The Bronx comes to Bennelong Point

Review: Deejay x Dancer, Opera House Studio, August 18

It all started, as it did at a Bronx house party in 1973, with a man and a turntable.

Tonight it wasn’t hip-hop originator DJ Kool Herc elongating the percussive ‘breakdowns’ of James Brown’s Give It Up Or Turn It A Loose and Aretha Franklin’s Think to start our heads nodding, but one of his fast-fingered heirs in the form of DJ Total Eclipse.

Deejay x Dancer at Sydney Opera House Studio, August 2022.

Deejay x Dancer at Sydney Opera House Studio, August 2022.Credit:jordan munns

The New Yorker-turned-Sydneysider and former world turntable battle champion opened the show with a boombastic masterclass in blending, mixing, scratching and beat juggling. Unlike Herc back in the ’70s Bronx, Eclipse did n’t use actual vinyl records, but the technology did not dampen the party-starting and head-flipping spirit of his craft.

Then came the dancers.

In Demi Sorono, Jackson Garcia and Anastasios Repousi we knew we were getting three of Australia’s most energetic and exciting street movers. Yet the choreography by Nick Power still created almost unbearable tension, as Eclipse slowed his output to single, sparing beats, and the trio stared and stalked him like they were in the opening round of a boxing match.

Then joyous release as a beat proper kicked in and these three displayed their impressive arsenal of movement.

Demo Sorono and DJ Total Eclipse in Deejay x Dancer

Demo Sorono and DJ Total Eclipse in Deejay x DancerCredit:jordan munns

All the breakdance classics were there across tonight’s one-hour show – the pops, the locks, the headspins, the airflares – but also plenty of innovation. A co-ordinated snake-like movement was particularly impressive, while Garcia’s impression of a shaken-up soda can exploding has to be seen to be believed.

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