A new dance form is taking the country by storm.
I have learned many dance forms like BBoying, Popping, Locking, Krump in the past 9-10 years. Now this may sound impressive, but I haven’t done much with them. Mainly because I was lazy and preferred being at home and watching anime. I was always intrigued by kids who started dancing a few years after me and got better at it. I would console myself by thinking they may be better now, but wait till I find what I’m looking for. And a few years later, Gloving came into my life and changed my perspective of dance forever!
The flow is real. Via Giphy
I saw one of the most badass crews perform Gloving for the first time on TV on a dance reality series called America’s Best Dance Crew. That was a turning point. I felt it was the dance that I was looking for.
“Gloving is a form of modern dance which involves the use of fingertip LED lights to accentuate hand and digit movement.” That’s what Wikipedia has to say, but there is just one thing I can say about this beautiful art form and that is - trippy as F@#k!
But first things first, let’s talk a little about this movement. Gloving originated in the RAVE scenes of USA. Now I know what you’re thinking - RAVE means drugs. But no, ‘Radical Audio Visual Experience’ is anything but that. Started in early 2000, there are close to 2,00,000 Glovers in the world today and growing. A typical Gloving performance, called a Lightshow is a close proximity dance and the best lightshows are the ones where the closer the performance happens to your face, the better the better the Facemelt. Trust me!
The first ever gloving performance I saw on TV. Image source: emazinglights.com
Being the new ‘flow’ art it is, I tried googling 'Light Dance Form'. I didn't know what it was called back then. I found nothing. The next encounter with Gloving came to me when I met these two young guys in Mumbai who had cooked up something with a brand and managed to grab a few basic glove sets for themselves. I saw them throwing half assed moves and I just went up, keeping aside my social anxiety, to speak with them and that’s when I came to know that this art is called Gloving. Finally!
Now if you know me, personally, professionally, or even if you see me walk on the street, I’m the guy who is always wiggling his fingers like a weirdo. People look at me and I’m sure they think, “Wtf is this guy up to!”
Gloving - Lighting Up My Life
The reason I didn’t pursue any of the other dance styles that I have learnt over the past decade is because I have severe stage fright, so much so that I have puked before going on stage for a performance at a college festival, twice, in the same day. Also with my social awkwardness, I have never gone to a hip-hop jam and ever battled solo. (Because people are watching). Gloving is performed in the dark and people are more focused on the lights then me. It’s been a great tool for me to break the ice at social gatherings (which I hate going to) and it’s helped me open up to people. Parties are also the best place for me to execute new concepts as most people are drunk and are just attracted to the lights like flies are to honey. I always think to myself they’re not going to remember jack tomorrow morning, and will react to my moves with all honesty. Perfect.
Getting my ‘face-melted’ at the biggest hip hop jam in the country
Most of the pro-dancers I’ve met in the underground Hip-Hop scene in India say, “If you can tell a story with your dance, you’ve made it.” Gloving is the dance that which I’ve managed to tell a story through. It’s helped me get rid of my awkwardness and I’ve become a `social’ person.
Story-telling through Gloving
It’s almost 2 years that I’ve been religiously practicing this art form and I don’t plan to stop till I win the International Gloving Championship. If you think Gloving is your jam and want to get into it, hit me up. I’ll be glad to help you out.
101 Glove Sets
1. A basic glove set can have a one mode LED light chip, which may flash one or several colours.
2. Advance glove sets will probably make you jiz in your pants
3. They have accelerometers and they can also be programmed using Bluetooth through a mobile app.
4. You can programme a set in such a way that the lights could change at a specific time and/or at a type of movement. Technology FTW!
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity and do not in any way represent or reflect the views of 101India.com.
By Mohit Yagnik
Cover photo credit: Yash Bandi
Videos by Mohit Yagnik