Friday, November 6, 2009

Inspiring Show: Gemini's "The Case of Locky Lockiano"

In 2004 at BBoy Summit, a well-known locker from France named Gemini brought some of his friends to the Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood for a show-stopping performance. It was magical to say the least. They presented "The Case of Locky Lockiano," which played out as a Broadway stage musical-style show with a storyline told through locking foundation and movements. The crowd was amazed. And you could hear them cheering throughout the performance as they were engrossed in a 1940's style gangster crime story unveiled by some of the best lockers on the international scene. (Photo above is from the Locking4Life project as seen on their blog.)

You can see a trailer clip of the performance here:

And you can check out the Locking4Life website featuring Gemini here:

There have been few locking showcases like this performance among the new school generation. In Los Angeles, the locking community is small compared to the popping and bboying communities. While there are dancers within the hip hop collegiate choreo and professional choreo scenes who embrace locking, there are only a select group of competitive lockers in street dance competitions who hold it down in cyphers. Locking needs to get some more love from our new generation. The exuberant energy, character, and feel for this soulful dance precedes popping and bboying in history. We can't lose it. Perhaps Gemini and his friends have sealed a memorable moment in street dance history through this "Locky Lockiano" show, as it wonderfully presents locking in a new storytelling context. Their daring performance only further argues for more showcases featuring street dancers.

"The Case of Locky Lockiano" also stands out because it featured great showmanship from its cast. Locking really shines when it is presented well to an audience. Gemini and his friends dressed the part, used visible props, and grooved to a catchy soundtrack that both told a story as well as moved the audience emotionally. That night at the Henry Fonda Theatre, we were witnessing skilled performers entertaining an international crowd. They were the whole package. It was well-executed, clever in its storytelling, and inspirational in its delivery. The show was a direct result of their love for locking. The performance seemed uncompromised by any desire to cater to a specific demographic. These lockers simply wanted to share their love for dance with us. And we were invited to come along for the party.

Since then, Gemini has launched the Locking4Life project along with his closest collaborators. They've traveled, performed, and competed worldwide. Does this represent a big jump for locking on the international stage? Our hope is that we can see equally stronger organization and performance groups emerging from the Los Angeles scene. There seems to be a renewed interest in locking among the youngest current generation of street dancers, especially among the college age community in Orange County. Now, the question remains is if these young lockers have the ambition to strive artistically as well as the perseverance to grow and mature their dance skills. Perhaps "The Case for Locky Lockiano" can be an inspiring milestone for them to ponder.

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