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November 23rd 2016

Auckland hip-hop dancers star in Steinlager Tokyo Dry advertisement

A group of Auckland dancers have taken their moves to the streets of Japan for a new beer ad. Six members of Sandringham’s Identity Dance Company were flown to Tokyo in August to feature in an advertisement for Steinlager Tokyo Dry, a new Lion-produced beer launched this month.

The advertisement features digital animation of robots, produced using motion sensors attached to the dancers. Identity dancer and director Josh Cesan, 23, says he was amazed by the finished project.

“The locations they picked were so cool, so urban and really captured a good sense of Japan,” Cesan says. A still from the advertisement. Cesan says it’s exciting the boys have reached a point with their dancing where they can be considered for such projects. “It’s good to know that we’re on the right track and we’re setting ourselves a brand.

We’re different from others but we’re still hip-hop.” Kiwis are making an impression in the world hip-hop arena, he says. The boys choreographed the dance themselves. “It’s kind of the same with everything that Kiwis do, it’s just our nature to kind of be the best, or to try and be the best,” Cesan says.

The former Mt Albert Grammar student says hip-hop dancing in New Zealand was increasingly popular amongst males. “Back in the day it wasn’t very cool to dance. Some of us got mocked at school and we had to keep it on the down low.” Identity dancer Riley Bourne is also a member of successful Auckland dance group Bradas Dance Crew, which won back-to-back gold medals at the World Hip Hop Dance Championships this year in Las Vegas and last year in San Diego. The 20-year-old says despite having danced since he was six, the Steinlager project was unlike anything he had done before.

“For the past few years we’ve been to the States to compete so going to Japan was something completely different because it wasn’t a competition, it was a whole different ball game.” Bourne says The Bradas have a distinctive Kiwi approach to their choreography . “We try to add a bit of Maori flavour to it and that’s something that no one else can do because they don’t have that culture.”

Earlier this month Identity Dance Company won $50,000 in Maori Television’s Kapa-Haka themed show The Stage – Haka Fusion. The competition saw dancers compete by combining traditional Kapa Haka with contemporary dance forms.