Music, dance and fashion have always been interlinked in street culture and dance culture in China is definitely growing right now. We sat down with one the more prominent dancers in Guangzhou, Foshan, aptly named Biao Ge and find out that it's not just Wong Fei Hong that is famous in Foshan.
Flesh Imp // FI
Biao Ge // BG
FI : Hi Biao Ge, I am curious about your real name, would you be able to share with us and what are you up to?
BG : HA, Hi everyone, my name is actually Ye Biao, and people call me Biao Ge as a form of respect, not because I am old haha! I am a professional dancer and I am based out of Foshan, GZ.
FI : How's the dance scene in Foshan? Why did you decide to be a dancer?
BG : The dance scene is massive here, and is growing every day. I have been seeing young dancers stepping up the game and getting better everyday.
I remembered when I was younger, I loved watching Channel [V] and enjoyed the music videos tremendously. Other than being exposed to great music, the other thing that attracted me the most was the flashy dance sequences in the music video. I guessed if not for the dances in the MVs, I wouldn't be watching TV. ( I am really serious about dance as you can see)
FI : You are a dance instructor at a pretty young age, how does that feel?
BG : To be an instructor, it is definitely not an easy task, but for me I would say I am lucky as well. A good instructor needs to have a strong foundation, and with what I have, I believe it is sufficient to train other students. It's a totally different process to be an instructor as you need to impart your skills to students who, more than often, are learning dance for the first time, and what you teach them is of utmost importance as you are the first person that brings them the proper spirit and mindset into the world of dance.
FI : What do you hope to see for the future of dance culture in China?
BG : I think the dance culture is really strong and there are a lot of dance crew with a lot of potential and flair. The dance crew that we see now in China are probably on par with many international crew, but the reason that they aren't able to compete on the international level is due to visa problems, or financial situations where these crews aren't able to travel outside of China. My wish is to see these issues, which can be easily solved via our central government, especially on the visas and travel documentation. Funds to support these talented dancers can also come from both the government and private companies.
With these support, I believe that the dance culture in China can reach its full potential.
FI : In recent months, the hip hop and rap wave has swept China by storm, and dance is definitely one of the elements of the street culture inspired by hip hop. We have seen Rap Of China, and if there is a similar reality TV series for dance, would you take part?
BG : Of course! In fact, there are some talks about having a program like that and I believe it will be launched next year! This will be a great platform to bring rise to the dancers who have been grinding since Day One to become recognised.
FI : If you were to compare yourself to a piece of clothing, what would you be?
BG : I would want to be a versatile piece of clothing. Something that has style, yet function, simple yet stylish. I can be anything you want and something that fits your body that perfectly integrates into your lifestyle.
I am simple, but there's more than meets the eye.
FI : Do you have any advise for aspiring dancers?
BG : I think my advice is simple, but it is quite hard to follow, cos as a dancer myself, I know how it feels when your jam comes on and your body will start moving and groovin. haha. Sleep early, stick to your meal times regular and drink more warm water (haha) Do I sound like a real teacher now? I know it feels good to drink cold water right after a great dance workout but it's not good for health. Dance in itself is an activity that strengthens your mind and body, so if you do not take good care of your health, you might not be able to reach your full potential.
FI : What about you, who do you look up to?
BG : I really look up to 经伟老师, because besides from dancing, he asks us questions on how to evolve and perfect the art of dancing. Questions like, how to make a simple dance move into something with more flair, and how to differentiate yourself from other dancers. These thought provoking questions forces you think outside of just dancing and how to reinvent and create a style of individuality, and combine music and dance as an art form.
When I first saw Biao Ge's video back in March, I was impressed, not because of how sharp and snappy his dance moves were, but how he managed to combine East and West elements into his video. As I found out more about him, I was impressed to know that at 27, he is already an instructor and that there is a bustling dance scene not just in GZ, but also in China. Feeling sheepish at my lack of knowledge and understanding of my Chinese friends, I realised that the culture is growing at such a fast rate that we need to play catch up real soon.
Talking to Biao also made me realise that we are much fortunate to have a good infrastructure in Singapore which allows our creative talents to reach out to other similar communities on an international level, and vice versa.
Dance might be relatively new in China and talking to Biao, I sense his fervour and vision on how he wants to be a part of a evolution that takes existing dance culture that came from the West and weave Chinese influences into it, and bringing it to the next level.
This, to me, is the real Dance Dance Revolution.
So you think you can dance?
FI : 您好，彪哥，其实您的真名是什么？您能给我们自我介绍一下吗？
BG : 啊哈，我姓叶，连起来念，叶彪就是我的真实名字啰~ 目前是一名职业舞者，来自广东佛山。
FI : 在佛山，目前大概有多少舞者？您是怎么爱上跳舞的？
BG : .这个不太好统计呀，但我相信，喜欢和正在跳舞的人一定远超我观察到的，毕竟嘻哈文化经过许许多多前辈的努力，已经深深地感染到现在年轻一代。
FI : 您这么年轻已经是一名舞蹈老师了，您对老师这个职位是怎么理解的？
BG : 能成为老师真的是一件非常幸运的事情，说成是缘分也不为过呀。
FI : 您希望中国将来的舞蹈团体能有怎样发展？
BG : 现在国内团队的发展势头都很强，许多强队在国际比赛上还有不错的成绩，但其实还有很多同样强的舞者或者团队因为签证或者经济上等原因无法在世界舞台上展现自己的实力，所以希望国内的团队都可以兵强马壮，也让外面的世界看看神秘的东方力量~
FI : 在目前来说，中国有嘻哈已经刮起了一股说唱和嘻哈风，在舞蹈来说，有没有相类似的节目?有的话，你会去参加吗？
BG : 回答是肯定的！目前国内已经有几档街舞类的节目正在筹备或录制阶段，参加是必须的！
FI : 如果拿件衣服来形容自己，会是那一件？为什么？
BG : 和这件衣服的设计不是有异曲同工之妙吗？
FI : 您有哪些宝贵的建议可以给众多有抱负的舞者们说说？
BG : 建议是早点睡，别熬夜，按时吃饭，多喝热水(滑稽)~ 虽然好像很没营养，但这是真理啊啊啊啊啊啊啊啊！许多舞者都不是那么早睡，可能练习到很晚，可能本来要睡，然后听音乐看视频又high得毫无睡意。赶课赶工作不能准时吃饭，跳的一身大汗灌冰冻的水~
FI : 您最尊敬谁？
BG : 引用自我最尊敬的经伟老师——