Sunday, June 8, 2008

Fil Am Famous: Is dance how we'll "get noticed"?

Veteran popper Bionic, and the crew Supreme Soul. Will they be Americas Best Dance Crew?

**UPDATE: "Bakit Why does their research on "Pil-Ams and ABDC"**
Filipino America's Best Dance Crew
Where Did the Filipino Go? Here!
Asian Pride on MTV! But Where Did the Filipino Go?
In Those Genes?

"Seriously, who isn't pinoy on this season?" the homey Jian says. Indeed, the brown ones have returned with a hungry vengeance for street dance supremacy.

West Coast stand up!
I was just watchin the West Coast auditions of Season Two of America's Best Dance Crew, and looks like the Fil Ams are dominating once again, but this time they reppin even harder in the West! I'm thinkin the crew Supreme Soul, with the popping icon Bionic, is gonna take it home. (Here is info on Soul Sector, Bionic's crew).

Team Millenia (Fullerton, CA) shouting out Filipinos in the ABDC audience

The question is: how long will it last? Also, is dance phenom how Filipinos will "get noticed" as a huge, integral, and dynamic part of the U.S. (historically and demographically)? (After dance fame, will the next thing we'll be known for be the untold genocide and violence inflicted on us that were erased as members of the "Forgotten Asian Americans"? I ask this sarcastically, but a dreamer can dream). I'm tired of Filipinos being everyone's best friend growing up. We're everyone's best friend who also scuffed up yo kitchen flo.

Back to ABDC:

Did Shane Sparks just say "Traditional Filipino candle dancing"?

Did Christine from Team Millenia just give a shout out to "FILIPINO!!" (Your mom rocks, girl.)

Did Mario Lopez just say, "Pinay, in the house"?

Did Lil Mama just stutter "Filip-Filipino-Filipinos dancing"? Is she suggesting the moves Christine does in Filipino candle dance a reason Christine couldn't "flex"? (wtf)

Even though we got mad Pin@y heads on the show, is there a Filipino/Asian fatigue on these dance shows? Team Millennia, who did great, did not make the cut. The group that won over the Fullerton-based (whats up Titans) Fil Am dance crew was Fanny Pak-- a fun, but gimmicky and flashy 80s-ironic group who shouldn't have won. Damn Filipinos taking over, so I guess MTV met its Fil Am quota.

East Coast stand up! Although not as saturated with Pin@ys, the Pin@y-presence is still felt on the East side. Gotta give a shout out to the Boogie Bots, some of whom are FIND (Filipino Intercollegiate Network Dialogue) fam out in Virginia and Maryland. I hope they go far, and give shine to the often neglected East Coast Pin@ys.

That guy looks like my cuzin. Boogie Bots, connecting like Voltron on ABDC.

So what do you think?

QUESTION ONE: How long will the Fil Am shine on ABDC last?

QUESTION TWO: Is there a Filipino/Asian fatigue on these dance shows?

QUESTION THREE: Are Pin@ys going to "break into public consciousness" through reality TV show dance? Is that even something we should care to do? Or is the underground the most ripe arena for creativity and subversion?

(This is a side note, but I'm soooooo stoked that street dance is exploding. It's always been bubblin under--like b-boying--but it's unbelievable that street dance has become so popular and a cash cow for dance studios/street dancers.)


Ok. Ok. I didn't watch the full episode I guess, so i didn't peep Super Cr3w till now. Just watched it. They dope! Brought out the acrobatics and powermoves from jumpstart. And yes, they got Pinoy boys. Did Lil Mama just say they brought it back to the 80s? Aren't those newish?

Will Super Cr3w take it all?

Yes, yes! Also SoReal Cru! Damn, i gotta watch the whole episode before writing bout this sht. Congrats SoReal!


Anonymous said...

Forgot the dudes from Super Crew: Rockadile (originally from Battle Monkeys) and Ronnie (originally from Full Force).

I was just talking to some friends about how its hella Filipino this season. Filipino fatigue? Could be possible from the middle America swing voters.

Anonymous said...

filipino america's best dance crew? why isnt that the official title yet? but yes, i do think the producers of the show are tired of the overrepresentation. i know some folks in the jersey crew Fr3sh that made it pretty far in the auditions process. apparently, there was some concern from mtv that they had too many of these groups already. Fr3sh was ultimately cut. kawawa.

but dont sleep on the pinoys reppin on the show. SoReal from houston has gotta be filipino/viet. and then super crew, the bboys, are rolling with ronny, one of the best bboys in the entire world! he reppred the US and won redbull bc one, an international one on one battle. lastly, i think that guido crew from the midwest has one pinoy under cover in their midst.

i'm glad to see our kababayan make it on tv and perhaps even make a living. its just good for validation. i just hope the younger generation that sees it doesnt get confused by making their goal mtv rather than something greater. its because we do it for love rather than material gain that we've gotten so damn nasty.

Anonymous said...

ohh, and i totally forgot, the philly crew has bboy rawkus in it. he used to wear this shirt in battles that said "kiss me, i'm filipino."

cheryl said...

nice post, mark! i just met a guy from your program (a couple years ahead of you). gave him your site to look up. another hip hop scholar(ish) too. so i agree with you and brian r's comments. dude, the fil-am fatigue is way in effect! more like some of that yellow fear phenomenon being instilled into the american public. wtf. i still think that's why kaba modern didn't make it to the finals. argh. ok i have to watch those auditions now.

Unknown said...

I agree there is some speculation we got some fatigue from the show...but more accurately, I think it's Kaba/1st season fatigue

Team Millenia got kicked out because I think they were unfairly-held to a Kaba Modern precedent that existed last year...

Fanny Pak gets a shine because their new, unorthodox in their approach to "street dancing" and prob serve as better marketing

It's like our Chi-town footworkers were held to a non-existent Status Quo precedent just the way they dress, even though their styles couldnt be any more different regionally

----I'm actually more pissed off that Full Effect didn't get in which I think it's a slap in the face of valuing the detroit/chicago scene (over X-TREME DANCE FORCE)

last year, they definitely had a bboy fatigue voting off the AZ crew who had a better routine than our Tampa folks....

At the end of the day, it's a TV Show, complete with controversy brewing up (Supreme Soul), eye candy (X-Treme Dance Force, Sass7 who would never hang in a cypher), and marketable acts industry would want

I think it's actually radical of mtv to pick 4 predominantly APA crews, that's like what...almost half, it sucks we're conditioned to see that as radical

Unknown said...

on Question 3 ----

Are we going to break into public consciousness? I think the tides are turning, but thats also a role that folks on the show have to actively work towards too

--win or lose, these groups have gotten a lot of visibility and will continue to get more, it's a matter of 1) our fil am communities actively supporting this and 2) finding the right cultural infrastructure/dialogue/network where these crews can plug in

---that's what the Soul Aesthetics working group is for, right? =)

Anonymous said...

#1: I'm surprised that ABDC had that many Fil-Am folks on the second season. My assumption was that America would throw out the multi-culti representations but I guess its a formula that's working out for them. I dunno though, anytime Asians in the U.S. step out of line and get a little bit too much shine in any way, they're forcibly pushed back into that abject space.

#2 This is an interesting question. I'm a little tired of Fil-Ams/Asians on the show given how all these random people now think I can dance or expect me to dance on command. This might be okay if I could dance 1/100th as good as anyone on the show.

I wonder if the casual consumer would wonder this if all the dance crews were African American (or white)? if what Brian R said has some truth to it, why would it be a big deal if there was too many Asians were on stage or is it merely an issue of duplicating aesthetics? I did have a someone (non-Asian and fil-am) tell me recently that they were tired of all the Asians on the show because they were 'too good.'

#3 Depends on what you mean by "public consciousness." I think for the most part, no. In my experiences, people believe that dance somehow exists outside of the world. More specifically, that there's nothing in the verbal vocabulary that can explain what dance is doing, so therefore, its just purely creativity for the sake of creativity and "individual expression." I'm teaching a hip-hop class right now and for the most part people understand hip-hop's more political origins, but only through the lyrics of rap, nothing about the musicality.

Being on TV might not necessarily matter for the rest of the U.S., but I sorta fall in line with Mark Anthony Neal's analysis of mass mediated pop cultural arenas for African Americans in that it potentially creates alternative public spheres for discourse -- hopefully in this case amongst fil-ams and/or amongst other Asian Americans.

Anonymous said...

Dont forgret SoReal crew!

Kristia said...

this idea of fatigue is interesting cause yo, white folks love watchin us. shit is historical. they have been paying to see us dance, sing, or jsut stand there and be beautiful for a very long time.

dont get me wrong. i ain't accusin the dancers of being uncle toms. i got love for em. but my point is, get tired of us? never. we're not threatening any power structures by dancing on tv...yet. this is post-obama america, dude. white folks have convinced themselves that they're post-racism. so i don't think they're going to suddenly have a majority-white cast in the future.


in my opinion, yes hella filipinos are incredible dancers and performers. but we're also ridiculously persistent. you know that the filipino crews were down to go to 15 auditions and gave it there all every time.

it also must be noted that filipino brothas beeee fiiiine. and filipinas, well, that goes unsaid. hahah

Maureen Powers said...

according to the bakit why article, all remaining dance crews have at least one pinoy/pinay on them. looking forward to tonight's performance!

Anonymous said...

Just to add.. the b-boy crew from Seattle, "Massive Monkees" made it to the final 14, but had to bow out of the audition special because of sponsorship conflicts. They actually battled and beat Super Cr3w in the "2004 World B-Boy Championships" in London.

They're pre-dominantly fil-am and 4 of the 7 that were supposed to be on the show were filipino american..

MV said...

Oh yeah. Massive Monkees. They been in the game for more than a decade now, yeah? Been hip to them for a minute. You and I know they'd woop ass on the show.

Anonymous said...

Here's Massive's audtion off MTV's website.. Hopefully they can get on a later season of the show..