Thursday, November 19, 2009

Spotlight On: Part Time Models

Now, this crew brings smiles to our faces: Part Time Models. They're a collective of street dancers representing bboying, popping, locking, house and other styles in one hybrid mix. They also took the stage at Elements X in Boston this past weekend. And they've made cameos in Jen Kwok's hilarious "Date An Asian" music video. PTM is a group of guys and gals who want to party, and of course, they want to invite you to come along. (Photo above is from their facebook site.)

You can see their myspace site here:

You can see their facebook site here:

And you can see a video of them from Elements X here:

Several of their members come from other established street dance crews and choreo teams in NY, NJ, and surrounding areas. We love that because they'll bring different flavors from their backgrounds into one mix. It's like a California crew packed with dancers representing Los Angeles, the Bay Area, San Diego, and everything in between. Imagine the possibilities! From their unique name to their infectious stage presence, PTM aims to please. They play well to the audience and they clearly come alive on stage when they connect with their audience. Part of it is their sense of humor. Another part is their creative choice to showcase different dance styles to bring some diversity on stage. They're a young crew who will grow as they continue to perform.

We'd love to see more of how they bring their unique flavors to some traditionally West Coast styles. Bboying originated in NY so they are representing their heritage. We know that popping and locking (ie, poppin' and lockin') came from the West, so we want to check how they're interpreting these styles. At their Elements X performance, it seemed that their interpretations were similar to some of us on the West Coast in the use of arm waves around the upper body and fresno movements. We didn't see extensive animation which is becoming increasingly popular in the local Los Angeles scene. Nor did we see a hybridization of popping techniques or the hard hitting styles that can set up other moves. Regardless, PTM kept their energy high throughout their performance and maintained an entertaining flow through their show.

Would their on stage personas work well for a reality show like America's Best Dance Crew? Perhaps they could shine in that arena. Since they showcase different street dance styles, a mainstream public can't pigeonhole them as bboys. They could portray themselves as being more diverse and well-rounded. If the crew can put together longer group routines than what we saw at Elements X (which we believe they can), then they should have a good shot at representing well at Season 5 auditions for ABDC. What also works in their favor is their overall branded name and team image. Show producers and writers could have a lot of fun playing off of the "model" image. You can imagine the crew logo for this team as well as the emerging fanbase should they showcase in the upcoming season. No doubt, the costume designers and stylists would have a field day with them.

This makes us wonder if PTM is an example of a new kind of crew that's emerging in this post reality television dance show era. Is it important now for street dance crews to factor in a branded image as they build their skills and represent in local competitions? Do we need a "story" to go with our crew dynamic? Or is this a harkening back to the early 1980s when crews like Rocksteady Crew and Dynamic Rockers were becoming media-saavy as a nation awakened to their presence via televised events and appearances. Perhaps a more relevant question is to ask if self-image branding is affecting the overall street dance culture. That's a discussion which can open a lot of questions.

No comments:

Post a Comment