Interview — Tcartsba At The Phaze International 2023

As part of the Melosaga Street Dance and Music Festival in Malaysia, The Phaze Internationals shifts offline for its second rendition of the competition! We learn more about Tcartsba’s journey to clinching the championship title.

Courtesy of The Phaze International (@thephazeinternational)

In December 2021, The Phaze International debuted itself as an online showcase competition that garnered teams from over 16 countries. Despite being an online competition, the event did face some delays considering the varying lockdown and pandemic restrictions worldwide. To combat this, they extended their registrations and video submission deadlines while allowing collaged video entries.

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The submissions go through three phases of judges which narrowed it down to 30 finalists and seven wild card teams. Finalists send in a 2 min 30s choreography including video editing and production that was judged by Kirsten Dodgen, Mike Song, Mr. Wiggles, Yao Bai and B-boy Kevin. The first edition of Phaze was championed by Oxygen 2.0 from the Netherlands, followed by Lock’n’Lol from Korea and Tcartsba from Malaysia!

Courtesy of Melosaga (@melosaga_official)

Similarly, last November, Phaze announced its return as part of the Melosaga Street Dance and Music Festival, this time being held live in Selangor, Malaysia. What’s exciting about the competition is that the champions will not only win USD 5,000 but will also be seeded through to the Summer Jam Showcase Competition this March in Vietnam.

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Participants of The Phaze International 2023 submit their audition videos from 23 November to 20 December 2022, which was judged by Ezra Tham from Malaysia, Chips Beltran from Philippines, and Melissa from Singapore! In the meantime, the audience and supporters also voted for their favourite crews to boost their chances for the People’s Choice Award. Acquiring the award will place them straight into the finals; winning USD 750 and with their full flight and accommodation expenses reimbursed!

Courtesy of Tcartsba (@t_c_a_r_t_s_b_a)

Results for the 24 finalists and the People’s Choice Award were both released on 23 December 2022, giving them three weeks to prepare for the finals in Selangor, Malaysia. Competing live on 14 January 2023, the finalists were judged by Jrick Baek from Korea, Chips Beltran from Philippines, and Yumeri from Japan. After five whole hours of dancing and competing, Tcartsba was titled the champion of the competition, followed by Mavericks and Hanoi XGirls who won USD 2,000 and USD 1,000 respectively.

Courtesy of Shrizz (@shrizz_) and Hanoi Xgirls (@hanoixgirls)

As mentioned, being crowned the champion means that Tcartsba won themselves USD 5,000 and a spot in the upcoming Summer Jam Showcase CompetitionLeonard Yee, a member of Tcartsba, shares their experience through Phaze International and what to expect from them next.

Dreamfellas: Tell us more about your decision to join Phaze and your journey toward the championship!

Leonard: It was our team leader, Andrew’s decision to join Phaze and we were all on board because of our love for this niche style and the prepared piece. We only utilised 2 to 3 days of preparation before the competition day because we only needed to polish up and add some changes to the piece. Our journey for this piece actually started in June 2022 when we chose this song.

DFL: How did your previous journeys in Phaze contribute to this year’s approach/piece?

Leonard: I personally only had one previous journey in Phaze with STNY x Bonsai in 2021. That experience definitely showed me the really high standard for Phaze, even though many of the teams that competed last year did not participate again this year. It was definitely harder this time as there were more teams competing and it was not an online platform this time.

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DFL: This title sends you through to Summer Jam’s upcoming Showcase Competition! Did Tcartsba have any initial plans to participate in it?

Leonard: Yes! Winning Phaze means that we are seeded into Summer Jam’s showcase. However, we have actually already qualified for it before Phaze, so we definitely had the intention to maintain our participation. So, winning Phaze this year gives us the title and rewards us with the prize money, which we are content with. 🙂

The year might have just started but the dance scene is already gearing up for a busy year of productions and competitions. We are pumped for what 2023 has in store for dancers worldwide and we hope you are too!

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If you’d like to experience Tcartsba’s genius first-hand and learn from them, Aaron, Andrew and Faris will be having a workshop at Danz People on 18 February.

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