Balmain X H&M AD- Kendall Jenner Impressive Dance?

I’m sure everyone has seen this Balmain x H&M ad featuring Kendall Jenner and a group of dancers “battle” it out on a subway for the campaign. You know, I can’t be happier that there are more and more fashion x street dance collaborations over  the years *woohoo* and it’s times like this I hope the public have become more open to see and learn about the different dance styles- instead of just generalising everything as “Hip Hop”. I’ll assure you that there is no popping, locking, nor breakdancing (correct term: breaking) in the video. In fact, the dance styles you’ve seen in the video are mainly (1) Flexing and (2) Voguing

Flexing

“Also called Bone Breaking, is a style of street dance from Brooklyn, New York that is characterized by rhythmic contortionist movement combined with waving, tutting, and gliding. Flexing is primarily performed to hip-hop music but it did not come from hip-hop dance or hip-hop culture. It evolved from a Jamaican style of street dance called bruk-up which is performed to dancehall and reggae music.”

Yeap, flexing is a legit dance genre, not just an act of contorting stunts. It’s a relatively young dance style but had gain much public exposure in the recent years because of the media. Flexors had joined shows such as America’s Best Dance Crew and America Got Talent to showcase their style. Check out the vid below to see 2 of Brooklyn’s renown flexors

Voguing

As you can tell from the name, this dance style was inspired by the poses models do in VOGUE magazines- characterized by model-like poses integrated with angular, linear, and rigid arm, leg, and body movements. It arose from the  early 1960s from Harlem Ballrooms of the African American. Over time voguing developed and evolved as an established dance form that is practiced in the gay ballroom scene and clubs in major cities throughout the United States—mainly New York City. Note- not to be confused with Waacking.

If you’re still confused, here’s a performance by the Legandary House Of Ninja- with Benny Ninja and Javier Ninja. Yes, in case if you’re wondering why Benny Ninja sounded so familiar, he was invited to be a posing coach on American’s Next Top Model

My thoughts on the campaign? I think it’s a bummer that nobody is actually interested to know who the dancers were. Because if you search “Dancers in Balmain x H&M campaign”, all the search results focus on “Kendall Jenner shows of impressive dance moves”.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 8.36.20 pm

Sorry guys, but Kendall can’t dance to save her life in there. It’s the truth! I mean she’s a great model and I do adore her for that but she wasn’t dancing in that video (cancel out all the editing. Really, you have to give credit to the dancers because they fed the energy of the whole concept of the video. But I do appreciate that the AD credited the dancers at the start but they’re really underground because you can’t seem to find them on youtube o.O!

Moving on, I do hope that the Singapore fashion scene and music scene will have more opportunities to work collaboratively with the local dance scene. Music, dance and fashion have been influencing each other through the eras! For all you know, with the right dance and music, it could elevate the show quality of the runway show.

Some waackers for the more feminie labels? credit: melissalcl photography

Explosive & highly energetic bboys for the streetwear brands. credit: melissalcl photography

Even poppers for the more preppy menswear line. credit: melissalcl photography

(Btw, MelissaLCL is one of the amazing photographers in the dance scene that I really love. Click on the images and check out the rest of her work on her page)

With that said, I hope the right dancers will be sought for appropriately. There are some commercial dance agencies in Singapore but honestly speaking, if you want dancers from specialised street styles- hiphop, bboy, popping, locking, waacking, voguing, you have to look to the streets.

Well maybe agency dancers COULD do the genres, but they will never be as good as the street dancers who understand the true essence of the dance. (some people are gonna hate me for saying this but even you have to admit it’s true).

The problem with contacting street dancers is, you don’t know where to find us, right? We could be anywhere. So if you ever need contacts, check out Dancemeets.com .

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 8.55.39 pm

They are not a dance company or anything commercialised. But a humble group of dancers with the passion to push the streetdance scene in Singapore. So basically, they know almost everybody in the scene (or at least who to contact) and they’re more likely to give you a better recommendation for dancers than anywhere else.

But honestly, what do you think about fashion and dance coming together?

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Balmain X H&M AD- Kendall Jenner Impressive Dance?

  1. singapore_style says:

    Hmmm … I actually have a problem with mixing dance and runway – it’s fine for ads – but on the runway it’s cringe-inducing. Neither the dancers nor the fashion is in focus. The fashion is restricted by the concept having to suit the movements of the dancers; and the dancers are restricted by fitting to the brand requirements. When Rick Owens used dancers for his show it was very Instagramable but who remembers the clothes? At least when Yohji-San had dancers perform at his show he kept them separate and let both groups – the dancers and the fashion – speak for themselves. At DFW, Melissa Koh put a modern dancer on the runway … It was embarrassing. The quality performer – we saw her work on a pre-event video – was reduced to a few moves squeezed between the front row. This doesn’t give dignity to the dance at all. If you’re going to mix dance and fashion it has to be done very, very carefully. 👍

    • mianbaobreadpan says:

      Yup totally agreeing with you on this. Sometimes when I see it done badly, not for fashion shows but people using dance for any marketing or entertaining purpose, it feels like dance is just a side show, nothing important.

      I felt the balmain x h&M show was good and the choice of genres were appropriate to the concept of the clothes. Hence I feel it’s always better for the client to contact dancers directly to be advised on what dance style would best suit their campaign and who are the dancers that can pull off the ideal vibe.
      Because even though a group of dancers may do the same genre, they have different interpretation and specialisation within the genre itself. Just taking my dance style, waacking as a reference, some of us do it soulful while some of us prefer the more dynamic style, or even the more angular form of the dance. Even the music we enjoy dancing to could be different. So yeap as you said, careful planning is needed :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s