Two Crews at Sydney Festival: a fun-filled hip hop battle

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Two Crews, Nick Power’s latest creation is an outstanding cheeky, exhilarating and infectious fun-filled hip hop battle which recently played at The Carriageworks as part of Sydney Festival (it will also be at Adelaide Festival in March (details at the end of the article)).

Image: Timothée Lejolivet

Historically these battles were ‘fought’ in gangs on the streets in the Bronx in the 70s in common cultural backgrounds in order to claim titles in the streets. This is signified through dance that emanates cultures, backgrounds and the ties that bind them. Present day, dancers are opting for solo competitions and here lies Power’s inspiration, to bring the former back in all its glory.


The main stars were the all-female Parisian crew, Lady Rocks, who pushed their bodies further, all the while with non-stop smiles and cheekiness to encourage the other crew to give their all in response. The strength, endurance and movement was incredible and one found their breath paused due to sheer admiration of the execution and energy injected into the performance.


Sydney-based Riddim Nation crew with 3 males and one female gave it back in a more often softer reaction, more fluid and slower. Culturally diverse in it’s crew, boasting members from Cambodian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino, Latino, Pacific Islander and French backgrounds.

Two Crews
Riddim Nation Image: Adam Scarf


The setting was simple, yet perfect. Either side were bleachers filled with an audience of all ages. In the middle, a white floor bordered with black tape giving the impression of a boxing ring, perfectly depicted a battle ground for an old school styled street hip hop challenge. The crowd was encouraged to cheer and support as well as the stadium being filled with a lot of laughter through the playfulness of the performers.


The dance was electric at times, high energy, powerful with battles of four against four, individual sequences and one very special solo offering from Riddim Nation’s Gabriela Quinsacara. Her performance was interwoven with traditional dance practices as well as contemporary, she moved slowly and beautifully while popping across from her crew to the opposition, all sans music.


Ultimately it was all about having fun, not truly focusing on the traditional competitive nature of the battling as the crews wrapped up the show hugging each other, giving one another recognition for their offerings and for a fantastic time. This production was so excellent that it kept us buzzing for hours after leaving the show, such a treat that they can have the croissants they’d like.


5 CROISSANTS (If we had more we would give them!)


Matilda Marseillaise was a guest of Sydney Festival


You can also see Two Crews at Adelaide Festival from 10 to 14 March ($49 with discounts for under 30s and Friends of the Festival).

Read our interview with Lady Rocks here



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