon "Thermae Romae",has written for us a new dance entertainment production under the theme of "toilets" called, "Wonderful Clunker - Subarashiki Ponkotsu" will be performed for 10 days. We would furthermore like to pursuit s**t kingz's dance and performance potentiality, having our henceforward goal as to do our stage performance world tour.

【s**t kingzも登場!】全国高等学校日本大通りストリートダンスバトルPR告知

- - -
s**t kingz Official Sight:http://shitkingz.jp/
Kanachan TV:http://www.pref.kanagawa.jp/osirase/1197/ktv/
Part2 National Senior High School Japan Avenue Street Dance Battle

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