No, it is not the new season of Super Band, Campus Superstar or Live The Dream. It is the exciting second season of Singapore’s very own dance competition, organized by O School. KO Night is the brainchild of Kenny Low, principal and founder of O school, and Ryan Tan, the school’s creative director; it was created to give dancers a platform to gain more experience and to encourage people to pick up the art of dancing. Having run its first year with great success, this competition looks set to get hotter this second year.
Unlike many other dance competitions in Singapore, KO Night is unique because participants do not have a dance routine whereby they practice for a showcase performance. Instead, through three different genres of hip hop, popping and locking, contestants have to dance their way through six rounds of an invigorating 2-on-2 battle-style competition. Contestants vie for the coveted title of “KO Night Champion Team” — the winners get S$1000 in prize money.
This competition is all about freestyle, wits, musicality and teamwork. Similar to the ending of the game Street Fighter, in which a big “KO” flashes on screen when a rival is bumped off, the origins of this competition’s name resonates in the idea that competing teams must use powerful dance moves to metaphorically “knock out” their competitors and win the battle, which of course, intensifies at every round.
According to Low, youth love to dance but have few places to go to expend this energy, so many of them find themselves drawn to clubbing as an alternative. O School’s vision is to introduce refreshing and alternative ways to hone one’s dance skills, through this competition.
Despite the little publicity this competition has received through mainstream press, word of mouth has successfully promoted it. In the competition’s debut season, an audience of 1500 came to the event. Videos of the competition uploaded on YouTube generated more than 250,000 views, demonstrating its popularity in the community.
XueHui, one of the dance instructors at O School commented that “many of last year’s contestants who are entering the 2009 KO Night competition have seen immense improvements as dancers”. Thus, this is in line with O School’s desire to see Singaporean dancers improve and rise up to an elite level. To have the competitive edge and improve their dancing careers, freestyle is an essential skill that helps Singaporean dancers compete ably with their American or Japanese counterparts. To encourage the dancers to aim for an international level of skill, O School will send the best team at KO Night on a trip to Japan for professional dance lessons.
|PHOTOS: Aaron Low
The finale happens on 26 June at The Pavilion@Far East Square. Come witness the immense talents in Singapore’s dance scene, the ferocity of the art , the wittiness of attacks, the dance phenomenon.
Find out more at www.oschool.com.sg