It’s very possible that you have seen this video already. If not, I am hoping you have at least heard of Ian Eastwood.
Most would probably call him a hip hop dancer/choreographer, but I actually disagree with that definition. What I think makes Eastwood so special is his incredibly unique style of choreography that, in my opinion, blurs the line between contemporary and hip hop dance.
It may just be his physical lankiness, but Eastwood’s movement required a lengthening of the limbs and suspension that is rare in many hip hop dances. Thats not to say that hip hop is a style of dance that lacks dynamic; in fact, anyone with eyes can see that most hip hop combinations are scrambles of quick, slow, sharp, and soft movements. I just see Eastwood’s choreography as unusual because he uses moves that I associate with contemporary dance, and makes me believe they are hip hop moves.
If you look at the combination above (or any of his other, numerous and fantastic youtube videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPBQs1HnictO-Vl6vruZAVA) you can see that many of his gestural phrases could be compared to those of a contemporary choreographer—Erica Sobol, for instance.
I also think that Eastwood’s choreography makes it clear that the dynamics which make hip hop seem so superhuman sometimes (“how did they just move their body like that!?!?!”) can be applied to contemporary dance—a genre that can get too monotonous due to the recent popularity of slow, “emotional” movement. Honestly, one of the things I try to do in my own contemporary improvisation, is achieve the same “super fast to super slow” contrast that Eastwood so eloquently displays in his dancing. Overall, I think contemporary and hip hop dance have a lot to learn from each other and Ian Eastwood is an example of how beautiful the result is when you blur those lines just a little.
Enjoy the video!