No one can do the “Tron”-inspired dance routine better than Wrecking Crew Orchestra (WCO), one of the pioneers in adopting the signature LED suits for their performances. Formed in 2003, the Osaka-based 8-member dance group made a splash with their “Tron” dance in 2012 after the videos of their performances went viral. They wowed the audiences with their perfectly synchronised performance while wearing the electroluminescent light suits designed by iLuminate,
Even before their video went viral, the group frequently filled the venues of their showcases both at home and abroad. Other than attracting more than 8,000 audiences for their 10th anniversary live performances in Tokyo and Osaka, they were invited as representatives from Japan to entertain over 2,000 guests at the 60th anniversary of the establishment of a Japan-Myanmar diplomatic relationship in Yangon last Spring.
Having performed in so many countries in the past, the award-winning dance group came to Malaysia last year and left a lasting impression through their worldwide hit “Beat Bumper” at Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) and the George Town Festival. To promote exchange and collaboration among street dance groups in the ASEAN region, the dance group was invited to join the “Dance Dance Asia– Crossing the Movements “, an event proudly presented by Japan Foundation Asia Center.
The event was held at KLPac from 6th to 8th Feb. This is the 3rd time the group has performed in Malaysia but this time around, they ditched the “Tron” dance beccause they wanted to return to the original style that established their names in the Japanese street dance scene. Together with Time Machine and Blue Tokyo, WCO delivered us one of the most satisfying performances in years. As they constantly evolve in pursuit of new possibilities for street dance, the group successfully defied the impossible with their synchronised routines.
We attended the press conference of the project last Thursday and managed to sit down with Yoko, the leader of the group for a chat. Here’s what went down during our one-on-one interview:
Given that we are about to see a special version of the show (as described in the booklet) this weekend, what are the differences you had in envisioning this dance piece?
Well, we didn’t do anything specifically special for our show in Malaysia because we came to Malaysia last year and we’ve been doing a lot of performances in Asian countries. For this cultural exchange, it’s something really important for us perform in Malaysia again because it’s our passion to perform more in Asian countries. So, in that perspective, we are just putting all our efforts into doing these performances.
When performing a dance piece, how do you approach creative process? Where do you draw inspiration from?
In terms of inspiration, of course, music takes a huge portion of it because it’s street dance. I think about a dance piece all the time, every day in my life. Even when I’m reading manga, watching TV, spending time on the computer, or seeing people walking on the street, I always think about creating the pieces. So this is how I get inspired most of the time because I combine these with music in a creative way.
For the Tron-inspired performances, do you usually incorporate movie elements into your choreography?
I think around year 2008, some artistes have already started wearing these LED light suits for their live performances. So after seeing those performances, I thought it’d be a good idea to combine these performances with my performance too.
Having travelled to so many countries in the past, what’s the most memorable moment for the group?
Oh wow, that’s a really difficult question [laughs]. In our country, dance is a common language. I mean, wherever we go, everyone enjoyed and everyone had fun so that makes dance a common language or the universal language. But if I had to pick one really memorable country to perform in, that would be Kazakhstan because at that time, the temperature was -20°C. It was very cold but we had to perform so that’s something really memorable for our group.
What do you think would make a great dancer?
Well, that’s another difficult question haha. But those great dancers that I know of, their personalities and characters are also great. So I think characters and personalities that go well together will create the greatness of being a dancer. Having said that, I think it’s really important to see how special and different these great dancers are as compared to the ordinary dancers. They’ve got something very strong and they’ve got the originality within them, so I think that’s the condition of being a great dancer.