Europe Workshop Tour 2018

My Europe tour has been an eye-opening experience. I realize how much I love this continent and can really imagine myself living here some day. My first leg of the tour was Copenhagen, Denmark, a city that works so well. There’s an anarchist, autonomous neighborhood in it called Christiania. The place is like a portal into another decade that is hardly affected from the world outside of it with a lake that at this time of year having little baby jellyfish swimming on its shores. Surrounding the lake are geometrically puzzling homes topped with insulating earth and moss. And to add to the magic, I spent much time here with Steen Koerner and his students, Malthe, Ibrahim, and Lasse. Steen is such a special person who just gives so much of his vast bank of knowledge freely and taught me a great amount here in Christiania and at his office. To explain his reach, perhaps most new school poppers throughout the world whose main focus is illusion and isolations are influenced by this man whether they know it or not.

It was a difficult place to leave, but onward to Berlin, Germany. Unfortunately, I fell sick for four days here, so really making my week-long stay here filled with eventful memories wasn’t an option. But I did see Bonobo live, an electronic artist that so masterfully fuses organic sounds and vocals that really evoke powerful emotions-an amazing show anytime I’ve seen this person. In Berlin, I taught two workshops back to back. First day was popping where I worked on breath control, a very important thing for a dance that depends on full-body tension to express the beat, and the second day we went over waving. During the last night, I watched Flying Illusion, a critically-acclaimed performance from Flying Steps with some great dancers like Robozee and Kalli, and a surprise appearance from Angyil. Big thanks to Osman (mr. crazy eyes taking the pic below) for setting this all up every time I come through town.

Moving onto Antwerp. Thanks to my hosts, Denis and Gianni, I was able to take in the beauty that is this Belgian city, a place filled with incredible architecture stretching back in time to the 1600s, easily one of the most visually stunning cities I’ve ever been in. For my workshop here, I went in detail about the importance of posture and how this involves the chest, the arms, and the head. I explained how important the head and where you place your gaze affects the energy of your dance.

I spent only a day in Eindhoven where I taught a workshop organized by a very important man who’s responsible for several technological innovations to street dance culture-Jing Wang. Similar to my workshop in Antwerp, one of my primary topics I explained was how to execute the best posture to make your dance have presence.

And last but nowhere near least, I experienced the most beautifully surreal vacation in Iceland. This excursion with my good friend, Mark, around this forbidden, desolate country was filled with breathtaking vistas to be viewed at any moment and in any direction, a camper whose fridge smelled of rotten fish-a situation we were forced to accept throughout the 5 day road trip, $5 caviar that we dined on every lunch or dinner, sulfurous geothermal lagoons surrounded by a landscape reminiscent of Mars, swimming pools in every town we stopped at for the night where we committed to swimming for 1/2 mile at each one, and days that literally did not end while the northern sun stubbornly maintains its position above the horizon regardless the hour. To sum it up, Iceland is magic, and I miss it already.

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