Hip-hop dream of "D-FREEZE"

12:03, March 18, 2011      

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Members of the hip-hop team "D-FREEZE" show a free dance movement in Nantong, east China's Jiangsu Province, March 10, 2011.(Xinhua Photo/ Huang Zhe)

When I was eight, in my hometown, a Chinese black-and-white movie was on show in the cinema, which showed me bikes, chopsticks, Siheyuan, or the traditional quadrangles in Beijing, and many other things that I'd never seen before. Attracted deeply by these things, I began to look forward to the country called by the elderly people as our "best friend".

In 2007, I had the honor to be admitted to the International Institute of Education at Nantong University. In three years there, I not only learned Chinese, but also got in touch with Chinese traditional cultures in the form of Xiang Sheng (cross talk), Shun Kou Liu (Chinese jingles) and Tai Chi with the help of my teachers and classmates.

They were so interesting, knowledgeable and skilled. I wished I could stay in China to work so that I could have more chances to know its people, although my family and friends couldn't understand it.

During these years, I have made lots of Chinese friends of the same age as me. Among them, "D-FREEZE", a Chinese hip-hop team, impressed me deeply.

Besides their fashionable dressing and amazing skills, I was moved by a sentence on the wall in their house, "Keep your dreams, they will come true someday".

"They are the cool guys," I thought to myself. Through our contact, I came to know that the dream of these young people who were born in the 1990s is to introduce the American hip-hop culture into Chinese traditional culture, and then show the characters of the Chinese culture in a new way.

The team, founded in 2007, has ten members: Da Xia, the only "post 80's", Wang Di, Du Xian, Wang Yang, Liu Jie, Zhang Tong, Yang Jiawei, Li Bin, Bao Zi and Liu Sijia. Though the team is young, they have already participated in the 9th Asian Culture Art Festival, Changshu International Art Festival and other big shows. They have won prizes across China.

Da Xia's real name is Xue Yuhua. He comes from Qidong, Jiangsu Province in east China. An Art Design major graduate from Jiangsu Drama School, he is the leader of this team. After graduation in 2006, he worked as a designer in an advertisement company.

At the same time, he started his dancing career. Some members of "D-FREEZE" were trained by him. He is good at not only dancing, but also photography, image designing and video filming. He made the logo and videos of the team by himself.

He said the team would develop into a Culture and Media Company to realize their dreams in many forms. Wang Di and Du Xian fell in love with each other out of their love for hip-hop. They are the captain and performance brokers.

Du Xian is from Nanjing, and her experiences far exceeds her age, 19. She learned gymnastics in Shanghai Physical Vocation Technology Collage. In 2002, she took part in the Shanghai sports team as a gymnast. In 2005, she left the team for Nanjing to treat the sprain in her muscle. After the recovery, she started to learn dancing from Wang Dongchen, the best B-BOY in China. And she came to top eight in a world dancing game.

In 2009, she met Wang Di, a B-BOY from Nantong, Jiangsu, who also joined the game in Shanghai. Then they fell in love with each other.

Together, they founded "D-FREEZE" in Nantong. Just like any other lovers, they also quarrel with each other, but they would come back to good terms when they dance.

Wang Yang is 20, yet he looks much more mature than other boys of his age. He wears a pair of big black-frame glasses, just like Matt Damon in the movie "The Talented Mr. Ripley". He learned to dance in a dancing school in Zhangjiagang for three years. He has solid trainings in ballet and ballroom dancing. His diligence is much to my admiration.

Once he got a fever at 39 degrees centigrade. However, he did not stop to rest but just kept practicing the movements till the end. Their rent of their dancing studio averages at 30,000 yuan per year.

In daily life, Liu Jie works in a car beauty shop. Yang Jiawei helps his family with fruit wholesales.

Bao Zi is a salesman in a pub. Zhang Tong works as a mechanic in a machinery factory.

Wang Yang and Wang Di work in a logistics company. They all have their day jobs. However, they race against the clock to dance 3 to 5 hours per day. Most of their income is spent on the rent and for dancing. They said whatever it takes, they would just dance in their own style.

Unlike many other more traditional hip-hop teams, "D-FREEZE" is much more interested in mixing the American hip-hop culture and Chinese traditional culture together in an effort to show the collision as well as fusion between the East and the West, using their collective wisdom at a time of China's internationalization and the globalization of Chinese culture. To achieve this goal, they go to many communities and into many cultures to learn Beijing Opera, Haian Huagu, waist drum dancing and Tai Chi.

Da Xia told me how hard it was to do this. It is a big challenge to combine the powerful hip-hop movements with the smooth Beijing Opera style.

Now they have already created three kinds of authentic original dance, and have been well received in some performance in Nantong. Invited by a performing arts company in Nanjing, "D-FREEZE" will soon put on a debut performance in cooperation with other nine Chinese hip-hop teams in Turkey. Now they are training day and night to present an amazing show.

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