Electro dance or Tecktonik is a frenetic and quirky form of street dance which is typically performed to electro house music. It is based on, although is not limited to, a blend of different dance styles, such as Industrial, Disco, Vogue, Waacking, Hip-Hop and Freehand Glowsticking.
It started in the 2000s and originated from the southern suburbs of Paris, France, mainly from the Metropolis nightclubs and has grown around the world. Fast-paced techno and electro house music imported from Northern Europe is the usual choice for Tecktonik dancing.
View the video “Electro Street Paris 2010” Film by IAKO
Electro dance is predominantly about arm movement, taking basic elements from glowsticking such as the concept of Freehand, the Figure 8 and the idea of the Leading Hand (one hand geometrically following the other), while staying very much in a disco tastes, by amplifying points and poses as a main aspect to this style.
Down below Electro dancers tend to use their hips, knees and feet to gently shuffle across the floor in beat to the music, quite often in a random and jerky fashion.
They also tend to include elements of toprock, B-boy-like footwork, lending to the hip hop-like influences in a lot of the electro house music.
The video “A Little Message” features Electro dancers Celzidor, Jaker and Vyrus from Romania. By Celzidor Productions.
The creators of the Tecktonik brand (most notably, Cyril Blanc, the artistic director of Metropolis) sell official products, such as clothes, Matts CDs, and energy drinks. In 2002, Cyril Blanc and Alexandre Barouzdin organize “Tecktonik Killer” parties under their project called “Tecktonik Events” whose purpose was to promote in France two styles of music who originated in Belgium and The Netherlands: hardstyle and jumpstyle. This project foresaw, in the Metropolis nightclub, the creation of three types of parties where DJs from the hardstyle genre would meet: Blackout evenings, Electro Rocker evenings and Tecktonik Killer evenings. Cyril explained that the name Tecktonik is a pun on the theory of tectonic plates.
Along with Tecktonik Killer parties, Cyril and Alexandre created, with the help of designers and sales staff, symbols that would surround the phenomenon : neon colors, mittens, tight clothing, etc. Given the success of these evenings, Cyril Blanc files the patents of “Tecktonik” and “TCK” marks at the National Industrial Property Institute (INPI), and internationally in 2007 to prevent other clubs to promote their parties using their trademark. Clubs must obtain permission from Cyril Blanc and Alexandre Barouzdin to use the term “Tecktonik” or “TCK”. Many products derived from these evenings are then created including compilations, a clothing brand, energy drinks, etc. Two other clubs in Paris then took over the Metropolis club: the Mix Club and the Red Light.
Tecktonik has enjoyed increasing success and has spread to France through gatherings in the street and videos available on the Internet. During 2007, the media became more and more interested in the phenomenon, further contributing to its popularity.
The dance is known to the general public by appearing in videos, including Alive by Mondotek, A cause des Garçons of Yelle, Sucker of Dim Chris or artists such as Lorie. In September 2007, the Techno Parade has helped to establish the increasing visibility of Tecktonik.
In November 2007, TF1 became the official international agency for Tecktonik, with the aim of promote the brand outside of France.
Electro dance has seen radical change recently; the moves that once defined “tecktonik” are almost gone, changed due to innovators such as Vertifight (a brand that promotes Electro Dance events all around the world). Vertifight is a global movement to support this dance style and connect communities of dancers. Dancers are welcome to join their site, participate in discussions on their forum, and discover local Electro dance events and groups.
With the global popularity of using video to promote dance, various Electro dance videos of artists from around the world can be found on YouTube and other video sharing platforms.
This Videodance features the Electro Dancers Yarus and Looney Boy from Moscow, Russia. Created by YAK Films.
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By Dawn Paap