The Manifesto Festival of Community and Culture held its 3rd Annual Floor Awards celebrating the best of urban dance in Toronto, hosted at 918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media & Education. The Floor Award’s unconventional (yet dope) ceremony alternated between a dance floor of avid b-boys and b-girls, only abruptly stopping to hand out various honors.
Hosted by YNOT of the Rocksteady Crew and DJs Andy B Bad and Dirty Dale, the night was full of energetic vibes and wicked break dancers. Throughout the room of the Floor Awards, people could catch a glimpse of art work presented by various visual artists showcased in the Sacred Seven Gallery.
The eight award titles and winners Included:
Artist of the Year: Andrew Pyro Chung
Up Next: Michael Hydro Scheitzbach
Education and Mentorship: Marcel Frost Dacosta
Innovation in Dance: Shawn De Ocampo
Community Contribution: Judi ‘Julo’ Lopez
People’s Choice Award: Area 51 of Moonrunners
T.O Legend: Megas ‘Vengance’ Mullins of Boogie Brats
Event of the Year: Area 51 of Moonrunners
Keeping in line with hip-hop culture, the night held various cyphers, most notably the b-girl cypher which respectfully commenced after Judi Julo Lopez walked away with the Community Contribution award. Judi herself is an internationally renowned dancer and master of many genres, most notably her recent developments in b-girling. No stranger to the realm of hip-hop battles, cyphers and competitions, her presence at the b-girl cypher was ecstatic.
The night also included a special honour sponsored by TD Canada Trust. The prestigious Neighbourhood Arts Network award given to organizations that work to provide accessibility to arts for all individuals who promote the enrichment of Toronto’s vibrant artistic communities was presented to Mammalian Diving Reflex. Mammalian is a culture production workshop that facilitates performance events, theatre-based productions, gallery-based installations, video products, and theoretical texts. Mammalian’s body of work is vital to the continued vibrancy of Toronto.
An incredible way to end my night, the 3rd Annual Floor Awards was nothing short of amazing. The energy and force of everyone in the room pulsated non-stop, even during an awkward moment of silence in the Dj spinning (gotta love technical difficulties) the hyped crowd continued to break and chant loudly “Manifesto!”
Towards the end, host YNOT noted that “Manifesto is an event that allows artists and groups who call themselves a community but have no space to come together, to be in a room all at once. Cuz’ without a space or place to share our art, our expression goes unheard.” I couldn’t agree more!
Be sure to check out the photos from the Floor Awards.