The Red Bulletin June 2019



Kyoka Yamamoto confounds gravity in the Turned Over Chamber

formulated to deceive you

into seeing things that are

not really there.

A couple of years ago, while

walking around Tricklandia,

an idea struck Valko: “What if

I use this dream-like location

to create a dance video?” He

flew three of the world’s best

freestyle street dancers – Dassy

Lee, Angyil McNeal and Kyoka

Yamamoto – across the world

to perform their outstanding

choreographies amid its optical

illusions and misleading

scenarios. In the performance,

nothing is how it first appears

– it’s all in your head.

The Red Bulletin spoke to

director Valko and dancer Lee

about the process of creating

this magical spectacle and

introducing freestyle street

dance to a wider audience.

the red bulletin: What

inspired you to use

Tricklandia as a location?

valko: I first discovered

the experience with my kids.

There are just so many visual






elements there. My filming

style is to always be as weird

as possible, and I thought,

There are not many places

in the world like this. I have

to do something with it.”

How was the experience

of shooting in such a unique

and surreal location?

lee: It was awesome. There

are so many rooms that move

around you and look crazy.

It was difficult to dance

through, though; everything

is mirrored, so I was hitting

walls because I couldn’t see

where to go. We got pretty

nauseous dancing in there.

v: The illusions make you

feel dizzy when walking

through them. It feels like

they’re pulling you down,

and they disorientate you.

We used one room that’s

upside down, and one that’s

made entirely of mirrors –

even the crew were falling

about in there. There’s also a

‘never-ending room’; we knew

freestyle popping would look

really good in there, but it was

still hard to show on camera

just how crazy it actually was.

What’s freestyle popping?

l: It’s a street style of dance.

You use all of the muscles in

your body to contract with the

rhythm of the music. It can

look very robotic sometimes.

v: Most people don’t know

the difference between

popping and hip-hop dance.

It’s hard for a mainstream

audience to understand what

Valko’s film makes full use of Tricklandia’s illusionary installations

they are. In my opinion,

popping is way more difficult

than breaking, because it’s a

dance based on contractions.

You can practise popping like

crazy for a whole month and

not really see any progress.

With breakdance, you learn

a basic six-step and at the end

of a month you’ll know it,

even if it’s a bit sloppy. With

popping, you practise and

practise and still see nothing.

How important is the music

to your creative process?

v: It’s always the most

important point. Once I’ve

figured out the music, I can

start with everyone else. It

inspires me for what I’m going

to shoot. With this video, it

was different: I already had

my vision, which came from

the crazy location, so I just

needed to find the right

music to fit it.

l: It’s important to have

timing throughout the track

that is always changing – and

to have a strong beat. It’s all

about being able to use our

bodies to play with sound in

an authentic way.

How important was it to

feature three female dancers

in the video?

v: These girls are the best

poppers we have. They killed

it. They’re better than most

of the male dancers.

l: A lot of street dancing is

dominated by men. There

aren’t that many female

dancers. It was awesome to

see different styles of strong

women dancing in one dope

video. If we can show this

more, maybe we can inspire

more women to come and

give it a go. It will show

people there are lots of

different types of dancer

you can be as a woman.

Watch the full Tricklandia

performance at



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