Interview: Duwane Taylor - back Into the Hoods

Tuesday 26 April 2016 by Carmel Smith

Duwane Taylor

In 2006, young North Londoner Duwane Taylor saw the first version of Zoonation’s hit show Into the Hoods – and knew that he wanted to dance. Ten years and a lot of hard work later – he’s a versatile performer, winning prizes for his expertise in Krump; he’s danced with Boy Blue Entertainment; formed his own company, Buckness Personified – and is a Zoonation regular. Next week the company are back at The Peacock with Into the Hoods: Remixed

What do you remember about that experience of seeing Into the Hoods for the first time?
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.

Was Wolf the part you would have wanted to play then?
Definitely. When I first watched the show Kenrick Sandy was the Wolf and, as quite a tall dancer, he was someone I could relate to. His stage presence was incredible. I thought it was a part that would eventually be great to play, even though at the time I didn’t consider it a possibility.

How did you go about learning to dance?
I trained in ballet and contemporary at Barnet College in North London. After college, a friend of mine would teach me street dance technique and choreography. Eventually I started going to classes and joined a crew and company.

Have you been doing any special training leading up to the next run of Into the Hoods: Remixed?
No special training, but I’m constantly training physically and mentally, trying to better myself as a dancer.

Into The Hoods: Remixed wowed audiences and critics at The Peacock last year, with several five star reviews – and has since been touring the UK. Is there a particular venue you’ve enjoyed performing at?
It’s been a tiring but great tour, good audiences, really receptive. I really enjoyed performing in Manchester’s HOME theatre. It’s a new venue and was quite intimate, so you could really feel the energy of the audience.

You’re one of the UK’s foremost krump dancers and choreographers. Krump is very expressive, technical, aggressive style. Can you tell us a little about its origins, and what draws you to it?
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 think that’s what draws me to it so much.
Any dancers you look to for inspiration?
Tight Eye and Mijo, the creators of krump, are a very strong source of inspiration for me.

Krump is a very male dance form. What are you aiming to achieve with your all-female dance crew?
When I created Buckness Personified the aim was to inspire females in a male dominated style. To show that girls can do it just as well as guys and use their femininity as a form of strength.

Where can people learn krump in London?
They can like Buckness Personified on Facebook, as there will be a few workshops coming up!

What do you like best about living and working in London?
It’s an amazing city full of life. I’ve lived here all my life and seen the good and bad side of the city. I accept its flaws, as well as the opportunity it presents.

Zoonation – Into the Hoods: Remixed
The Peacock, 4 – 21 May

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