RadikalForzeJam2015 kicked off with a blast at *SCAPE last Friday and was welcomed with open arms by fans and competitors alike.
Youth.SG was at *SCAPE last Friday afternoon, 19 March, for the Radikal Forze Jam 2015, organised in recognition and celebration of street culture. It was held in conjunction with one of Asia’s biggest dance festivals – The Summer Jam Dance Camp 2015.
I turned up dressed in formal office attire and a knapsack, all ready for my first assignment. Lo and behold, I stood out like a sore thumb. All around me, people were dancing to the groove and there I was, pen in one hand, notebook in the other.
After walking about for a bit, I decided to drop the attire. Before long, I undid a few of my buttons to avoid a sweaty meltdown, and bam, I felt so much cooler (pun intended).
Curious to find out more, I headed towards the huge crowd of dancers and fans under the big Redbull tent, hoping to catch something good. What happened next was one of the best experiences I have ever encountered to date in the local dance scene.
The hype was about the Redbull BC One Singapore Cypher 2015, which was just about to start. 16 of Singapore’s top b-boys were about to pit their skills against each other in a fiery head-to-head elimination battle.
The winner would have the honour of traveling to South Korea for the Redbull BC One Asia-Pacific Cypher 2015.
As I spoke to International Japanese b-boy and judge for the event, Taisuke Nonaka, before the competition, I realised how much his fans loved him.
Every few moments, someone would come up to him and pat him on the back or offer a handshake. Yet he was so humble in conversation, and the experience of speaking to him was extremely delightful.
The competition was soon underway, and Taisuke and the two other judges took their places in front of the arena. The competition proved to be a crowd-pleaser as they roared in delight at the smooth moves on display. The 16 contestants put on their strongest display, impressing both judges and fans alike.
After 14 scintillating battles, and as night slowly drew near, the finals were upon us. Fan-favourite Mr Sean Shagaram, 23, looked set to defend his title for the second year running. His opponent? 2013 Redbull BC One Singapore champion, Mr Leonard Ng, 22.
Anticipation filled the crowd as the two full-time national servicemen took to the stage. The dance battle kicked off, and before long, I was caught in the infectious enthusiasm from both the competitors and the crowd. The atmosphere was absolutely electrifying.
Sean dazzled with his sleek moves and classy style while Leonard stunned with his athletic prowess. Unfortunately, before we knew it, it was over.
In the end, it was the arm of b-boy Sean Shagaram whom Taisuke raised to signify the winner of the 2015 Redbull BC One Singapore finals. Cameramen rushed on stage as the crowd roared in excitement.
As I look back at the event, it might have been extremely hot and tiring, but the experience was one-of-a-kind.
Also, a reminder to myself never to wear formal office wear to dance events ever again.
Here is a video from the final showdown between Sean and Leonard:
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