OK I am officially mesmerized! This style of dance that seems to be steaming it up all the way from France can be seen on a Yelle film clip. A big Yelle fan after being tipped off by Dj Brandon to the magic of their sounds, worlds collided in a very fabulous way when I realised that Yelle and what is being called Tecktonik go arm in arm - wild flailing arms!
When I was in Grade 3 there was a boy who lived across the street from me, he was in Grade 7. His name was Calvin Norri. I can barely remember what he looked like and I don't think I spoke two words to him but I remember he was by far the coolest kid in the school. Calvin would bring brown cardboard boxes to school, set them up in the ally near the toilet blocks, press play on the ghetto blaster and break dance his heart out. Back spins, head spins, he had all the moves. Calvin's cool factor shot to an all time high when he broke his arm break dancing. This was in the thick of the 80s, 1984, a time when backs were being spun on, leg warmers were essential and the school wide sport of choice was Electric Boogaloo. This vid reminds me of the primary school breakers, I watch this with just as much awe and excitement as I did the boys busting their moves near the toilet block.
After the super successful S.A.I.A.S events Masao got together with LADE Clothing and Bros Wear Designs to collaborate on a new style of gathering in Tokyo. Fragment is designed to bring together creators from all over Japan to share their latest pieces with other designers, creators, thinkers, art stalkers, friends, shoppers and fans. Held at Wedge in Shimokitazawa on March 23rd, Fragment will be the first of it's kind bringing together creators and designers featured on TOKYOMADE with other Japan-based designers. Set to the sounds from some of the finest Tokyo djs and the possibility of another hoop up by moi! See you there!
This is what I was really looking for when I stumbled upon Danny!
Thanks to Martine I rediscovered MylesinLondon and his outstanding captures of Tokyo. Yes, this city really does move that fast, no camera tricks there! ;) Here is a brighter yet more serene view of the gorgeous city we live in. This is the first of Myles' videos that I spotted on MySpace a while back!
I used to think of Tokyo as so unique and very foreign for so many years yet watching these it seems so familiar and usual. Which it not necessarily a bad thing. I just wonder is it time to move on or is the feeling a sense of being at home? Lucky for me I am heading back to my real home of Australia in a few weeks time for a big reminder and soak up of the GOOD LIFE! Ah I cannot wait! I love Tokyo but it is far from a cozy, comforting, relaxing home. Lucky for me, right now I am not looking for anything too cozy. When I am I know where my real home is!
I bumped into Danny while scouring youtube for Tokyo videos this afternoon. While I cannot say I am a fan I am certain I would have had an ongoing love affair with Danny's poster on my bedroom wall if he had been pumping out synthetic tunes 15 years ago. He may have even bumped the Bros twins in to second place. There is not much else to say but I will say, I wish my hair looked that good when I wake up in the morning!
There is this simple little rule in life and if you stick to it, backing it with all your positive love and power then it will work for you 100% of the time for all things great and small. This way of the universe is often referred to as the law of attraction, I tend to think of it simply as thoughts becoming things.
A sweet and simple example of thoughts becoming things... Sigsy wrote in response to my post about Josh McKible's Nani Bird art: "I love the nani birds, I saw them on Innocent girls pages. What I'd really like is a set of greetings cards I can send around the world..."
The title of this blog has so very many meanings. First and foremost it alludes to the fact that today is officially TOKYOMADE's 1st birthday. February 14 holds a special place in our hearts for reasons other than V Day, although love hearts and big hugs also play a major role in our day of celebration.
This week we celebrated with fancy newness. Swooning over the artistic creations of Tokyo-based illustrator Josh McKible we welcomed his new range, MCKIBILLO to TOKYOMADE. The Nani Bird series is a constant source for a good old grin for us, knowing we are at times in the same boat as these lil birdies. Nani? (What?)
BLITZ Kiss added more vibrantly colored pop to her new accessory range. They are being snapped up, just like we knew they would! The kitschy Japanese toy theme in her latest range is a hot trend with many London hipsters!
chief&mischief keep serving up their superb style of tempting street wear. More tees headed your way.
It has been an enormous year filled with intensity and fulfillment. We launched on this day last year with a few fabulous designers and have grown to now support 40 Japan-based creators. A fabulously international mix of truly talented folks who blow us away daily with their professionalism, kindness and skill.
More than anything, TOKYOMADE has given us and many of the creators on this site the opportunity to connect, build friendships, share ideas and grow. This in itself is a powerful reward for the hard work and effort pumped into making a project like TOKYOMADE float (the parties are pretty superb too, a definite perk!) Thank you to each and every idea sharer, designer, illustrator, creator, maker, builder, producer, mixer you are a constant bubbling spring of pure inspiration for us! Thank you.
We are eternally grateful and connected to you; the supporters, fans, emailers, the shoppers for sharing our love for Japan-based creation and design. It is always a joy to hear from you, receive your messages of support and of course your purchases are telling of your admiration for the ranges on offer here at TOKYOMADE. Thank you.
We plan to celebrate tonight by joining Tokyo's glitterati at Glitterball. Toted as the annual night of pleasure, thrills and chills. Sounds like a spectacular way to top of a thrill-filled year. Thank you once again, we intend to propose many a toast to you all. Looking forward to celebrating a decade of TOKYOMADE action with you!
On February 14 we will be celebrating the love in a major way as it is also our 1st birthday, well it is TOKYOMADE's 1st birthday.
It is kind of hard to believe that our first born is already 1 (some days it is hard to believe that it is ONLY 1). Just like any proud and adoring parents it is hard for us to remember life before TM came into the world and we often step back and gush in wonder at the leaps and bounds it has made.
We want to share the love around of course and have made up some party bags to give away! If you are not already a member of the Tokyo Fan Club you totally should be. Simply add your email address to our mailing list over at TM and you are in with a mighty chance at grabbing a TOKYOMADE 1st Birthday Party Bag this month.
Recently I have been asked by a tribe of amazing supporters how I began hooping. So I have decided to write a little post about my steps to becoming a hoop obsessed dancer.
A friend of mine Gala, creator of the must-read blog iCiNG (if you don't read her and love her by now you totally should!) held her 5th International Dress Up Day back in June 2007. The theme was alter ego. The pictures and stories sent in were glorious and the effort outstanding. One stood out for me and so I quickly jumped onto the link promising a "short video of my alter ego in action". What I saw was this...
A sideways video that would change my life!
I couldn't get the image of the funky hooper out of my head and I knew I had to get my hands on a hoop. I remembered that a year or two before during a totally spontaneous shopping spree at a sports store (??) in Tokyo Masao had bought me a hoop in a box that had to be assembled, made up of about 12 pieces. I dug in out of storage, put all the pieces together, realised it was quite small but took turns with Masao until one of us could keep it revolving around our hips for more than two or three rotations. Masao was the pioneer. His hips pumping at warp speed he was able to keep the tiny hoop spinning for quite some time. This crazy hip pumping went on for days. I was completely entranced by the motion, the sweat, the centrifugal force. At the same time I began to collect a growing number of hoop videos on youtube and information about hooping. I learned that I needed a large hoop, measuring about 95cm in diameter, if I hoped to do anything more than a hip pumping, body shaking dance.
I searched and pestered Masao to find me a hoop in Tokyo. It seemed near impossible, no one we contacted knew anything about the hoop thing. I persevered with my mini hoop and mimicked the motions and moves I had been watching over and over on youtube, spending up to two hours a days spinning, twirling, jumping and dropping the hoop. Finally Masao stumbled upon Hoopstore Tokyo. I could barely contain myself and sent an email to the Hoop Girl trained, Justin and Mario immediately. They wrote back with such a friendly response and I booked the next class that was available.
My mum was in Tokyo at the time, possibly confused by my obsession but obviously seeing my delight with the plastic pipe she came along with Masao and I to our first hoop class in Shinjuku. By this time I had mastered the hip pumping but was unprepared for how much of a workout the new, big hoops were about to put me through. Sweat poured, muscles burned and I felt completely alive from head to toe.
A few days later Masao set out on one of his city adventures to "meet a friend" leaving mum and I to relax, shop and cook up a storm. It was getting late and I still had not heard from Masao, he had been out all day and I had tried calling his phone several times to see if he wanted to have dinner with us. Mum appeared to be just as worried as me that he was not returning my calls, little did I know that she was in on the whole scam. Masao returned hours later with a perfectly wrapped, sparkling pink hoop. My mum had sent Masao off to buy one from Justin and Mario at Hoopstore Tokyo and the trio had spent the day talking hoops, business and boy stuff.
I now had everything I needed to start on the road to hoop stardom. We hit the park everyday. I feel like I ate, slept and dreamed hooping. It was the first thing I thought about in the mornings and I would go to bed each night in a spin from watching so many hoop videos on youtube. I continued to go to a few classes at the Hoopstore Tokyo but as other parts of our lives got busier it became impossible to get to classes. We would go to the park and hoop late at night sometimes well after midnight. That is one of the most amazing things about living in Tokyo, it is so safe.
Still needing instruction but unable to make it to classes I invested in the Hoop Girl DVD and the Hoopnotica Teaching Training Package Level 1 & 2. I would watch them every morning before work and as soon as I got home from work preparing for my after dinner park hoop jam. Masao had his own hoop by this stage and we would teach, encourage and remind each other of things we had learned in class and on the DVDs. I definitely recommend both of these DVDs for mastering a range of hoop moves. Each has it's strengths. The Hoop Girl DVD offers inspiring dance combinations while the Hoopnotics DVD is fantastic for trouble shooting and tips on how to work through the learning process.
From there I basically took hooping into my own hands. Taking inspiration from Hoopers all over the world thanks to youtube, hooping.org and tribe.net I was able to connect with an intense and welcoming global community.
In January I was nominated by hooping.org as one of 5 Newbie Hoopers for 2007. This was an amazing reward and opened up so many opportunities for me. I was invited to perform my first Hoop Dance in a Tokyo club, fulfilling part of one of my goals for 2008. I received my first LED hoop and twin hoops to begin my journey into the world of circus hooping.
Friday night at Velours in Tokyo marked my first Hoop Dance performance in a Tokyo club. It was just the beginning, I hope to see you out and about I plan to take this city by storm and whip the club scene into a flashing, rainbow swirl of wild hoopla! Be sure to come and say hi!
One of the most exciting things to happen in my world of hooping recently is the connection I have made with Bunny Hoopstar. Bunny is a Sydney-based hooper, performer and trainer. She has long been a powerful inspiration to me. In fact one of my goals for 2008 read "Meet Bunny Hoopstar". That dream is coming true very soon as I get prepared to jetset off to Sydney in March to complete teach training with Bunny at her Darlinghurst hoop camp. I had contemplated teacher training via a few other teachers but Bunny rocks the style, strength, individuality and hoop skills that I admire and aspire to the most. I couldn't be happier to have her as my mentor.
So what does the future of hooping hold for me?
I really look forward to sharing my adoration for this mind blowing, body changing, life transforming form of self expression with friends and students in Japan and the rest of the world. I am a life long learner of the hoop path so I also look forward to learning from students, friends and other hoopers.
Everyday I learn something new about my body, it's motion and connectedness with the colorful rings. I look forward to strengthening my practice with each dance.
My LED hoop is far too gorgeous to be locked up at home so I will be spinning it at clubs and events around Tokyo and in Australia.
I am open and ready for all of the exhilarating hoop opportunities that are heading my way.
So there you have it, my short but powerful journey into the world of hooping thus far. I feel it has only just begun and yet has given me so much more than I could ever have thought possible. I have an endless number of friends and hoopers to thank.
Anytime you feel like starting a revolution be sure to get in contact with me! Sure to put you in a spin in the funkiest possible way.
Last night was a Tokyo extravaganza to remember! To celebrate the launch of chief&mischief on TOKYOMADE, a delicious crowd of designers, dancers, photographers, artists, djs and fashionistas made their way to the stylish Velours in Aoyama, Tokyo.
It was a super special night for me though as I had been asked to hoop dance in the club. This was my first ever "public appearance". I thought I would be more nervous. I had a few pre-performance worries earlier in the week doubting my ability to keep a handle on the new and much heavier LED hoop I had ordered from Super Hooper but something told me I was going to love the experience. That something was totally right.
Masao is a wise old man. When I said to him earlier in the week that I didn't think I was ready and I wasn't sure if I could do it he said to me, "No one ever thinks they are ready for anything so most people sit around thinking they can't do things because they are not ready. If you wait until you are ready you will never do it and then you can't get better". A simple piece of advice.
I was set to perform at 11pm and 1am. I had practiced a little routine to the first song, Boyz by M.I.A, to be mixed in by dj James. When I took my place in the tiny little space in the middle of Velours that routine flew out the window, the music and cheers from my friends and rest of the audience took over and I felt completely relaxed and spun in a heightened sense of flow. My only analogy for this feeling would be something drug related. The ultimate high.
I really need to thank so many people! My mum for buying me my first hoop, hoop store tokyo for giving me my first few lessons that was a great springboard, Masao for always encouraging me and putting up with hoops and hoop marks all over the apartment, all of my gorgeous and crazy friends for giving me more courage than they realise, my students for cheering me on at school and sharing my love for hoop videos on youtube, hoopers around the world, chief&mischief Caroline and Brandon for thinking of me and inviting me to perform, Bunny for being an inspiration, everyone who cheered, clapped, whistled, complimented me last night you made my year!
I don't care what my teachers say I'm gonna be a supermodel. And Everyone is gonna dress like me, wait and see
When I'm a supermodel and my hair will shine like the sea. Everyone will wanna look just like me me...
Cause I'm young and I'm hip, and so beautiful, I'm gonna be a supermodel
I adored this song from the Clueless soundtrack. The lyrics flooded back into my head last weekend when we did a super fun photo shoot for the hot New York label recently launched on TOKYOMADE, chief&mischief.