Streets take stage and dance to Petta Rap
By Express News Service | Published: 18th July 2017 09:20 AM |
CHENNAI: Almost over a year ago, 26-year-old Massey, a resident of Red Hills realised the lack of awareness about street and urban dance styles in his locality. So he formed a dance crew — Split ‘A’ Way, and set up a studio to spread awareness on various dance styles like hip hop, locking and breaking. Performing in several competitions and dance battles over the last two years, the crew has carved a niche for itself and is now curating an event — Petta Rap, an Indian Street Dance Championship, which is a milestone for them.
“Three years ago, I was in a different dance crew and then later, I shifted to Red Hills. As I was always into dancing, shifting to a locality that wasn’t exposed to it came as a shock! People here mostly knew only about locally curated stage shows, which were done by amateurs. But there was plenty of talent,” shares Massey He brought in people with a passion for dance and the ability to move gracefully, from the locality. “For one year after the team was formed, we participated in as many competitions as possible and won in both college and professional levels. It was only after that we opened our own studio…this will give people confidence to learn from us,” shares the dancer, who launched the studio in 2016.
Talking about the first event curated by the group, Massey says he is both nervous and excited! “We wanted to provide a platform to the dancers in the city and also fulfil their dream of showcasing their talent. Though there has been a rise in the number of urban dance events, it’s still less in comparison to the number of dancers in the city. Not everyone gets a chance to showcase their talent,” he opines.
That’s how Petta Rap took roots; over 19 teams from across the country are participating in this event. “Apart from Chennai, we have had registrations from other parts of the country too and we are excited to see them all in one platform,” shares Mathew, coordinator and member, Split ‘A’ Way.
The event is aimed at encouraging and propagating healthy competition in dancing. “The dance event will have one-on-one dance battles, crew showcase and more…but we want to make sure that it ends on a positive note. Though dance battles were started to promote healthy competition, it can often turn ugly. We want to make sure that the dancers take that message back home,” explains Massey.
The judges include Siddarth Basu Roy from CKN crew and Bboy Likith Achaiah from Black Ice crew judging the dancers. While dancers from cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru are rapidly turning towards urban and street dance styles, what’s the scene in Chennai? “It is slow here when compared to other cities. We are used to the classical and folk culture here and many don’t step into new styles because of their family. But it’s time people realise dance is dance, irrespective of style,”
Petta Rap will be held on July 22. For details, visit their FB page Petta Rap or call: 08056226926