The Kings, a hip-hop dance crew from Mumbai, has won American reality television show "World of Dance". The Kings ruled the stage with their scintillating performance on Malhari.
Formerly known as Fictitious Dance Group, the 14-member crew was founded by choreographers Vernon Monteiro and Suresh Mukund in 2008. Initially, the group rehearsed on the roads or at beaches for lack of a studio. Despite the myriad challenges they faced, they stuck together for over 10 years and participated in local competitions to win just Rs 500. They then went on to perform at a number of prestigious competitions and events, including India’s Got Talent, and the inaugural ceremony of the IPL in 2016. Their entry into the finals of the World Hip-Hop Championships in 2012 was the inspiration behind ABCD2, a film directed by actor and choreographer Remo D’Souza.
Choreographer Suresh Mukund says after this victory, the 15-member crew is done with dance competitions. Talking about the group's last performance at the competition, Mukund told IANS in a telephonic interview: "We did a Baahubali act in India two years ago that went viral, so I knew the concept of cinematic feel and slow motion will work for sure.
"I kept that for the finale round. Coincidently, they asked us to do a performance with a cinematic theme in the finale round. I knew they wouldn't understand it (Baahubali) as it's not a Hollywood movie. Then I planned to do it in Spartan style."
The show's judge Ne-Yo called it the "greatest action film" he has ever seen, while Derek Hough thought they "altered reality". Jennifer Lopez was happy to be surprised by their act.This isn't Mukund's first stint at a dance show. He and Vernon Monteiro were part of the Fictitious Dance Group which participated in dance reality shows like Boogie Woogie, Entertainment Ke liye Kuch Bhi Karega and India's Got Talent. Later his crew, Kings United India, bagged the bronze at the World Hip Hop Dance Championship.
Asked about competitions, he said: "I feel that in order to grow in any talent-based field, you need to compete so that you can improvise yourself. When we won bronze, I thought that we would stop competing as that was a really big achievement.
"But then I started following other dancers. I noticed that their level was going up. They were coming close to us, so that was the time when I thought that we have to do something to show that we are the best. World of Dance provided them the platform to prove that they are the real kings of dance.