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Friday, April 18, 2008

Dance Alive down to finals

Staff Writer

Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan, home to Japan's sumo wrestling fraternity, will rumble to a different rhythm Sunday when dancers from around the country converge on the hallowed arena for the grand final of Japan's largest street-dance competition, Dance Alive.

News photo
Two performers demonstrate their talents at the Dance Alive finals in 2007.

Since July last year, a series of preliminary heats have pared down the participants, and now all that remains is for the eight finalists in each of the hip-hop, freestyle, break and house categories to dance it out for their respective titles, and ¥1 million prizes.

The knockout-style competition brings together two dancers at a time, each taking turns to ad-lib moves during two songs chosen randomly by a competition DJ. In a frenzy of crouches, floor spins, shuffles, floor jumps and side kicks, the dancers will riff off each other in an attempt to impress both the judges and the 5,000 roaring fans expected to crowd them on all sides.

Will reigning champion Madoka (Tokyo) win the freestyle competition for the second year running? Will Shinichi (Tokyo) fend off Takuya (Kanagawa Pref.), Taishow (Sendai) and Kento (Kanagawa) to retain his hip-hop crown?

Hop on down to the Ryogoku Kokugikan between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Sunday to see for yourself. Tickets cost ¥5,000 for reserved seats and ¥3,500 for nonreserved seats on the day (nonreserved seats are ¥500 cheaper if bought in advance). More information at www.dancealive.tv

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