Raising a Storm in the City

dance maestro

Raising a Storm in the City

German hip-hop artiste, choreographer and dance instructor Niels Robitzky, who is in the City for a series of workshops hosted by Max Mueller Bhavan, says that he can’t imagine himself being anything but a dancer. 

Popularly known as ‘Storm’, he adds, “I have been doing this for the past 32 years and I still love it, and can’t think of anything better to do with the rest of my life.” 

 Known for popping, locking and breaking, Storm says, “These are the styles of dance that I grew up with. When you find out there is something you know you are good at and you get recognised doing it, and you get an identity for it, you definitely will not stop doing it. Especially when it’s fun and is your passion.” 

He continues, “It started very young and innocently, like it does for everyone else, out of easy interest, like other people start to play soccer or cricket. But when you realise you can make a living out of your passion, that’s when you go all out.”

How did a 14-year-old kid pick up a skill that most people spend a lifetime training to perfect?

    “I just did it. It was learning by doing and learning by thinking. When you are learning by doing, you realise you are pretty good at it, and that it’s fun and then you learn pretty quick. By perceiving what works well for you, there is no reason to stop.”  
 Talking about his youth, he says, “Although I finished my school, I was never a good student. I think I wasn’t happy about the education the school had given me. By them trying to drill in me something I felt wasn’t necessary for my life after school and for my career that I had planned for myself (not that I had a whole picture of what I wanted to do) I realised certain things I learnt in there weren’t really relevant for me.” 

   He adds, “At the age of 14, I had decided I was going to go into an artistic field (I was never business-minded). It was always important for me to work, not just to work to pay the rent at the end of the month, but for something that could fulfill my needs. So the decision was made and I was happy. Education is more than just to become Germany’s next work force.”  

According to him, it is when people start to theorise dance that it starts to decline as an art form. “Every dance form goes through different phases. Usually, dance forms start as something social – people get together, have fun, it develops and gets established. With that sense of establishment comes theorisation of dance itself and usually the decline of a dance form. People think they can take shortcuts, use their heads more than their bodies, but it doesn’t really work that way,” he says.

This is the fourth time Storm is coming to Bangalore. 

    Talking about the City’s upcoming hip-hip scene, he says, “It is really developing here and what I like is that the social structure is very good. People come together, they share knowledge, dance and music, and it goes back to that celebration. And it’s my opinion that you grow the fastest when you do something that you love.” 

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