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Thursday, 31 December 2009

East London Dance's new homepage is pretty

Check it out. Trainers with wings. That's fly.

After several months, the East London Dance (ELD) website has been given a makeover with a design that is second only to ours. Ahem.

Thanks to Hot Pepper Design the website is looking sharp and fresh, and keeps in line with past promotions they've done for ELD - they did the artwork for I Love Dance and Dance Athletic.

All the sections are on the side, and things are really easy to find with colour-coded sections to make things easier to know which section you're in.

It's a simple, intelligent funky design, and we like it!

To see the website for yourself, visit

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Podcast: Basement Sessions 20 - The Christmas Special

The good people at Basement Sessions have dropped their 20th podcast this week, which coincides with the festive season.

I met these guys at the Brick City Boutique earlier this year, and TooMuchFlavour has featured on some of their podcasts recently.

Our contribution to this episode is an interview conducted by Emma Figuero of with Reeps One, the UK Beatbox Champion 2009 (read report) talking about what he's been doing since winning the title of champion - he's a deep guy, but I wanted to put the interview where lots of people would be able to listen to it and appreciate it, hence Basement Sessions

On top of that there's a selection of Christmas-related songs and plenty of UK hip hop too.
You can listen to the podcast on the link below.

They've got loads of great shows coming up in 2010 including interviews with Speech Debelle, Sonny Jim, Mystro, DJ Cro and many more so stay tuned! You can click the link to subscribe to listen on the Basement Sessions PodOMatic site here.

Basement Sessions 20 Playlist:
1. Mystro - Mess I Ever Had
2. 810 - The Oath (Prod. by Midus)
3. Roeg Du Casq - Like Us f. Kosyne
4. Kurtis Blow - Christmas Rappin
5. Homeless Genius - Plug One f. Eddie Skratch
6. Team Facelift - No Love
7. Lotek - Ctrl+Alt+Delete
8. Ryan Leslie - Diamond Girl (SirOJ Remix)
===Reeps One Interview by Emma Figeuro for Basement Sessions courtesy of & **
9. TY - Oh You Want More
10. Alphabetix - Children
11. Kenn Starr - Coming Of Age '09
12. Homecut - I Don't Even Know f. Soweto Kinch & Corrine Bailey Rae
13. Twizzy - Blessings
14. Kidz In The Hall - We At It Again
15. Souls Of Mischief - Tour Stories
16. Speech Debelle - Searching
17. Run DMC - Christmas In The Hollis

1. Zircon - Brazil
2. Pushing Buttons - Relax
3. Twelve Original Players - For Maya (during Reeps One Interview)
4. Zircon - Italian (during Reeps One Interview)
5. ZIrcon - Diva (during Reeps One Interview)
6. Twelve Original Players - The Hiatus
7. Twelve Original Players - Forcefield

Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas from TooMuchFlavour to all our readers!

To all our readers,

We'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thank you for your support throughout 2009. It's been a great year.

Enjoy our festive and appropriately flavoursome e-card below.

Warm wishes to everyone. Peace, love, and unity.

The TooMuchFlavour team

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Thanks to MoreThanAStance for linking to the ElfYourself site.

For more Elf Yourself Christmas fun, here's what happened when the elves took over New York City:

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Ballet Boyz N Da Hood - Rite of Spring Review

"Ballet Boyz's Rite of Spring: Extraordinary blend of breakdancing, contemporary fusions, ballroom and poledancing. Splendiforous!"

That's what I would write, but in doing so lose all credibility for running TooMuchFlavour, let alone being able to comment on dance. It was really ballet in gimp costume... No, not really, I'm playing. But not far off.

This is great news to me. A week of Move Like Michael Jackson, then more dance on the Beeb with Ballet Boyz! It's a shame, because it wasn't that memorable after watching it.

Stravinsky: classical composer. Rite of Spring: Classically controversial. So the Ballet Boyz (with a 'Z,' gaining them mad credibility in our book!) decided to bring it back with a contemporary twist. They gathered dancers of different and contrasting styles. And they recruited the help of the Soul Mavericks. Step out of the woodwork, haters! They even met up with them at their London Bridge training sessions too. But didn't show the McDonald's the training studio is above!

In October we met up with Soul Mavericks for the UK B-Boy Championships, watch our interview below

"Stravinsky?" Kevin (aka DJ Renegade) answered when he heard the first few bars of music. Damn, after years on the b-boy scene he even knows his classical composers? "That's easy."

Funny how they can commission a piece of classical music for the programme, but had to use a licensed generic break to dub over for the training session...

So Renegade and the Mavericks get on with choreographing. Quite a challenge, as the piece of music is intricate and detailed with no set rhythm to follow, with climaxes and relaxed moments, but nothing is too hard when you're the crew representing the UK in several breaking competitions.

Then that's all you see of them for a bit. A little rehearsal footage midway in the programme at Laban before performance. You don't even get to see the bit where they slipped B-Boy Junior into the cast. Junior who? 13m views on YouTube Junior...

The producers seemed to have forgotten putting in that minor detail. Of course if you put Junior's style in your piece people will clap, the man defies gravity using his arms to propel him! It did look dope though, although for them to dance on beat when there are no obvious marks in the music isn't worth the criticism; the concept for when they moved and why was there.

It's just a shame that considering there were several different styles of dance here, most of the story of the documentary was spent on meeting the dancers rather than watching the pieces develop. I didn't just want to see DJ Renegade go "We're gonna do an eight there, then you guys do an eight when that bit is done." Whoopee-doo. I wanted to see how our b-boys adapted to the unfamiliar music, then how the contemporary dancers and the poledancers got along together with everyone else to pull the final performance together.

Give me drama dammit, I know what dancers are like, so watch dancers from one style argue with the another that does a different style!

It's not like it's the first time b-boying has been set to classical music. It works, and it works well - check this video. But if you're going to broadcast a show that adapts a controversial ballet, and does so with different styles, show us how it all came together!

Post your comments below

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

B.Supreme Club Night at the Southbank Centre Spirit Room

Even though the B.Supreme Festival was in April (check out our report) you'd be foolish thinking that the dancers are just jamming about waiting for next year's show.

For the first time B.Supreme was hosting a club night at the Southbank Centre, or in the Spirit Room, to be more precise. Probably not the best place to throw a club night with its bare walls causing acoustic problems to the ears, or the children's beanbags and foam chairs laying about. It should probably be labelled a jam night...

Although I wasn't able to stay for the party, I was able to stick around to catch the showcases and battles.

Since the winner of B.Young B.Supreme 2009 was chosen in October, this year's winners, Retaliation Girls, and last year's winner, Stylinquents, have been working on some new and interesting pieces which made a debut that night.

Both Retaliation Girls and Stylinquents will be performing at Kymberlee Jay Presents: Serious About Street Dance in January - click the link for information.

Upon winning B.Young, B.Supreme, the winning group is given a mentor to help them develop. Retaliation Girls were mentored by Boy Blue Entertainment's Kenrick H2O Sandy who devised a piece dedicated to... Whoopie Goldberg!
Yes, it was weird, mixed in with voice samples from the movie Ghost, but it was different, although I'm not sure how much I like it yet.

Stylinquents' new piece was about drug dealing, which took on a more theatrical angle than their other sets, so it involved as much acting as it did dancing. It was dramatic, loud, and rough, with the storyline of drug dealing gone awry, but it suffered from not having enough space to express its meaning in, so hopefully it will be put on stage some time soon.

It was a shame that both the sound was so bad and the performance space was so small, because both performances look really stunted as the dancers tried not to step on people's toes who were sat on the floor watching.

Next was the new style battle to take the coveted title of being the first B.Supreme club night winner. After several rounds of battles in quick succession, it was Koala versus Rebecca "Famous" in the finals, with the judges voting in favour of Koala as the first champion.

While it wasn't an amazing night (£6 a ticket, or £4 when you say the password: Facebook!), it was the first club night B.Supreme have hosted and will hopefully improve as word about them gets around.

The next B.Supreme club night will be announced in the future, so keep checking the B.Supreme website where you can also follow their Twitter updates.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Animaineax win Move Like Michael Jackson!

For several hours we waited in the the BBC Television Centre in White City to be taken into the studios for the live final - a nine o'clock broadcast has to be prepared in advance - we were there at five! I've sat in studio audiences before, but this was long!

Interestingly, as we tweeted earlier, someone who had seen the rehearsals predicted Animaineax would be the winners. They were right!

To see videos, short biographies and links of the Move Like Michael finalists, click here to year our earlier blog.

Ash Mukherjee, Animaineax, Plague and Unity had made the finals of Move Like Michael Jackson. In preparation, all the stops had been pulled out and some of the groups were looking tense, except Animaineax, who were clowning about off camera.

We had a view of the stage from stage right, and it really looked impressive, even with a side view of the action. It's worth noting that some sections of the show were prerecorded, like the Junior Jacksons performance. Sorry to dispel any TV magic...

The dance off
Performancewise everyone looked tight tonight. Unity against classically trained Plague who brought their tap shoes with them made the winner an obvious choice for Jermaine to choose a winner, and it was obvious they wanted to win by bringing their additional game.
That's not to say Unity didn't wreck it, as they did their best set so far.

Animaineax against Ash Mukherjee was a difficult dance off to decide upon a winner. Ash was the only solo act left in the competition, and his style is so different to the street dance competition., while Animaneax came on stage in coourdinating colours and matching chairs, of all things!

Judges Jermaine Jackson and Mark Summers were big on praising all of the acts, and once again, Jamelia didn't have a clue what she was talking about.

But Animaineax's style won over Jermaine's eye, leaving the Philipino superstars up against Plague.
While Plague said "This means everything to us, we came to win," you might not know that Plague have been going for years and are fortunate to have members of the group perform in Las Vegas and have some members in Cirque du Soleil - while Animaineax (as a group) are just over two years old - does your heart go to the already privileged or the underdogs?

All that was left before telephone voting was for the finalists to do a piece of Michael Jackson inspired choreography to a track that wasn't by Michael Jackson to win over the public. Plague chose Daft Punk's Harder Better Faster Stronger while Animaineax went for the less obvious Leona Lewis song, Bleeding Love. Then there was about 20 minutes - yes, 20 minutes - for viewers to cast their votes.

Surprisingly, (because overuse of Leona Lewis's voice induces migraines, not because we don't like them) the public voted Animaineax as the winners. Either the general public has a sharp eye for musicality and original choreography with slick line changes or their fans were voting from inside the studio to have beaten Plague, who used sections of tutting and gumboot choreography from their previous set repertoire to wow the judges, and the voting public. Only no one could vote inside the studio, because there's no signal in there!

So Animaineax will be performing at the Michael Jackson tribute concert next year in front of the world. No doubt their booking fee is going to go through the roof! Not that the prize mattered to them when their names were being read out, as they were all too busy filming the moment with Jermaine Jackson on stage on their colour coordinated iPods!

Unity and Plague will be performing at at Kymberlee Jay's Serious About Streetdance in January, while Animaineax's Mark Calape will be a contestant in January's So You Think You Can Dance on the BBC

A big congratulations to Animaineax for winning Move Like Michael Jackson.

Click the video below to watch Animaineax rehearse their Bleeding Love routine, or double click to view it on YouTube with a choreographical explanation.

Special thank you

For the record, we were meant to go see the Move Like Michael Jackson final after we asked for tickets... but then there was a mix up between one person and the other, so we weren't on the list. If it wasn't for two people dropping out, and another person's help, the journey would have been for nothing.
So a big thank you to TK of TK Spin for hooking us up with show passes... and an ironic sounding thank you to Spin and Carlos Neto for letting me take your place... And apologies for the fraudulent visitor pass we were given!

Don't forget guys, you can catch up with the episodes a week after they've been broadcast on the BBC iPlayer for only one week - click here for the programme guide and catchup links.

We'd love to hear your comments! What do you think of Animaineax winning Move Like Michael Jackson? How about Ash being the only non-streetdancer in the competition, or Plague being runners up!
Leave your comments below!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Move Like Michael Jackson The Final Is Tonight!

It's Sunday and we're at the end of Move Like Michael Jackson. Yes, one week and the series is over already, without having to worry about the winners releasing a Christmas single at the end of it!
In just a few hours the dancer or dance group who is going to perform at the Michael Jackson tribute concert next year will be judged.

Last blog we posted a selection of videos from each of the finalist who are hoping to win tonight: Animaineax, Ash Mukherjee, Plague and Unity. With the public deciding who that winner will be, you better have studied those videos well!

We can't help but feel excited either, because we're going to be in the studio when the winner is announced!
We'll be keeping you up to date if anything interesting happens on Twitter, so search #movelikemichael to keep track.

The live final is at 9pm tonight on BBC3! Eee-hee!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Move Like Michael Jackson - Videos of the finalists Animaineax, Ash Mukherjee, Plague and Unity

Last night the finalists for Move Like Michael Jackson were announced, so today let's take the time to appreciate some of their work.
Here are some videos fresh off YouTube and a few links of  Animaineax, Ash Mukherjee, Plague and Unity if you hadn't seen them before the show

From their MySpace:
ANIMAINEAX'S has the most important thing a crew needs and that's LOVE!!!!
6 brothers who only discovered each other last year in 2008! These crazy bunch of pinoys were in different established crews.
Jeffrey who was in Boy Blue and Zoonation.
A’Jai who was in Boy Blue and Avant Garde.
Marlon and Albert who were in Anarchy Cartel.
Ryan who was in Dialight.
And Swarf who was in Dance2xs, Bird Gang, Pink Mafia, Dialight, Flo’Ography and Zoonation.
Read the rest at their MySpace

Animaineax's (performance) names are: London, Rynamo, Swarf and Albertron.

Quite fittingly we've a Michael Jackson routine for you. This is the same routine Animaineax used in their Move Like Michael Jackson audition, filmed a few months before the show at their class:

The same routine was performed at the Michael Jackson tribute show Come Together in August

From their MySpace:
Plague is a Hip Hop based dance crew that was formed in 2000 and holds prestigious titles including 3 times UK HipHop Street Dance Champions and World HipHop Champions 2005. Plague have featured in performances from Mariah Carey, George Sampson, Kylie Minogue, Alesha Dixon, Westlife, Lionel Richie, Jamelia, Misteeq, Estelle, Houston, Africa Africa, Cirque Du Soleil, Pied Piper, Samsung, T-Mobile, Puma, Nike, L'oreal, MTV Base, Juste Debout, UK BBoy Championships, Formula One Grand Prix, Olympics 2008 Closing Ceremony plus many more.
Read more on their MySpace page

Not sure why this is called Shadows of the Mist, I don't remember seeing any mist!

Can't find Unity's MySpace, sorry! If I write a little maybe that'll help? Correct me if I get my facts wrong.
Unity are a former community dance group from London who have grown closer over the years dancing together, hence Unity. They are GWI and IDO World Champions 2008. They are, like other dance groups, split into age categories for performing: Unity and Unity Youth. Whenever these guys perform their supporters blow the roof off with their cheering.

Without further ado, here's their video reel:

Ash Mukharjee
From his MySpace
Born in Kolkata, India, Ash trained in Bharatanatyam under Guru Smt.Thankamani Kutti. A young principal dancer of Kalamandalam Kolkata, he was the winner of The Best Male Dancer Award, by Layavinyas, India. Having undergone training in classical ballet under ex prima ballerinas of The Royal Ballet, Brenda Last and Doreen Wells, and Latin and Jazz Theatre Dance at London Studio Centre, Ash is the first Indian National to have been nominated for a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award UK 2007 for his critically acclaimed contribution to the 2006 Place Prize winning piece. He is currently an independent dance artist who has recently been featured in Time Out London’s Rising Talent Issue and Dance Europe as one of Europe's three emerging dance makers.
Read the rest on his MySpace

The finals are on Sunday at 9pm guys!
If you need to catch a repeat, check this guide!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Move Like Michael Jackson - the criticisms!

So episode 4 of Move Like Michael. Everything's good,  right? So let's throw in a few critiques!

It's real nice seeing so many street dancers make it through. That's obviously the angle TooMuchFlavour is going to take, it's what we do!
But on the flip side, everyone seems to have this preconceived idea that Michael Jackson only ever did street dance.
Did he? Check out this clip:

Do your homework!

The second critique is the audience's influence on Jermaine's decision. Yesterday I said don't boo Mark Summers. Today I say don't cheer who you want to win!
Of course that will never happen anyway, people are just showing support, but this may be down to the studio location: some of the dancers travelled across the country, others caught a bus to the studio, so there's a big difference in who will get the loudest cheer, and when it's a close call, are you listening to? Your heart, or the screams of the dancer's crew in the audience?
Quite a predicament, no?

Finally - sorry, but it has to be said - Jamelia: why? Judges aren't hard to come by, so why did the producers choose a judge that doesn't have a clue what they're talking about unless it's the way the dancers are dressed?

I won't go any further on that one.

On that note I'm signing off.

Through to the finals are Plague, Ash, Unity and Animaneax. Tune in tomorrow!!

Move Like Michael Jackson Episodes 1 - 4 Verdict so far

Considering recent TV talent show have led me to lose faith thanks to deluded judges thinking about who will make them their next million, I'm glad to say Move Like Michael Jackson has restored a little faith.

That's probably because they've employed the use of an actual casting director and not someone who sits goggle eyed when someone does a backflip.

So what's making Move Like Michael Jackson stand out for me?

Firstly it's a week long series, so it cuts straight to the point. The producers went to several UK cities to audition dancers and it was shown in two episodes. No drawn out clips of embarrassing auditionees and no sob stories about how the dancers overcame obstacles to achieve their dream, just passionate people.

At times it looks like Mark Summers is playing up to a role as a panel judge for the cameras, but he knows what he's talking about:
"Don't give me a high kick and say it's contemporary, you won't fool me." He knows what he's looking for, even if it comes across a bit catchphrasey.

Lastly, so far, despite initial assumptions, it doesn't come across as a cash cow trading off Michael Jackson's death. Jermaine has been a little "Michael was this, and my brother was that," but otherwise first impressions seem sincere.
Phone voting will begin in a few days, so we'll see how this one unfolds.

Coming up we're going to examine other elements of Move Like Michael Jackson, so stay tuned to the blog and follow #movelikemichael tag on Twitter.

If you've missed the first few episodes, it might be worth catching up here.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Move Like Michael Jackson, tonight at 8.30 on BBC3


Tonight at 8.30 Move Like Michael Jackson begins on BBC3. Will it be sweeter than a Liberian Girl or will we tell it to Beat It after the first episode?

Auditions took place at Newcastle, Cardiff, Glasgow and London's Westfield in October to whittle down the groups to just 16 who have made it to the quarter finals due to be broadcast tonight. I've counted five established street dance groups that have made it - Peridot, Animaneax, Unity, Plague and Trilogy, some of whom performed at Come Together in August.

Whoever wins will perform at the Michael Jackson tribute show in front of the world (far better than a cash prize), so there's a lot at stake and should be nail biting stuff.

Move Like Michael Jackson will be judged by Michael's brother Jermaine Jackson (no introduction needed), casting director for the This Is It tour Mark Summers, and R'n'B singer Jamelia, with choreography by Lavelle Smith Junior. The series will run over six episodes, with the first two episodes showing tonight.

Aimed at finding dancers who best embody the spirit of Michael Jackson on stage, the show will include competitors from all backgrounds, individuals and group performances. The winner won’t necessarily be the dancer who simply mimics Jackson’s choreography, but rather someone who can move like him, creating and inventing their own iconic steps and styles to most impress the judges and viewers.

The finalists will then face each other in a dance off (hmm) to decide who wins the once in a lifetime opportunity.

Mark Summers has dropped a summary of the first two episodes on Facebook:

Season 1 Episode 1:
Auditions A nationwide search to find Britain's 16 most talented dance acts who will battle it out to perform at Michael Jackson's memorial event. As the auditions begin, choreographer Lavelle Smith Jr and casting agent Mark Summers select the very best for a place in the studio semi-finals, where Jermaine Jackson and Jamelia will take on judging duties. Hosted by Reggie Yates.

Season 1 Episode 2:
Auditions As the auditions continue, choreographer Lavelle Smith Jr and casting agent Mark Summers select the very best for a place in the studio semi-finals, where Jermaine Jackson and Jamelia will take on judging duties. Hosted by Reggie Yates.
I'm hoping that being a BBC show there will be some integrity to it, rather than the audience baiting material that ITV put out. We'll have to see...

Move Like Michael is running daily and draws to a close next Monday so check the TV guide.

For more Move Like Michael stuff go online and for interviews with the judges and upload your MJ routines to the website.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Find Your Flavour and win a pair of ASICS SportStyle trainers and breakdance mat

Find Your Flavour and win a pair of ASICS SportStyle trainers and breakdance mat

Win a pair of trainers from ASICS SportStyle and one of the first ever breakdancing mats - start the year the freshest kicks by sending us your freshest pics!

To celebrate the launch of their SportStyle range, ASICS have created the first ever breakdancing mat. Put together with the help of award winning B-Boy Mouse, it is designed to teach novices the basic moves through simple, guided steps. One lucky entrant will be able to win one of these mats and pull off the toprock, sixstep and even the wakfreeze. The winner will also receive a pair of ASICS SportStyle trainers to practise new moves in true style.

How to win:

Winning is simple - find your flavour and photograph it!

Started breaking in front of a local attraction? Dressed your dog in a tracksuit? Maybe you spotted something quirky, like funny graffiti or discovered a really funky record in your parent’s music collection.

If it’s got flavour, it has a chance of winning

Simply take your photo, ‘fan’ TooMuchFlavour on Facebook, then post your photo to the wall for a chance to win.

For further details, example photos and to watch a video of what happened when the ASICS SportStyle breakdancing mat took to the streets of London, go to

Good luck!

Friday, 11 December 2009

(Rumoured) Diversity Flash Mob routine for Sky 1's "Got To Dance?"

This is (supposedly?) the choreography video for the flashmob, set to take place with with Diversity today at Westfield, London.

First impressions of it aren't very high - T-Mobile flashmob it ain't. Music is cut up left right and centre - nine songs in 90 seconds - with the longest cut being 20 seconds of Michael Jackson.

Choreography is obviously intended to be commercial, looking like it was influenced by Michael Jackson's Wanna Be Starting Something video, but some moves look dated rather than fresh, and even bemusing, such as a random head turn at 52 seconds - there's a free Into The Hoods poster for the first person who can explain why.

Although it's only rehearsal footage, I hate to say it, but even Diversity could merk it.

Update: Here's a link to the flashmob video - Got To Dance - Amazing Diversity Flashmob
Also an interview with the choreographer talking about the flashmob and footage of rehearsals.

Comments are welcome, use the form below

Monday, 7 December 2009

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