High-pow­ered blend of styles

Central Leader - - NEWS - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

What be­gan as a group of high school boys just ‘‘do­ing their thing’’ is now a dance sen­sa­tion merg­ing very dif­fer­ent cul­tures.

The 50/50 Dance Crew mixes hip-hop with Bol­ly­wood and the more tra­di­tional Bha­gra dance style.

It’s prov­ing pop­u­lar and the 16-mem­ber crew made it to the semi-fi­nal of this year’s sea­son of New Zealand’s Got Tal­ent.

On De­cem­ber 14 they’ll be show­ing off their unique flavour in the cen­tral city dur­ing the 12 Days of Christ­mas Car­ni­val.

50/50 Dance Crew started out per­form­ing just In­dian style dances at Mt Roskill Gram­mar School in 2006.

‘‘It’s where we dis­cov­ered our pas­sion for dance and thought ‘this is more than just for fun and we might have the tal­ent to take it fur­ther’,’’ mem­ber Rahul Cho­pra says.

‘‘Mem­bers were in­ter­ested in the cul­ture of hip-hop based on what they’d learned grow­ing up in New Zealand. It’s how we came up with the name 50/50.

‘‘In the be­gin­ning peo­ple were scep­ti­cal.

‘‘They thought it’s not re­ally who we are, and they’re right we’re not pro­fes­sional hip-hop dancers.

‘‘It was mostly the older gen­er­a­tion who weren’t sure but I think it’s be­cause they couldn’t imag­ine what hip- hop is,’’ Mr Cho­pra says.

Most of the group are univer­sity stu­dents. A few are train­ing to be doc­tors and engi­neers and Mr Cho­pra is study­ing for an MBA.

A cou­ple of mem­bers have given up their day jobs to take up danc­ing full-time.

New Zealand’s Got Tal­ent was the first main­stream show they per­formed.

‘‘We’d been do­ing a lot of shows but never main­stream ones, we were sur­prised at how much peo­ple loved it,’’ he says.

Dur­ing the New Zealand’s Got Tal­ent com­pe­ti­tion they held dance work­shops around the coun­try.

Most of those who turned up to learn weren’t In­dian, Mr Cho­pra says.

‘‘Ki­wis pretty much love it. I would say they love it more than In­dian peo­ple do, we didn’t ex­pect that.’’

Next up the group would like to make a mu­sic video, Mr Cho­pra says.

Photo: EMMA WHIT­TAKER

Multi ta­lented: ‘‘Ki­wis pretty much love it,’’ crew mem­ber Rahul Cho­pra says. Go to cen­tral­leader. co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to watch the 50/50 Dance Crew per­form.

Fu­sion: The 50/50 Dance Crew are mak­ing waves with their blend of hip-hop, Bol­ly­wood, and Bha­gra.

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