Today’s China is aggressively building a modern urban nation. It actively hires the best and most contemporary architects from around the world to create a new urban landscape that is a visual testimony to its economic prowess. Although still communist, the sleeping dragon has clearly awakened and gotten a firm hold on the engines of capitalism. And perhaps nowhere is this is more evident than on the streets of its most cosmopolitan cities.
And yet China is still a very controlled place, with the web, social media, the press, speech, and much more under strict monitoring, especially in the face of disaster or unforeseen events. So when leading edge dance randomly shows up on its streets, creating ad hoc site works in partnership with this sleek new contemporary architectural landscape, and these site works are elegantly and inventively captured by the camera, the effect can be dazzling.
Such is the case with YLYK SUPER SLOW MOTION by YAK FILMS & SONY JAPAN. I first saw this short a couple of years ago at Dance Camera West’s opening night and was blown away by its beauty. The sheer power of the dance, which features the likes of such luminaries as Lil Buck, Les Twins, Grichka Boy and more, coupled with the colorful street culture, fantastic shots and camera angles, and the scale and lines of the architecture – both old and new – is a surprising and wonderful juxtaposition of elements. In addition to all mentioned above, this short features music by BMB Spacekid (“I Like It”) and great editing and use of super slow motion.
What pops out at me is that each young dancer in the throes of their improvisation and the boldness and grittiness of their movement is emblematic of a very intimate moment that is inherently un-regulated, yet innately hints at what might be just out of the realm of control. And no spoiler here but in terms of the latter statement, the ending of this short itself is what seals the deal.