On1 Exclusive Interview: Yavuz Topuz, @YavuzRisk1

By: Justin Ferraro

Yavuz Topuz

Yavuz Topuz is a Turkish dancer hailing from Istanbul. His energy, strength, and amazing skill has earned him many admirers and competition wins. Currently Yavuz is working with Cirque du Soleil in Canada for their new show, Michael Jackson: The Immortal Tour. Yavuz took time out his busy rehearsing schedule to answer some of our questions.

Yavuz Topuz
On1 Magazine: How did you get into dancing?
Yavuz Topuz: I was going in a club what was like for kids from 13 to 19. I was 16. It was not a real club, just kind of. There the older guys was dancing like new jack swing and I was so interested that I was just sitting there and watching there steps for hours while everyone else was like checking girls drinking and stuff. I was just watching the steps but I was really shy that I didn’t try it. One of this dancers was my blood brother (Kenan R.I.P.) and I asked him at home if he could show me some steps. So we started in the basement and he was so surprised that I learned it so fast and he told me that I should continue with Dancing because I am talented so I did. And later I was going in the b-boying (breakdance) so I was practicing everyday for so many Hours in this kind of Club location and when they closed; I was practicing on the street and in my basement ‘til the nighttime. But it was not easy because there was no teacher because I was living in a really small town so I was the only one for the first three years who was practicing b-boying. I knew what I had to practice because I was watching MTV and I was waiting to see some break moves in the video clips and that was really hard for me because when there was a clip with break moves it was just for two seconds, you know? Or it was really fast so I had to all the time remember really quick and this was really difficult then. So I needed to be patient. Now it’s much easier because you can find a b-boying class in almost every dance school but not eighteen years ago.

On1: What is your favorite style of dance?
YT: I mean my specialty is b-boying but I love in the same way also popping, locking and hip-hop. I don’t like to call it hip-hop because that’s the culture itself so let’s say new style.

On1: How is the hip-hop scene in Istanbul?
YT: The Hip Hop scene is going bigger and bigger. I mean there are some really good graffiti writers and DJs and also really good b-boys but we are not that far like the USA. It grew so much in the last five years but in the b-boys scene it’s still a little bit missing. We are really good with power moves and tricks but like downrock or footwork it’s still missing and I’m really sad that I have to say that but most b-boys, they are watching YouTube and just trying to learn what they see in the clips and that’s why they don’t have their own style and their own character in the dance, you know. This is really missing in Turkey. Of course some of the b-boys have their own style but still to less. I think maybe it has to do with because Turkey almost never gets invited for some battles outside in some other Countries and if they get invited than the half of the Crew don’t get visa to travel, you know. That also happens to my crew, Istanbullet. I mean thank God that my crew have their own style but yeah that’s also a reason of it, you know. It’s really important to travel around and watch or compete in competitions outside of your country to get inspiration, you know, but for us it’s hard to travel.

On1: What is the favorite place you have been to in your travels?
YT: Oh definitely New York City. It was October 2009 and I was there for three years and it was my first time in the U.S.A so I was crazy excited. It was so nice to see how big the dance scene was and how many organizations they did like battles. I really miss it there but soon I will be there again with the Cirque du Soleil show.
Yavuz Topuz
On1: What is your role in Cirque du Soleil’s new show, Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour?
YT: I’m there as a dancer but I have to do many different thinks too, like climbing, jumping from high down and flying and stuff, but it’s really cool for me because I love all this things.

On1: What is the show like? What is your favorite part of the show?
YT: I’m so sorry but I’m not allowed to talk about the show.

On1: What else do you like to do besides dance?
YT: I love almost everything what has to do with sports (soccer, basketball, tennis), watching movies, going in town and walking around, going in a cafe going in the cinema, chilling at home, Playstation 3, going to parties. 
You can see Yavuz in action all next year on Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour in Canada and the US, starting this October.

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