Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Special Relationship in Dance as UK and Us'flex' Stars Fuse for Mif Show ; Breakdancers from America and Britain Have Come Together to Tell the History of Flexing and Bone Breaking in a Show at the Old Granada Studios

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Special Relationship in Dance as UK and Us'flex' Stars Fuse for Mif Show ; Breakdancers from America and Britain Have Come Together to Tell the History of Flexing and Bone Breaking in a Show at the Old Granada Studios

Article excerpt

BEING invited to join Brooklyn's prestigious dancer crew Flex has been a real honour, says Manchester breakdancer Dale 'Goodsoul' Coleridge, but it has also been one of the most testing events he has committed himself to.

"It's been constant, leaving the house at seven in the morning, getting back at 12 at night," he says, sitting down with a cup of strong coffee. "Its tiring - but well worth it."

It's got a lot harder since Dale first signed up, too.

Originally slated for two shows for a couple of hundred people each, FLEXN Manchester now has eight performances for audiences of around 350 a show.

But Dale is delighted because, more than many, he knows the power of involvement in dance. And his story - of playing truant from school and getting in trouble - is one that chimes well with the whole ethos of flexing, a culture that began in Brooklyn, New York, in the 1980s as its kids looked for ways to stay off the streets and out of gang fights and crime.

"I left school when I was 16 or 15, and I didn't really have much to do," Dale recalls.

"I was bumming about, living off my mum, doing everything you shouldn't be doing.

"I needed something to occupy my mind while I tried to understand what I wanted in life.

"I started getting into music a lot, and when I listened to certain types of music it made me feel a different way.

"I was moving to the music, not dancing as such but moving.

"We went to a youth club, and I started dance classes there. It was all girls. I got a couple of my mates together because I was quite shy at the time, and said, 'One of yous come and do this course with me'.

"Six weeks basic street dance and then it kinda took over my life. Five years later, I'm sat here."

The ability to bring a story to the dance is a critical part of what flexing is all about.

For Brooklyn 'flexor' Deidra Brazz, the success of the collaboration between US and UK dancers have been about conveying each other's experiences through movement.

"We started with ciphering, which is where every dancer goes in and does their style," she explains. …

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