For my wife’s birthday this year, I bought tickets to the 2013 Soulplex Dance Competition right here at the Theater am Aegi in Hannover, Germany. Soulplex brings together dance groups from all over Europe, and the winner gets €2,500 Euros. This year, competing teams came from France, Belgium, the UK, the Netherlands and Germany — most of whom were teenagers or young adults. And I gotta be honest with you; if I tried even one of the high-speed dance moves these kids pulled off, I would pull a muscle, rupture a disk and paralyze myself before the music even started.
Before I describe the actual performances themselves, I’d like to begin by pointing out the 3 things I noticed upon entering the Aegi theater:
- Beer is allowed inside the auditorium. Beer, wine, liquor — whatever the hell — you can bring your indulgence of choice right to your seat. This is all business as usual for my wife and her German compatriots, but for an American expat living in Germany? This shit just never gets old! I love it! I must have hit the concession stand like 4 times for brew doggies, and the only drawback was having to make an equal number of hasty exits to the bathroom: “C’mon kidneys! Don’t fail me now!”
- The audience is comprised entirely of teenagers. When my wife and I walked into the auditorium, we discovered a pulsating, undulating hive of high school students. And they stank. Oh my God, this unwashed horde smelled like cotton candy and swamp ass. In every sweaty, sticky claw was a bottle of Coke and a bag full of Haribo gummy candies, and not one of these little monsters had taken a shower that day. So please, if you own one of these things, I beg you; make it wear deodorant. Shame it if you have to. Rub perfume samples under its armpits if you must. Just don’t let it group together with its friends inside a crowded theater, because when these things swarm, they sully they very air we breathe.
- Young girls scream like banshees. I kid you not, from the time the show started until it ended, there were girls screaming at the top of their lungs. They cried the names of their friends on stage and howled for their favorite teams, and none more loudly than the gaggle of hell-geese sitting immediately to our left. They shouted the name of one team in particular: Entourage (spelled ‘En2rage‘). But they didn’t just shout out, “Entourage!” like one might reasonably expect. They screeched the name, so it sounded more like, “AHNTOHRAGE! OH MY GOD, AAAHHHNNTOOORAAAAHHHGGE!” Now, I want you to imagine the veins popping out of their foreheads. Arteries just barely managing to contain the surge of pubescent wildfire coursing through their bodies. That’s how zealous they were about it. The sound was so grating I was sure their throats would give out — vocal cords exploding from their mouths like those snake-in-a-can practical jokes… oh, that would have been beautiful.
The show began with a scruffy-looking guy with dreadlocks as the MC. He rattled off some German and then introduced the judges. There were 3 of them, and they came from American and Canada. The judges performed solo routines, and then each team — no larger than 20 people — performed their routines in turn. The Wife and I wanted a team called ‘TOCSICK‘ to win. TOCSICK came from the Netherlands, and they were all girls. They wore white t-shirts, black pants and black lipstick. To be perfectly honest with you, they scared us a little. But they were awesome. Their routine seemed to be a mix of Hip-Hop and African dance, and I say that with absolutely no idea what I am talking about. They won 3rd place, but everyone in that auditorium knew they deserved 1st. The crowd went nuts for them and the other dancers got on the ground and bowed down to them. Literally. See if you can spot them in the video below.
This video captures snippets of each performance in chronological order, followed by the 3 finalist teams performing one more time for the judges. See if you can find the following: screaming girls about to blow out their voice boxes; our favorite team TOCSICK kicking ass; the founder of Soulplex, Darren Drake Baldric, proposing to his girlfriend; and the super queer routine by ‘Tom2Rock‘ with the blinking LED lights (that one was hilarious).
Would you like to see another one of our videos? Check out the 2013 Hannover Oktoberfest.
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