Monday, May 04, 2009

Electro-funk + Boogaloo Shrimp = A Clean Sweep

Man, how I do miss the 1980s. Enjoy.

From BNET online:

The 1984 movies Breakin' and its immediate sequel, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, broke new ground in the film industry as some of the first movies to put street dancing in the spotlight.

Street-dance pioneers Adolfo "Shabba-Doo" Quinones, nearly 30 when he made the films, and Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers, 17 at that time, won instant acclaim as the films' stars.

Breaking, popping, locking, waving and wacking were among the forms of street dance they demonstrated in the pop-culture classics.

Madonna was so impressed with Shabba-Doo's wacking dance-often called "The Shabba-Doo"--that she later tapped him to choreograph her Who's That Girl tour and Ciao Italia concert video.

Boogaloo Shrimp, acclaimed for his intricate popping and ticking moves, performed one of Breakin's most memorable dance scenes--with a broom. The scene was staged by West Side Story dance legend Jaime Rogers. Singer Ginuwine later re-created the broom scene in his None Of Ur Friends Business video.

JET recently caught up with both men to find out what they've been up to since those "break-dancing" days.

Shabba-Doo remains one of the industry's most sought-after choreographers. At the 78th Academy Awards in 2006, he was the lead dancer and co-choreographer the performance for Three 6 Mafia's song It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp, which earned an Oscar that year.

Last year he choreographed Jamie Kennedy's film Kickin'k Old School and in 1990 he appeared in the dance drama Lambada.

The award-winning choreographer, who has also performed on Broadway, is the creator of Funk-Shway (which means Funk Shabba-Doo's Way), a dance-fitness program that he's licensed all over the world.

"I spent a couple of years living in Tokyo, where I ran three studios," he said. "This time, I'll be in Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, South America and Asia."

Shabba-Doo, a native of Chicago, was an original member of The Lockers, the legendary dance group credited as the forefathers of urban street dancing.

"I didn't set out to be the king of street dancing," he said. "It just happened that way."

Shabba-Doo, 52, the father of a 30-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter, is the ex-husband of actress Lela Rochon, with whom he appeared in Lionel Richie's All Night Long video. Shabba-Doo also choreographed Richie's All Night Long world tour and Chaka Khan's I Feel For You video. Michael Jackson also personally tapped him to appear in his Ghost music video.

In 1996 Shabba-Doo graduated from the American Film Institute as a directing fellow in the master's program. He is looking forward to bringing Breakin' 3 to the silver screen, writing a book and completing a reality dance competition show.

Boogaloo Shrimp made a guest appearance last year on Nick Cannon's MTV show "Wild 'N' Out." He has appeared in the films Breakin' All the Rules, Bringing Down the House and Beaches. And, he was one of the first street dancers to be invited to the White House when former first lady Nancy Reagan was promoting her anti-drug campaign video Stop the Madness.

Boogaloo Shrimp helped pioneer an animated dance video with singer Paula Abdul for her Opposites Attract video, where he did movements for M.C. Scat Kat.

Michael Jackson was so impressed with Boogaloo Shrimp's moves that he personally studied with Boogaloo Shrimp from 1983 to 1991, learning his renowned "floating, four-corner Moonwalk" and "ticking robotics," Boogaloo Shrimp said. Jackson also admired the video's animation so much that he hired Boogaloo Shrimp to do the movements for The Simpsons' Do The Bartman video, Boogaloo Shrimp said.

"I describe my style as liquid animation," said Boogaloo Shrimp, 40, who has a 16-year-old son. "The liquid is the smooth part. The animation is the stop part mixed with robotics."

Boogaloo Shrimp was also the person who helped bring the Urkelbot to life on the TV show "Family Matters."

"When Breakin' came out, I was not aware of my signature style," said Boogaloo Shrimp. "But I knew I had something because people kept hiring me. When it was all said and done, I knew I had something."

By Margena A. Christian