You can imagine my slight astonishment when I found out that a comedy dance crew by the name of s**t kingz had agreed to an interview. What awaited me?
I shouldn’t have worried. I was greeted by four cheerful, easy-going Japanese people who seemed very excited to visit the country.
As we sat, tea in hand, I tried to figure out what this crew was all about. Before they start talking about their activities, I needed to ask: where does the name come from?
“It comes from the Japanese word shikkin, which means peeing your pants (accidentally, of course)! We chose this because we wanted people to pee in shock to see our performance,” said the team leader who goes by the name “Shoji”.
But, of course, it was a swear word in Japanese and forbidden, so they chose the next best thing: an English word that sounds the same. “We never imagined that we would play abroad. So now it’s a dirty word all over the world! Shoji explained laughing.
This dance group was created 10 years ago. Nine years ago, they were among singer Mariah Carey’s backup dancers. From there, they alternate performances at home and internships abroad, teaching dance.
“We have taught dance in over 20 countries,” continues Shoji, a bubbly chef who is responsible for staging and promoting the group.
There has been an increase in the number of project collaborations in recent years, including participation in the Hermes Fashion Show, a performance at the West Gigantic City Land Festival, and Sony’s Motion Project.
“We never imagined that we would have so many different opportunities. The fact that we got to collaborate with a huge fashion and technology company was really fun,” said “Oguri”, another member of the team. .
It’s remarkably modest with a guy-next-door vibe. I discovered later that he had also collaborated with Jillian Meyers, assistant choreographer of The Earth.
The list of collaborations is long.
This group has had four different theatrical performances so far. An interesting characteristic of their style seems to be constant humor – not taking themselves too seriously by taking their fame lightly. This is reflected in the titles of their shows, such as Wonderful clunkerwhich has a toilet as a stage, WEEKDAY GAME DAYand THIS SHOW IS SHIT.
Their playful way of doing things is mixed with the influence of old-school entertainment. As Shoji explained, “We’re influenced by classic comedy and musicals, like Charlie Chaplin. The reason is that, sure, they perform well, but they’re fun to watch. We wanted to bring that kind of entertainment back in 2018 style.”
Now on their 10th anniversary, this group continues to aim as high as ever.
It seems clear that year 10 is a time to reflect on what they want for the future, which is also reflected in the project they are currently working on: The library.
Shoji explained the reason for choosing this theme, “We’ve done four shows so far. Thinking about it, this time we chose the theme of the library, because it is a place where we find knowledge for the future.
This time, the project involved a collaboration with starRo, the Grammy-nominated music producer.
So, I asked the team leader, what’s next for this ambitious dance crew?
“We have taught abroad, but we have never performed abroad. Ours is a non-verbal humorous dance performance. When we perform in Japan, the audience ranges from young children to octogenarians who come to laugh and dance together. We want to bring our show all over the world.
Basically, as team member “Kazuki” explained, “Our performance has nothing to do with what language you speak, so we want people from all over to come see our show. Come on!”
They broke down in a collective laugh, and I walked away thinking: they really are onto something with their ironic and fun way of doing things.
We’ll see if they can get their break overseas. In the meantime, be sure to catch their shows in Tokyo to find out for yourself.
Show title: s**t kingz “The Library” Japan Tour 2018, Tokyo Final
When: November 21-23
Where: Tokyo International Forum, Hall C
Tickets can be purchased at:
Further information can be found here.
Author: Arielle Busetto