Kiwi hip hop dance crew The Bradas of Identity Dance Company (IDCO) have won gold two times in a row at the Hip Hop International competition, most recently at the championships in San Diego on August 10. Now the crew has starred in a massive campaign for Steinlager Tokyo Dry, where the group were flown to Tokyo to dance on its iconic streets and demonstrate the fusion of Japanese and Kiwi culture.
Josh Cesan is IDCO Director and a dancer who was part of the crew who filmed in Japan. He talks to us about their rise to fame.
You guys are two time world champions. How does that feel?
It feels amazing, I think all the boys had a huge expectation that it was gonna be hard, and there was a lot of pressure going in as champions, but we went through with it. I worked with the boys to get ready for the championships, it was an awesome time.
What do you think it takes to be the best?
Hard work, passion and perserverance. And a bit of rhythm when it comes to dancing!
How did it come about that you guys were picked to be a part of the Steinlager Tokyo Dry campaign?
We actually got approached through a friend who heard about the campaign, and we were told it was going to be in a pretty futuristic style, so the Steinlager team thought of us because of our kind of futuristic almost robotic style of dancing. After they came to us, we met with the creative team, had a few catch ups to nut it out and managed to come to the final end concept which became the ad. I’m super happy we got to do it, I feel super lucky.
What was it like filming in Japan?
Tokyo is amazing, definitely one for the bucket list. We were with an awesome crew over there, a few Kiwis, a few Australians and some Japanese guys. The location and culture is so rich, and the food was a super highlight for me! We got to do really cool stuff for the filming but our time there was pretty chocka as we had to go straight from filming that to world champs.
How did you feel the ad turned out?
I’m stoked with it, and I think for a dancer to look back on his work and be really stoked with it, that means a lot. It’s not just us that created it, the animators, directos and crew all play a part in making it what it is. But we’ve had good feedback from our community and peers so that’s awesome, I don’t know how it could have been better.
Did you guys do the choreography for the campaign?
Yes we did! As the director of IDCO, I took it on and hashed out the creative aspect of the ad and a few of the concepts, then I divied the choreography amongst the boys to work on. We all have our own styles and in the piece of music for the campaign, there were a few different styles so it made sense to do it as a team. We like to work collaboriatively!
What’s next for IDCO? Do you want to do more commercial projects like this?
We have lots coming up with boys going to India and Fiji, we’re working on another big project which I can’t say too much about at this stage, and hopefully a show next year. We’d absolutely love to do more commercial projects, I loved the collaboration between the different artists, film makers and animators so if it can always be this cool with other projects then definitely keen.
The full Steinlager Tokyo Dry ad starring The Bradas can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8LvNDJkI_8
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