x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Trixerz Crew turning heads of shoppers at Dubai Mall

The band of 16 young men and women give a dazzling display of modern street dance styles the likes of which are a rare sight in the Emirates.

Basel 'Biso' Kassem of Syria, left, and Alaa Ahmad, a Palestinian, do the techtonic dance while their friends watch during the demonstration around Dubai Mall.
Basel 'Biso' Kassem of Syria, left, and Alaa Ahmad, a Palestinian, do the techtonic dance while their friends watch during the demonstration around Dubai Mall.

DUBAI // A group of 16 young men and women are dancing up a storm at Dubai Mall, garnering even more attention than the shopping centre's dancing fountains with moves unlike anything most of the onlookers have seen before.

With the fountains as a backdrop the ensemble performs styles including break, pop, lock and krump. The Trixerz Crew bring the very latest in dance moves from the streets of the Americas and Europe to the Emirates. The group are not part of the mall's entertainment programme. They are just a group of friends who love to dance - and do so for free.

The break dancers Wadie Ghaith, a 17-year-old Syrian, and Nassim Yesli, a 20-year-old from Algeria, formed the Trixerz Crew three months ago with the aim of combining different styles and incorporating them into an entertaining collage of dizzying dance moves to thrill those who gather to watch.

"When we dance people tell us they have never seen moves like that before," Wadie said. "They clap, dance along with us, take our pictures and laugh. We love dancing and we love performing and we love dazzling people."

Where other Dubai dance crews concentrate on one type of dance, the Trixerz incorporate several styles, working together in a crowd-drawing display that has led to them being hired by businesses to help them promote a product.

"We started out knowing that all types of dance could be incorporated," Wadie said. "Our crew are made up of break dancers, techtonic dancers, poppers and all types. Any style of dance can be brought together. Even ballet fits in with us but we haven't been approached by ballet dancers yet."

To build the crew, the founders looked for dancers around Dubai and Sharjah and picked not only the very best performers as they saw them but those with an interest in learning how to dance as well.

"The most important thing we were looking for was a love to dance, a willingness to learn and a friendly personality," Wadie said. "We are one big family. We spend most of our free time together and we really care about one another."

With the Trixerz Crew there is no boastful attitude, no demeaning the dancers who are still learning. The sense of camaraderie and caring is evident in how they interact with one another and how they work together to improve their own skills and those of anyone with a love for dance.

Among the early recruits was Basel "Biso" Kassem, a 17-year-old from Syria who is a techtonic dancer. He had seen the style of dance on YouTube four years ago and was immediately drawn to it. Standing in front of his bedroom mirror for hours at a time, he taught himself the dance and now teaches others.

"Your arms and hands chase each other in a circular motion around your head and body as it undulates," Basel said. "It's a lot of work on the joints but when you get it right it looks amazing. It's not very difficult to learn but you have to develop co-ordination and practice a lot."

He began teaching Mohammed "Adham" al Qedra, an 18-year-old Palestinian, the techtonic technique four months ago. Although not currently a member of the group, Mohammed is working towards that goal and hopes to join soon.

"Techtonic dancing is all about the music and acting out the beat," Mohammed said. "You concentrate on the bass and as the bass goes low, your body goes lower and with the higher beats, you move faster. It's great exercise."

Herman Eskedal, 17, was visiting Dubai from Norway when he saw the group performing at Deira City Centre and was immediately drawn in. A professional break dancer with several years' experience, he introduced himself and asked if he could dance with the group, who embraced him immediately, until he had to go back to his homeland.

"They welcomed me in and let me dance with them," Herman said. "They treated me as a friend."

ealghalib@thenational.ae