Duwane Taylor – interview Into the Hoods: Remixed, Peacock Theatre

Published: Monday, May 16, 2016 3:43 PM | Interview by Uchenna Izundu
Duwane Taylor – interview Into the Hoods: Remixed, Peacock Theatre Duwane Taylor – interview Into the Hoods: Remixed, Peacock Theatre

As one of six contributing choreographers of the spintastic hip-hop narrative Into the Hoods: Remixed (read review), which boasts new faces and a fresh soundtrack, Duwane Taylor’s love of dance started as a teenager as he studied ballet and contemporary dance at Barnet College in north London. An award winning Krump dancer, his repertoire over the past ten years spans film, theatre, and the London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony where he was the assistant dance captain and a performer.


The 6”4 dancer’s specialities span hip-hop, locking, popping, house, krumping, freestyle, and commercial dance. A busy man, Taylor’s diary extends to running Buckness Personified, a female Krump crew that reached the semi-finals on Sky’s TV show Got to Dance.


Talk about coming full circle: what did you see in the first incarnation of Into the Hoods in 2006 that inspired you to dance?


It was an amazing show: there wasn't anything like it at the time. It showed me what was possible through hip-hop theatre and the level it could reach. At the time I was already dancing but not taking it that seriously. The show made me believe it was possible to make it as a professional dancer, especially within hip-hop.


What inspiration have you drawn upon to play the Wolf? How would you describe the Wolf's journey through the production?


Into the Hoods is a fun, family-friendly show. Because it's made for all ages, it’s relatable to different generations - everyone can enjoy it.

The Wolf is a dark, dodgy music producer and manager of record label 'Big Teef' Records. I draw inspiration for his character from Suge Knight (the American co-founder and former CEO of Death Row Records). We also experimented with the character changing into an actual wolf, stalking his prey.


It has taken 10 years to come to this point in your career. What advice would you give your 16-year-old self who was inspired by Into the Hoods?


SAVE! And take care of your body. I wouldn't take anything back: each experience has made me the dancer I am today.


Why do you think that Into the Hoods has proved to be so popular and been revived several times at Peacock Theatre?


Into the Hoods is a fun, family-friendly show. Because it's made for all ages, it’s relatable to different generations - everyone can enjoy it.


How would you describe the state of the UK Krump dance scene? What needs to be done to raise the profile of female Krump dancers?


Krump originated in LA in late 1999/early 2000. Its foundations lie in chest pops, arms swing/jabs and stomps. Krump has evolved over the past few years, with a wider vocabulary and influences from many different street dance disciplines. The style has a lot of energy, and its foundational principle is freedom of expression and creativity.


I always try and push boundaries through dance in every way possible, especially through my choreography. I want the audience to come away having been touched by my performances or pieces in some way.

The UK Krump scene is in a much better place than it was; there is more support and unity and people are becoming more open-minded to other ways Krump can be presented. The female Krump movement is growing. This was the reason Buckness Personified was formed, to get more females into Krump, and I'm proud to say we've had a massive hand in that.


Who have been your role models in your performance career and why?


I draw inspiration from many different dancers and choreographers worldwide. Tight Eye and Mijo, the creators of Krump, are a strong source of inspiration for me.


Where have you tried to push boundaries in your dance and what has driven that? What do you want the audience to come away with?


I always try and push boundaries through dance in every way possible, especially through my choreography. I want the audience to come away having been touched by my performances or pieces in some way. Whether it be an emotion or a message, I like the audience to think and feel, as well as being entertained.



Info: Into the Hoods is at the Peacock Theatre until May 21, 2016 | Book tickets | Read review




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