Monday, October 5, 2009

Spotlight On: Poreotics

This week, we're focusing on profiling a few up-and-coming street dance and hip hop choreography teams in southern California.

Today's team is Poreotics, a choreography team with members from Los Angeles and Orange Counties. They've made a name for themselves in the past year and a half, representing at several high-profile choreography showcase competitions. This past weekend, they won 1st place for upper division at the World of Dance Tour in San Mateo. You can see their myspace page here (Photo above is from their myspace.)

What are they known for? First, they've wanted to bring popping technique to the hip hop choreography scene. Their routines have used tutting, dimestopping, robotting, waving, and animation. Second, they're funny. You'll often catch a lot of laughs at their performances as the guys have carved a niche for themselves as humorous jokers who also dance. And third, they've chosen unusual songs in their routines such as Taylor Swift's "Love Story." Somehow, this all works to make one entertaining group. Here's an example of their work from WOD San Mateo.

Poreotics has made a lot of smart moves in the past year and a half. They've arrived at the right time in terms of showcasing their choreography style to the public. It's rare to see popping technique explored in the choreo college scene. Yes, there are teams that have popping-inspired choreography, but few have showcased more than arm, head, and leg isolations and basic waves that travel up and down the body. Mainstream America has recently been exposed to popping-inspired choreography via the Kaba Modern six on ABDC. Many online fans have come to know Mike Song and Tony Tran's work through this exposure. But Poreotics is taking it to another level with a deeper awareness and understanding of popping techniques. They're working with an audience that has been primed to the basics of their style. Also, training with other choreo teams only upgrades their skills. Three of their members have trained with well-known choreo team Pac Modern, from Cal State Long Beach, in the past year.

Another smart move Poreotics has done is that they're visible online. Since they performed at numerous showcase competitions, there are plenty of videos of them on Youtube. Their online exposure is saturated, which means they have a presence. For other underground popping crews, they often remain underexposed due to the lack of an online presence. Clearly if you want to build your media identity, you need a presence online. On top of this, there is a visible fan following for Poreotics who are singing their praises. They'll do a lot of promotional work for the team at no cost.

It's a time of great opportunity for Poreotics. They've won the hearts of the choreo college scene. But can they transition onto mainstream television? They've auditioned for past seasons of ABDC. Now, it'll be interesting to see if they make it on to season five. The door's wide open now especially with the recent crowning of We Are Heroes as season four champions. Shane Sparks has also publicly stated to Chris Trondsen of that he'd like to see a "male popping crew" on the next season. But there are challenges. Popping choreography tends to involve intricate, subtle movements. It can be hard to read on wide angle shots on television cameras. Even with We Are Heroes; several of their instant replays from the judges focused on bigger, acrobatic movements from their dancers. Also, we all know that a team's story/narrative is what helps to sell them on the show. Does Poreotics have a compelling story to tell? And finally, will Poreotics humor-driven style translate well to all the weekly challenges they'd face on ABDC?

These guys will have to continue to make smart moves if they transition on to a show like ABDC. They're media saavy and they're determined. And having a strong fan following always helps. Best of luck to them as they take on new challenges in their promising future! Whatever happens, we'll be watching.

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