Jun 21, 2013

    58 and still 'locking'

    American dancer Lewis Foster, affectionately known as Tony GoGo, is one of the founding members of dance group Go Go Brothers in the early 1970s.

    Based in Japan for over 30 years, the 58-year-old is known for creating a street- dance genre called locking, which earned him the moniker "Grandmaster Locker".

    GoGo is here as part of Yfest's SixTeen Dance Challenge mentorship programme. He'll also be giving a ticketed dance masterclass on Sunday.

    You are considered the innovator of the Japanese style of lock-fusion. Can you tell us more about this style?

    This term was created by OG SkeeterRabbit of the Go Go Brothers. I met him after not seeing him for years and, when I danced, he observed that I had integrated many dance styles with locking.

    Still, I consider this as progress from the beginning until now, and the definition of what I have contributed to the Japanese street-dance culture cannot be assessed yet.

    Is street dance in Asia different in any way?

    Yes, street dance in Asia is unique. It has progressed to become one of the most challenging areas for everyone in hip-hop world competitions. Singapore is one of our main contenders every year in the World Championships.

    Synchronisation is, I think, one of Asia's strongest points.

    How has locking evolved from the 1970s till now?

    The dance scene has evolved, thanks to many firms and directors, producers, street- dance schools, commercials, movies, social clubs, and, now, schools.

    The people of many countries have embraced street dance and taken it to a new level. Struggle is also a big part of the longevity process.

    Who are some of the memorable personalities you've worked with?

    I've worked with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Hope, Michael Jackson, War, Dick Van Dyke, Lucille Ball, Don Campbell, Toni Basil, James Brown, Sly Stone and Jerry Lewis.

    You've trained your sons to be prominent lockers. Who's easier to train: Your kids or other students?

    I think the same training applies to everyone, but what's different is the amount of time involved.


    Yfest starts today. Visit for more information on the festival programme.