Monthly Archives: May 2016

Hip Hop Dance Queen Parris Goebel shines in “Born To Dance

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Parris Goebel is the reigning queen of the international hip hop dance scene. The triple award-winning dancer and choreographer from New Zealand has several times won the world championships with her The Royal Family megacrew and famed all-female crew ReQuest at competitions held in the U.S. Her explosive, exact and erotically charged movement style pulsates with the rhythms of Maori and Polynesian dance traditions she learned growing up in Auckland: hip hop as ancestral soul.

Jennifer Lopez, who saw Goebel dance on video, was so impressed by her elbow-popping, foot-stomping, hip-circling moves she hired the 23-year-old diamond-toothed Kiwi with the bleached blonde hair to choreograph her 2012 Dance Again world tour. Since then, Goebel has worked with Canada’s Cirque du Soleil, choreographing its 2013 Michael Jackson tribute show in Las Vegas, hip hop’s Missy Elliott and Korean pop star, Taeyang. An electrifying performer in her own right, Goebel danced with J-Lo on the season 11 finale of American Idol and appeared in the fifth installment of the U.S dance film franchise, Step Up. Earlier this year, Goebel choreographed Nicki Minaj’s PinkPrint tour and a video for Beyoncé.

Parris Goebel

Her latest venture is Born to Dance, New Zealand’s first hip hop dance film, directed by actor Tammy Davis of Whale Rider and Black Sheep fame from a script by acclaimed Maori writer Hone Kouka, Steve Barr and Casey Whelan. Goebel choreographed the energized dance sequences performed by members of her own Palace Dance Studios, including Tia-Taharoa Maipi making his screen debut as Tu, the film’s dance-mad male lead. Goebel dances herself in one sequence in which she raunchily fronts a female crew that decimates the men in a forward-charge dance battle.

Look at those smiling faces, those adoring eyes, all focused on you. You are a hip hop dance role model! What does that mean to you?

When you work so hard at something you gain a profile, and there are pros and cons associated with that. I get a lot of attention and sometimes it’s hard for me to really handle that. You don’t really know what to do when everyone’s looking at you. But the positive thing about that is being able to reach and touch kids from all over the world. I didn’t aim to be a role model or someone that people want to look up to. That wasn’t my goal. But to be in this position now I have this responsibility to tell the kids and to show the kids that no matter where you are from, what you look like or what age you are, you can do whatever it is you want to do if you put your mind to it. I just feel this huge responsibility about doing that. So it’s more than the fame. It’s hoping that kids will look at me and say, ‘If she can do it then I can do it, too.’

Why hip hop and not any other form of dance?
It just spoke to me. I believe that we are all born with a purpose and I was born to do this. It definitely is it. It’s so effortless to me. I do enjoy other styles but for me hip hop is in my blood. The first time I took a hip hop class I just lit up. I’ll never forget it. It was like love at first sight. When I went to that first class, I was like, ‘This is what I love, and I’m going to do it.’ I was only 10 but I just knew. It was like a switch went off, and I will never forget that feeling. Knowing all of a sudden that this is what you were born to do is a very cool feeling and no one can give that you. No one can tell you that this is something you need to do. You’ve got to discover that in yourself.

Tell me about being a female in the hip hop industry. Does it pose challenges?
 I mean being a female is a challenge in itself. I talk to women all over the world about this, actually, and when I come across specific women who are also similar to me in the sense of trying to get somewhere with their talent, I always connect with them on this, and they always express to me how hard it is to really make a name for themselves or get a job. Even just to make noise in the industry is hard for a female, for some reason. But I feel it is like that with anything – sport, art, business. A woman just has to work a lot harder just to make noise and get herself noticed. That’s my personal opinion, anyway.

Now that you are making noise, how are people in your industry reacting?
For me to be in this position is really cool – you know, like? I’m really comfortable where I’m at in the sense of feeling like people are really paying attention to what I’m doing, what I’m saying. I’m in a position where, whatever I do, people are going to watch and they’re going to listen, whether they like hip hop or not. So that’s an amazing power to have, and I know that I can change the world with that power. It was a struggle at the beginning. But now, at this age, and at this time of my life, I really don’t feel the struggle any more. I’m in a really confident place where I worked hard as a female and where people, when they think of strong females in the hip hop industry, think of me. I’m really happy about that.

How did New Zealand, of all places, become an epicentre of the world-wide hip hop dance culture?
When I was growing up, hip hop wasn’t as popular but I worked really hard to make it so. I opened a studio to give an opportunity for other kids to shine. I’ve poured my heart and soul into my studio and the kids who dance there. I teach my kids to work really hard and to be the best they can be. So for me their best is good enough. And their best so happens to be the best in the world. Which is crazy, right? But being the best in the world doesn’t really matter. As long as it’s their best. That’s always the goal. But it is really cool that they’ve reached a level where they’re kind of like killing the game internationally.

Parris Goebel

How did you first get the attention of Jennifer Lopez, Cirque du Soleil and other artists who have hired you to choreograph their shows?
All through YouTube, actually. I would say that 90 percent of my work has been booked through YouTube. I’m a YouTube baby. Like, I was born into that, and my involvement in the industry basically has come from me posting my work on YouTube. You know, ‘Hey, this is me. I’m Parris. This is my style.’ And then I started getting a following, and my postings went viral, and artists started to pay attention.


Born To Dance
is released and distributed by CAPTIVE CINEMA.I know you didn’t write Born to Dance but how much does the film, about a hip hop dancer who first gains attention on YouTube, mirror your own experience?
Not intensely, but I can relate to him. I’m also a young kid from New Zealand with a dream to make it in dance, so this is also my story. Before all this, before sitting here and being able to talk about myself as a successful person, 10 years ago I was just a young girl in New Zealand with a dream, a stereo in her room and a mirror, you know? No one knew my name.

Born to Dance showcases that style of yours. How do you think audiences outside New Zealand will react to the film?
I think people will love it. I mean, it’s hard not to like it, you know? Like, it’s for everyone. It’s for all ages, all ethnicities. And everyone can relate to it because everyone has a dream and a lot of people do come from nothing and make something of themselves. And everyone loves dance and on top of it is this growing fascination with New Zealand. People are drawn to our country, our culture and our talent. So I know for a fact that this film will do very well.

And how will it impact the future of hip hop dance, do you think?
I hope it’s going to do something cool. For me, the goal was to choreograph it in a fresh and innovative way not seen in a dance movie before. I wanted to take it from a different angle, and I did that. I hope that other artists and dancers who will be watching will be inspired to try something new as well. I for one have always wanted to dance my own path.

SHOWING MAY 25. NATIONWIDE!

‘Royal Family’ World Hip Hop Champion ‘Tia Taharoa Maipi’ stars in Born To Dance

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Born To Dance, a dance flick hits Philippine cinemas, starring Stan Walker, Kherington Payne and Parris Goebel. Sharing the screen with these international talents is newcomer Royal Family member Tia-Taharoa Maipi in his big screen debut.

He plays Tu, an ambitious young man from an underprivileged Auckland suburb, dreams of being a professional hip-hop dancer. When his father, a Sergeant in the New Zealand Army, issues an ultimatum-find a purpose in life by the end of the summer or enlist – Tu decides that dance is his way out. After being offered a chance to try out for K-Crew, a prestigious international dance group, Tu must juggle the pressures of his grueling job, his demanding father and turn his back on his South Auckland crew. Things become further complicated when he falls for Sasha, the girlfriend of K-Crew’s malicious leader, Kane. Tu is devastated when he learns that the whole audition process has been a scam to steal the best moves from dancers across Auckland and create animosity within the other teams. In a final stance, Tu will unite his old crew and his new friends, to battle their way into nationals and face K-Crew in the finals.

This was your first acting role, tell us about the experience?
This was my first time acting, the experience was challenging but exciting. It definitely pushed me past my boundaries and out of my comfort zone which is a good thing because that’s where you grow. It was life changing.

How would you describe your character Tu and were you able to relate to him?
Tu is a young Maori boy who has a passion for dance, he loves it and all he wants to do is dance. I was able to relate to him a lot because we love the same thing — I first started off dancing. I’m a Maori boy and he’s a Maori boy. There were times when I was reading the script where I would say to myself ‘I remember this, this has happened to me before’. It was a good thing, but it could also be a bad thing with having too much similarities with the character because you kind of get too attached and used to yourself and turn into the character, so you just have to separate the differences.

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What do you hope people will take away from the film, Born To Dance?
Mainly that if you chase your dreams, you can do it. I come from a small town and I never would have thought that I would be in a movie but if you commit to the work and chase your dreams, the outcome will be there.

You’ll be used to the world stage as a member of The Royal Family (World Hiphop Champions) but what’s it like seeing yourself on the big screen?
The first time I saw it was a couple of days ago, and it didn’t feel too out of place — I have no idea why but I felt comfortable. Everyone did a great job and I enjoyed it. There was a few scenes where I had to look away but I overall enjoyed it.

How did you discover your passion for acting?
It all started off with a dance audition where we were all auditioning for a dance role in the movie. A handful of us got picked to audition as a character. When I first heard there was acting roles, I wasn’t too interested as acting wasn’t at all in the picture of my life but I gave it a go and then I enjoyed it and felt comfortable. I was up against a lot of my friends and a lot of professional actors, so it was a privilege to get the call that I had got the role. It was all in fun going up against all my friends.

Who did you get along with best on set?
Everyone was great, from the costume crew to the camera crew to the makeup crew. Everyone was ultra-friendly and it was great to catch up with everyone at the screening earlier this week.

What was your favourite scene to film?
Definitely the finale scene where we all get together and dance, that was my highlight. When it comes to dance, I’m in my element and I’m more comfortable and ready to kill it. Some of my family came and had a taster of what I had been working on for a few months.

What’s your ultimate career dream?
I still haven’t decided yet but I’m definitely keen to keep on acting because I enjoy it. I’m going to see what the future holds.

What’s coming up next?
We’re touring with Stan Walker in Australia later this year, currently training for that. I’m looking forward to it.

Born To Dance is in cinemas May 25.

Released and distributed by CAPTIVE CINEMA.

FANTASY ADVENTURE “THE BFG” LAUNCHES NEW TRAILER, POSTER

BFG Poster

Disney’s big-screen adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved classic “The BFG” has just been launched a new poster and trailer, which may be viewed here at http://youtu.be/y1fZg0hhBX8.

Opening in the Philippines on Aug. 10, Disney’s “The BFG” tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country.

Disney and Amblin Entertainment, in association with Walden Media, present the fantasy adventure film “The BFG,” the first-ever motion picture adaptation of Roald Dahl’s resonant tale of childhood, the magic of dreams and the extraordinary friendship between a young girl and a big friendly giant.

Directed by three-time Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg, the film reunites the director with his Oscar-nominated collaborator on “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” Melissa Mathison, who adapted the childrens author’s timeless adventure for the big screen.

The film stars three-time Tony Award®, two-time Olivier Award and Oscar® winner Mark Rylance as the Big Friendly Giant; newcomer Ruby Barnhill as Sophie, the orphan who befriends him and is swept into a world of rampaging giants; Penelope Wilton as the Queen; Jemaine Clement as Fleshlumpeater, the most fearsome giant from Giant Country; Rebecca Hall as Mary, the Queen’s handmaid; Rafe Spall as Mr. Tibbs, the Queen’s butler; and Bill Hader as Bloodbottler, another unruly giant from Giant Country.

“The BFG” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through Columbia Pictures. Follow the official social media accounts of Disney in the Philippines, namely, (FB) WaltDisneyStudiosPH, (Twitter) @disneystudiosph and (Instagram) @waltdisneystudiosph.

DEVOUT GAMER DUNCAN JONES DIRECTS “WARCRAFT: THE BEGINNING”

Warcraft: The Beginning

Finding the perfect storyteller to direct “Warcraft: The Beginning” proved to be so much easier than the producers first imagined. Best known for his BAFTA award-winning masterpiece “Moon,” as well as the twist-a-minute “Source Code,” director Duncan Jones had another valuable asset to bring to the table: his intimate understanding and deeply personal love for the game.

The son of the late music legend, David Bowie, Duncan Jones is a devout gamer and World of Warcraft player for many years. The filmmaker admits he was very excited about the prospect of a Warcraft film long before he was considered to direct it. Given the opportunity to meet with Blizzard and reveal his alternate approach, he recalls: “If you’re a player of the game, you know that part of its appeal is that you can be a hero, no matter what side you’re on. So my pitch was that the film should mirror that; it should be a war movie, one which shows the heroes on both sides and treats them with equal respect.”

Producer Stuart Fenegan, himself a passionate player from the beginning of the Warcraft franchise, has partnered with Jones for many years, since their days together in the commercials industry. Fenegan offers why he believes the source material is so powerful and has such epic film potential: “One of the most amazing things about Warcraft is the fact that it’s not a linear game in which you are forced to play a particular character. You have this sense of community, and I feel that’s why it exploded and went so huge all over the world. You have this opportunity to create your own character; you step into this environment but instead of interacting with computer-generated, non-player characters, you have this social experience with people from all over the continent in which you’re playing.”

Chris Metzen, senior vice president of story and franchise development at Blizzard, recalls the day they met with Jones and Fenegan to discuss bringing the series to the big screen: “Duncan was talking about his experiences, the things he loves about Warcraft and how long he had played, and there was this immediate kinship. The more he talked about his vision, and his instincts on what was possible, I knew we were in good hands.”

It was this exchange of ideas and possibilities that drew the filmmakers to conclude the best place to begin the epic, 20-year-in-the-making Warcraft narrative was with the 1994 inaugural game, Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, in which a portal from the dying planet of Draenor delivers a brutal and desperate orc army to Azeroth’s doorstep.

Metzen explains: “For all the stories that you can tell around the fictional events of Warcraft, especially given all the players’ experiences in World of Warcraft, which happens some 30 years after the events of the film, we thought that going back to the start and showing the origins of the Alliance and the Horde—and how these first conflicts shaped the events of the modern era—would be the common point in everyone’s experience. It seemed clear to start at the start, where both of these factions that define so much of the franchise’s modern era began. In that way, we created the best possible primer for what Warcraft is to everyone, regardless of what race they’re a part of.”

Producer Jon Jashni agrees with his team that this take was spot on. He gives: “The challenge is that you need, as filmmakers and as storytellers, to take a position. How are you able to show both sides of an issue or both perspectives on a world and also, simultaneously, root in a more-traditional narrative interwoven with heroes, villains, treachery, betrayal and emotion? Duncan found a way for us to start thinking about all this in fresh and relevant ways.”

In “Warcraft: The Beginning,” the peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home.

So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.

Directed by Duncan Jones (“Moon,” “Source Code”) and written by Charles Leavitt and Jones, the film stars Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Rob Kazinsky and Daniel Wu.

Opening across the Philippines in May 25, “Warcraft: The Beginning” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

“ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE” GROSSES $43-M INTERNATIONALLY,

Angry Birds Movie

Culver City, CA — February 23, 2016: Bill Hader, Josh Gad, Jason Sudeikis and Danny McBride at a Photo Call for a “Sneak Beak” of Columbia Pictures and Rovio Animations’ ANGRY BIRDS at Sony Pictures Studios.

“The Angry Birds Movie” landed in 74 markets this weekend, which represent an estimated 63% of the total international release. Grossing an outstanding $43-M, the film knocked “Captain America: Civil War” off the perch as the #1 film in 37 of these markets.

For the same nest of markets at current rates, and without the benefit of school vacations or holidays, “The Angry Birds Movie” outdistanced such big animated titles as “The Croods” (by 9%), “The Lego Movie” (20%), “Rio” (14%), and “How to Train Your Dragon” (45%).

Strong critical reception and great word of mouth ignited the box office on Saturday as “The Angry Birds Movie” displayed huge increases from Friday, suggesting a long successful run for the film. Next weekend these birds will soar to even greater heights with highly anticipated launches in the U.S., China and South Korea.

Grosses to date of the top markets are led by Russia – $5.7M, UK – $3.0M, Germany – $2.9M, Mexico – $2.9M, Brazil – $2.7M, Spain – $2.1M, Australia – $2.0M, France – $1.9M, Peru – $1.4M and Argentina – $1.4M.

In the Philippines, the mobile-game-turned-big-screen-adventure posted an outstanding opening weekend gross of P39.85-M, exceeding first weekends of “Zootopia” (by 48%), “Rio” (60%), “The LEGO Movie” (65%), “The Croods” (76%), “How to Train Your Dragon” (378%) and “Peanuts Movie” (398%).

Upcoming key market releases include S. Korea (19-May), China (20-May), Italy (15-Jun) and Japan (1-Oct).

In the 3D animated comedy, “The Angry Birds Movie,” we’ll finally find out why the birds are so angry.

The movie takes us to an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds – or almost entirely. In this paradise, Red (Jason Sudeikis), a bird with a temper problem, speedy Chuck (Josh Gad), and the volatile Bomb (Danny McBride) have always been outsiders. But when the island is visited by mysterious green piggies, it’s up to these unlikely outcasts to figure out what the pigs are up to.

Featuring a hilarious, all-star voice cast that includes Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph and Peter Dinklage, as well as Keegan-Michael Key, Kate McKinnon, Tony Hale, Ike Barinholtz, Hannibal Buress, Jillian Bell, Danielle Brooks, Latin music sensation Romeo Santos, and YouTube stars Smosh (Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla), the Columbia Pictures/Rovio Entertainment film is directed by Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis, produced by John Cohen and Catherine Winder, screenplay by Jon Vitti, and executive produced by Mikael Hed and David Maisel.

Now playing across the Philippines, “Angry Birds” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.