INDIGENOUS dancers Darren Compton and Ryka Satrick from the hit ABC3 show Move it Mob Style captivated a crowd of 100 at Saturday’s Crankfest Xtreme at Evans Head.
The twentysomething performers met while busking at Circular Quay in Sydney when they were 10 and have worked and played together ever since.
Their natural charisma and fusion of tribal hip hop moves got young dancers aged three to 18 rolling their bodies in unison.
Mr Compton’s family is originally from Tweed Heads, hailing from the Minjunbul people within the wider Bundjalung language group.
But he grew up in Bankstown, where he was first inspired equally by Michael Jackson’s brilliant years and his own indigenous dancing heritage.
Now he tours Australia as part of the Move it Mob Style crew, encouraging kids to be passionate about life.
Move it Mob Style, the show that fuses indigenous dancing, music and performance with a healthy lifestyle ethos, is going into its fourth season and has been nominated for a Logie.
“Dancing for me is about when you get into that moment, and you’re happy, and you want to share that with everyone,” Mr Compton said of his inspiration.
“We still always get nervous before we get on stage… the kids always test you,” he joked.
“When you get older you can’t keep up with them.”
Mr Satrick was born in Cairns and shares both Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal heritage, but moved to Sydney when he was five with his mother, who has danced all her life.
Fan and fellow dancer Chloe Girrett from Woodburn certainly kept up with the frenetic pair.
She liked the uniquely Australian and indigenous style of the show, and the energy they put into their dancing.
“I didn’t fit on the stage, but I was having a little party at the back,” she said.
“My little brother went and had a dance in the middle; it was funny. He’s four.”
Crankfest was able to fund the visit by the Move it Mob Style crew thanks to a successful application to the Country Arts Support Program under Regional Arts NSW.
Making the most of chances on stage
IT WAS a perfect day in Evans Head for this year’s Crankfest Xtreme, the annual Northern Rivers celebration of youth arts and culture.
Keen surfers such as South Ballina’s Jae Waters, 12, manoeuvred their way across clean waves off the beach, while local bands and performers played across three stages.
Thrown into the mix was a skate competition and even sand-sculpting classes for the youngsters.
Crankfest is all about giving young people a platform to express themselves.
Elemental, a five-piece fusion outfit from Kyogle High, got together in Year 7 when lead singer Maricar Martizano was spotted for her natural vocal talents.
Playing a funky mix of pop, rock and r’n’b from Kings of Leon covers to Rhianna, they’re also composing covers for a planned album.
Now in Year 10, this was their second year playing at Crankfest and last year they also auditioned for Australia’s Got Talent.
“We didn’t get in, but we spoke to the producer and got some really good feedback,” keyboardist Emmaline Clark said.
Elemental was one of 11 bands and a total of 50 individual and group performers to grace the stages at Crankfest this year.
“The idea is to give bands and performers aged 12 to 24 the exposure they really need, and to have a youth-friendly performance space,” festival organiser Tarryn Cole said.
“Each year we try to make it bigger and better and get more involvement too.”
It was a case of good things coming to those who turn up for two young buskers, Alyssa Castle and Hollie Bultitude, who were given the chance to play on the Good Vibes stage following a last-minute cancellation.
The Year 8 Maclean High School pair usually practises during school lunches.
“I got the guitar when I was about eight or nine, and I kind of just taught myself from practising at home,” Alyssa said.
While the surprise chance to play over a loudspeaker instead of on a footpath was “freaking” her out, she said she was happy to have the chance.