Junge Frau mit grünem Sweatshirt tanzt HipHop

Urban Styles

Hip hop culture unites lyrics (rap), music (DJing), pictures and images (graffiti) and dance (breakdancing), with its origins in the New York Bronx of the 1970s. Since the 1980s, hip hop as youth and pop culture has found many practitioners in Europe and Asia, too. Hip hop is perceived as an urban phenomenon, medially charged by canonical values veering between respect, fairness, ghetto and commerce. At tanzhaus nrw, the term “urban styles” serves as an umbrella description for a multitude of hip hop dance culture forms. Getting together in differently defined competitions, so-called “battles”, lies at the core. They are as much about the “skills” (meaning the technical abilities) as they are about individual expression. Urban dance techniques such as locking, popping, krumping, house and freestyle encounter voguing and waacking, and they find their places at tanzhaus nrw in courses, workshops, circle sessions and various other events. So, this becomes another area for people to mingle at tanzhaus nrw, as diverse as children, youths and adults without prior dance experience, but there is also a strong hip hop scene that uses tanzhaus nrw as its hotspot. This is a special honour for us.

Instructors

Portrait of Albi Gjikaj

Albi Gjikaj

Albi started breakdancing at age 13, winning numerous awards when he was 16 and older (Ruhrpottbattle, Mixery ko Battle, Ready to Rumble, National Battle of the Year). As a dancer, he worked at Theater Oberhausen, at Theater Wuppertal and at the Düsseldorf Opera and has been touring nationally with several plays.

 

Dance studio

Alex

Alex danced in shows for artists such as Cascada and Infamous, choreographing for girl band Bisou. In addition, he performed on TV, at “The Dome”, “Top of the Pops”, and with Anke Engelke, for example. His dance style fuses elements from new school hip hop, LA style and old school, and he is a very well-liked teacher who can both urge his students on while keeping an eye on their exact technique at the same time. “Today, I feel happy to pass on my knowledge. This satisfies me,” Alex says.

Portrait of Bouni

Bouni

Bouni is most at home in urban styles, augmented by solid experience in contemporary as well as in modern dance. He has specialised in funk and hip hop techniques, all of which he has been teaching to participants at tanzhaus nrw since 2016. He has won various battles and danced at events in numerous categories. He won the 2012 Funkin’ Stylez, for example, in the category “Me against the music” at the International Streetdance Festival 2014 in Slovenia in the hip hop category. In 2015, he prevailed at the Global Skills Battle in the Popping and Locking category. Additionally, he has been working as a dancer for the “Urbanatix” show at Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, pursuing numerous projects at centres for kids and teens. As a dancer and choreographer, he also dealt with the human mechanisation within the artistic format for up-and-coming creators, “Now & Next”, on the stage at tanzhaus nrw.

Porträt von Britta Koch

Britta Koch

Britta Koch is not only active as a dance pedagogue, choreographer and dancer, but also as a certified remedial teacher and health advisor GGB. She is currently enrolled in a Master’s course “V.I.E.W – Teach, Dance, Evaluate, Know” at German Sports University Cologne. “My wide-ranging education enables me to view my courses and workshops from many angles.” Britta discovered her passion for dance at age 14, when she took modern jazz dance lessons. What was a hobby for many years became a profession following her remedial teacher studies at Cologne University. She completed her dance pedagogue training at Off-Theater Neuss. She widened her experiences in contemporary dance at, among other places, the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (AHK) (Amsterdam’s Art University), at the Berlin Tanzfabrik, at tanzhaus nrw and at Impulstanz in Vienna. She later completed her education to become a Somatic Movement Therapist” in VMI technique (Vocal Dance & Voice-Movement Integration and Vital Movement Integration) with Patricia Bardi in Amsterdam. She has specialised in the field of inclusive dance for more than two decades, teaching it nationally and internationally. She gained far-reaching experience in this area through courses and projects by Adam Benjamin, Alito Alessi, Handicapace, Candoco Dance, Vera Rebel, Gerda König, and others. Britta Koch has been a tanzhaus nrw instructor since 2006.

Blick durchs Fenster ins Tanzstudio

Dodzi Dougban

Dodzi Dougban, geb. 1979, ist künstlerischer Leiter im Kreativzentrum für Rhythmus und Bewegung in Vest. Er ist außerdem Dozent für nonverbale Kommunikation und lehrt Gebärdensprache. Er ist von klein auf taub. Seine Familie stammt aus Togo und hat stets auf vielen Festivals und Konzerten die Kultur ihres Herkunftslandes vermittelt. Bei ihren Darbietungen afrikanischer Folklore war Dodzi von Kindheit an fester Bestandteil der Auftritte. Seinen eigenen Schwerpunkt im Tanz fand er bei Hip Hop, Modern Afro und Zeitgenössischem Tanz und unterrichtete diese Richtungen in Kursen und an Schulen. Mit hörenden Tanzgruppen war er fünf Mal Deutscher und drei Mal Europameister. Als Tänzer, Choreograph, Model und Schauspieler war er an verschiedenen Videoproduktionen, Fernsehsendungen und Tanztheaterstücken beteiligt. Zuletzt stand er in dem Stück „Es geht um Sie“ in der Choreografie von Patricia Noworol auf der Bühne des Kulturzentrums Herne und des Schaupielhauses Bochum und wirkt als Performer und Coach an dem EU-Projekt „Un-Label“ mit.

Portrait of Franky Dee

Franky Dee

Franky Dee is one of the most renowned dancers of his genre and won numerous battles, e.g. at the Battle Juste Debout, where he was named world champion in the category HipHop several times. Lately, he won the Dance Delight Germany. As a professional dancer he is in demand internationally and teaches HipHop with joy and  passion. Bringing in the knowledge of his outstanding craftsmanship, he teaches his students moves suitable for any party. 

Porträt of Kofie da Vibe

Kofie da Vibe

Kofie is a versatile dancer, choreographer and networker collaborating with artists from different genres. He is a co-founder of the Crew Bad Newz MP and of the European Buck Session (EBS) which he established at tanzhaus nrw, together with Osei. EBS is regarded as the most important global Krump event, taking place annually. Proof of Kofie’s talent as a hip-hop dancer is on display as a winner of numerous battles all over Europe. He toured Sweden, Finland, France and Russia with a number of companies, was an artist at the “Beethoven! The Next Level” show and held an engagement at Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf from 2016 until 2018. Yet Kofie did not acquire his skills in a dance studio but rather in self-organised circles after school. Inspired by the many facets of urban styles, he appropriated his skills in hip hop, Krump and Afro Dance himself, later on educating himself further in contemporary dance, modern dance and theatre improvisation. Kofie is also active in other art genres: He has his own fashion label “IBIM Creation” and his short film has won a nomination for the 250 years of Beethoven anniversary “BTHVN 2020” of the City of Bonn.

Portrait of Miro

Miro

Miro is among the nation’s first generation of voguing dancers, procuring lessons from genre trailblazers like Archie Burnett, among others. He counts dancers like Leiomy Maldonado, Dashaun Wesley and Danielle Polanco among his sources of inspiration. In 2018, Miro decided to leave The House of Melody (now House of Saint Laurent), one of Germany’s first voguing dance collectives, which he co-founded. In this context, Miro contributed to TV productions and events in Düsseldorf, Berlin and Paris, even at the legendary Moulin Rouge there.
Miro’s passion extends beyond voguing. From an early age, he danced hip hop and house, moving about in different communities and battles. He graduated from Berlin dance academy for contemporary dance “Balanche 1”. He is active throughout Germany as a dancer and choreographer, worked for Junges Schauspiel Düsseldorf, the German Opera on the Rhine as well as for artists like Zebra Katz and Jennifer Rostock, among others. During the 2017 Berlin Fashion Week, he choreographed for Patricia Field, mainly known for her costumes of US-American series “Sex and the City”. Miro has been a member of the Urbanatix Streetart Artistic Crew since 2016. At the 2019 Brit Awards, he was one of the main dancers during performances by Calvin Harris, Rag’n’Bone Man, Sam Smith und Dua Lipa.

Portrait of Othello Johns

Othello Johns

Othello Johns is a quasi-authority at tanzhaus nrw. He has been a part of the instructor’s family since the year 2000, teaching hip hop and breakdance to children and teenagers as well as modern jazz dance to adults, accompanying many generations of dancers since.
Othello discovered his love for dance already in his childhood. He remembers family gatherings at which everyone showed their “move” while the others imitated what was shown. His role models then were the Nicolas Brothers, who mainly rose to worldwide fame through their involvement in the 1943 movie “Stormy Weather” as well as Vaslav Nijinsky, a scandalous ballet icon at the beginning of the last century who left his indelible mark in history for his impressive bounce and grace, among other things. Later, Othello studied dance and choreography at the University of Louisiana, continuing his studies at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and the Erick Hawkins School in New York. Martha Graham as well as Eric Hawkins are seen as historic figures of US-American modern dance. “My time in New York was exciting and labour-intensive. I danced whenever I could, and I worked the rest of the time to finance myself.” When an Eric Hawkins Company dancer had to drop out due to illness, Othello was handed the opportunity of taking over one of the leading parts in “Can’t deliver”. He remained a permanent member, going on to become the company’s rehearsal director.
Othello’s social projects are almost too numerous to list. He gives workshops for children and youths who have barely any access to cultural offerings, while additionally founding Düsseldorf association KABAWIL, providing paths into culture and new perspectives for young dancers, with culture pedagogue Petra Kron in 2003. Apart from that, he is the director of the jazz and modern dance department at Tanz- und Sportzentrum Mittelrhein, and he is committed in initiatives such as “Kultur und Schule/ Culture and School” as well as at the Off-Theater in Neuss. He was a jury panel member of the “Move On” show contest in 2019.

Porträt von Ray

Ray

Eray Gülay AKA Ray is a choreographer and dancer and an ensemble member of Ben J. Riepe’s company. He was a member of Germany’s first voguing collective House of Melody from 2014 until 2019. At the same time, he concluded his dance education at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen. Eray was featured in pieces by renowned choreographers like Jérôme Bel, Mark Sieczkarek and Rainer Behr. He choreographs commercial commissions and pieces for pop singer Matthew Wood. As a dancer, he performed for Cakes Da Killa, TT The Artist and Barbara Tucker.

Portrait of Surena

Surena

Surena is a university-taught lawyer, and: She is currently among the most highly regarded urban dancers in the region. Her first contact with dance came up both through her family’s Iranian dances and Michael Jackson’s shows. During her schooldays, Surena gained access to hip hop culture, trained with her crew and in numerous workshops, later founding her own group “ShitHappenz”. She describes her time in France as especially impressive, first and foremost the Paris hip hop clubs. “It was not about self-representation or battling one another but rather about sharing moves and connecting.” This spirit and the agency for hip hop culture remain very important for Surena. She started teaching when she was only 17, at first in Bremen, today in all of Germany and France. Additionally, she was an artist at the legendary Bochum Urbanatix show four years in a row, campaigning for integrational projects in cultural contexts. She takes part in various battles, representing “female hip hop” with her special style.

Porträt von Wilhelmina „Willie“ Stark

Wilhelmina „Willie“ Stark

Wilhelmina “Willie” Stark is one of the best House dancers in France. She choreographs shows in Germany and France and participated in numerous battles like break your limits, Unique Expression and Juste Debout.

Marie

Zoe

ZOE is a freelance artist, dancer, musician and choreographer, working at tanzhaus NRW, ZAKK Düsseldorf, Junges Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf, Schauspiel Köln a.o. with a focus on queer-feminist and inclusive working. Starting with urban dance styles, through jazz and contemporary dance, her focus changed during the last few years towards Voguing and the ballroom culture, a dance style relatively unknown in Europe. Since 2011, ZOE has been travelling through Europe, the USA and especially New York City as voguing’s birthplace, trying to learn and understand more about ballroom culture. From 2012-2017, she was part of House of Melody, Germany’s first voguing and ballroom house, establishing a scene in Germany with it. Since 2019, ZOE is working more and more on her own interdisciplinary stage productions. The production Black Magic, an homage to Black transwomen she developed, was shown as part of the Britney X Festival 2020 at the Schauspiel Köln. Currently, she is working on FEMINASAGA, a reappraisal of the witch-hunt in the context of #Metoo and reclamation of the feminine, which will premiere at tanzhaus NRW in October 2020.