It’s time for folks to put on their dancing shoes again. The second annual Red Bull Beat Battle will take place in Joburg this weekend.
Last year, the show was held at a vamped-up Park Station underground venue that looked great once it was given wings but was a bit of a mission in terms of parking because construction was still under way in that street. This year, the energy drink will take its dance competition to Newtown, at the Bassline.
Eight dance crews – which range in style from hip hop to pantsula and everything in-between – will get to battle it out for a chance to be crowned the Red Bull Beat Battle champions.
The first winners of this competition, Artistic Intelligence, will defend their title.
This nine-man group have been together for a while and are predominantly a popping and locking crew that occasionally colour outside the lines by incorporating some salsa, dancehall and b-boying into their routines.
Popularly known as AI, this group will go head-to-head with several well-known and some fresh-out-of-the-box dancers.
These include The Reptilez, a hip hop group from Soweto who aren’t to be confused with those other dancers who have a reality TV show.
For seven years, the crew have been popping, locking and taking home trophies in various dance competitions.
Real Actions Juniors is a pantsula group from Orange Farm who are, as their name suggests, youthful.
With almost two years in the game, their ability to make it into the top eight crews of the Beat Battle is testimony to how good they are.
Also hailing from Orange Farm is Hlaks, a crew who use pantsula as their base to branch off and fuse other genres with it. They’ve had more than a decade’s experience as a group and plan on showing that experience does come in handy in a talent contest.
Representing the sbhujwa side of things is Soulistic Fusion.
The three friends will show off with everything from kwassa kwassa to stuff you probably only get to see on Jika Majika. This kind of loud and proud attitude can also be seen when V.I.N.T.A.G.E are on stage.
From vogeuing to whaacking and outrageously colourful costumes, they aim to be seen.
Ninja Turtles are the group with the most experience in this competition. They are based in Cape Town and have been together for 25 years and show no signs of slowing down.
They mesh b-boying and other SA dances into something that borrows from US hip hop culture but remains proudly SA.
The final group that will compete for the Beat Battle crown is Phly Nation, an all-woman hip hop posse. Some of the nine women are trained ballerinas and others have found a way to express themselves through dance styles such as krumping and contemporary dance.
Reprising their roles as judges will be choreographer and all-round entertainer Somizi Mhlongo, and kwaito artist Kabelo Mabalane.
Gerald Witbooi aka Vouks Nojokes is the judge who represents all the b-boys while ballerina Lorna Maseko will once again be the rose among the thorns.
The MC for the night will be SA Music Award-winning rapper AKA and hitting the stage hard will be TKZee, PRO, Ruffest, Black Motion and Big Nuz. DJ Switch, Julian Gomes and Dimples will be on the ones and twos throughout the night.