Article Archive

Darrio Phillips - Let's Dance

Author: Darryn King
Friday, 10 August 2007
Darrio Phillips is the man with the dance. He’s bringing it - and helping other people bring it - to the Urban Music Awards this Tuesday. 3D’s Darryn King tried to keep up.

You’ve choreographed and danced for a lot of artists - everyone from Peter Andre and Selwyn to Kylie Minogue and Madonna. Was there any performance that was particularly memorable for some reason-
Touring with Peter Andre supporting Bobby Brown (Humping Around Tour) was probably the most memorable due to the size of the production, the innovative nature of the choreography, the sense of improvisation in the show was a rush and really inspiring to me as an artist.

When you came to Australia in the early ’80s, you brought some new styles to dance: locking, popping and breaking. Could you briefly describe one of your favourite hip hop dance moves-
Pretty much it would be locking. It is very energetic, very expressive and was to hip hop dance what KRUMP is now. It was the very first breakthrough untraditional style.

You’re probably the hero of many high school students: you brought hip hop dance into Australian high schools as an acceptable style of dance for sport and physical education for the first time. Is this still happening and have you gotten any feedback-
Yeah. It’s been going now for about 17 years. A lot my students have gone on to dance in different projects with many living and dancing abroad. It’s broken down cultural boundaries far as dancing and hip hop culture in general giving students the confidence to go on into varied and different careers. Starting magazines, companies and taking on technical stage careers.

How long does it take to work out a dance, from start to finish- To devise the choreography and get the dancers dancing just right-
Maybe about two hours, with about a two-hour rehearsal. It really depends on how experienced the dancers are that you are working with. The more experience, the less time you have to spend explaining and learning chore.

If someone is reading this and wants to learn hip hop dance for themselves, what would you recommend they do-
Try to take as many classes as possible, from as many ‘good’ sources as possible. Start at a beginner’s level of things. It will be hard at first, but perseverance is key. I hate to sound cliché but practise practise practise… I teach classes in the city and Parramatta: check out my website!

Finally, the Urban Music Awards. What sort of dances should we look forward to-
This time is going to be RAW with a capital R! It’s all about freestyle, not choreography, using the style of B-boying and the new style of KRUMP. Multiculturalism, theatrics, storytelling and contributing to the party atmosphere. Communicating the ambience and violence of the street. We’re getting BUCK baby!

WHO: Darrio
WHAT: Urban Music Awards @ Luna Park
WHEN: Tuesday 14 August