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Friday, April 15, 2011

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Into the groove: Competitors strut their stuff at last year's edition of Dance@Live.


Dance@Live showcases Japan's best street dancers

Staff Writer

With all the aftershocks we're feeling these days, the performers at this weekend's Dance@Live street dance competition finals shouldn't have any trouble making the ground shake.

Held annually since 2005, Dance@Live is a knockout-style competition with preliminary rounds held across the country over several months. The final preliminary round will be held on Saturday at the Kokugikan in Tokyo's Ryogoku district. The quarter finals, semis and finals will then be held on Sunday at the same venue.

There are six divisions in the competition — hiphop, house, break, freestyle, kids (up to and including third graders at middle high school) and "rize" (university student groups) — and the competition progresses through a series of "duels," in which two dancers take to the stage to bust their moves in turns to two given tracks.

Despite a continuing tendency for event organizers to exercise "self-restraint" by canceling large-scale events, the Dance@Live organizers decided to go ahead with the event, believing "there are things the dance community can do, things that only the dance community can do to support those suffering from the quake," as they write on the event website.

Silicon wristbands will be sold for charity and some acts — such as a live performance by J-rockers Chemistry — have been cancelled in order to keep electricity consumption to a minimum.

The final Dance@Live preliminary rounds will be held from 3 p.m. on Saturday at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo. Admission is ¥2,000. The finals will commence at 12:20 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is ¥5,500 at the door.

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