Popular hip-hop crew Suresh ‘N’ Vernon (SNV) may have become household names beyond their neighbourhood after sweeping titles in shows like Boogie Woogie and India’s Got Talent. But the Nalasopara boys can’t wait to show their moves to the world. Early this month, SNV won the Indian Hop-Hop Championship in Chennai, and is currently gearing up as India’s first entry to the World Hip-Hop Dance Championship in Las Vegas, slated to take place between July 31 and August 5.
“After getting recognition on national TV, we wanted to test our skills internationally,” says Suresh Mukund, choreographer and co-founder of Fictitious Dance Academy, which boasts of 35 hip-hop artistes who do everything from a headstand to various gravity-defying moves.
Suresh formed SNV four years ago with partner Vernon Montero. “We had our own independent troupes and decided to club them,” says Suresh, adding that the self-taught duo mastered the art by watching YouTube videos.
However, about their much-awaited US debut, Suresh seems a bit nervous. “We are going for the experience. We don’t know what level of competition to expect. Hip-hop is part of their culture, while it’s alien to ours. It’ll be difficult to beat them at their own game.” One thing they are excited about is representing India. “We usually dance to English music, but in Vegas, we will be using Bollywood music,” says Suresh. “We’ve also designed costumes with the colours of our flag.”
For their two-minute set, the two have choreographed a group of eight handpicked dancers, who’ve been practicing for over two months. They plan to dance to a medley of songs including an AR Rahman number from Dil Se... (1998), the Tamil song Rama Rama and a song from Johnny Gaddar (2007).
Ask him about the lack of women dancers in his crew, and Suresh insists he’s happy with his gang of boys. “Girls are a distraction. It’s easier to concentrate without them. Otherwise, boys fall in love and complications occur, so I’d like to keep it an all-boys group.”