DANS LA RUE: Paris Urban Youth Culture
 
Finally, something uniquely French.  It's electro dance, a style of street dance born from the same country that gave the world Daft Punk.  It obviously draws from vogueing, raving, wacking, and hip hop, but there's no doubt electro dance is in a world of it's own.  And unlike its ancestors, it stresses routines in every round just as much as solos.  Here's an inside look at a recent competition called Vertifight with insights from organizer Youval.

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October's winners will represent France atthis main event in 2011
According to this blog, techtonik (but is it the same as electro dance?) originated mainly from the dance clubs in Southeast Paris, particularly Metropolis.  But what's interesting is that in the context of Vertifight, all the dancers probably can't get into these clubs since they're still struggling with high school pre-calc.  Youval mentioned that many youth took to electro dance via YouTube clips, which is probably also how Vertifight and the dance itself have successfully been exported all over the world (except the US).

Also interesting to note is that Youval considers electro dance the little brother of voguing.  He can lay that claim as he is indeed one of the original and only voguers in Paris from the 1980's.  But he maintains that his culture is none other than hip hop, as he's also from the first generation of b-boys and poppers.   When he speaks about electro dance's misrepresentation in the mainstream media as "techtonik," I sense that he's linking it with the history of breakin' which outsiders termed "breakdancing" during its era of exploitation.  But like breakin, electro dance has endured in the underground.

09/19/2013 2:06am

Valuable information you offer in your articles. Thank you for another great article.

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    Brian is a writer, dancer, activist, and general hip hop head from New York City. He is currently working towards his Master's in Global Communications in Paris.  



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