In order to break down the anomaly of elite Apocalypse member Josh Librun, you have to preface everything about him with the fact that he has only been dancing true hip hop for a little over 3 years. As one of the top choreographers of the team, he started out with hardly any previous dance experience before coming to college. Despite his slow and relaxed demeanor, he has always shown an ultra aggressive attack with choreography that was only rivaled by his knack for picking it up quickly. In his second semester at college and on Apocalypse he had already choreographed his first show-worthy routine. His drive to constantly improve made him his own worst critic and pushed his creativity to new heights with each show.
Dancing Josh’s choreography is nothing short of an upper body seizure. I say that with all due respect because I wouldn’t present his movement to anyone without advanced hip hop proficiency or a high level of physical fitness. The first thing anyone notices about his movement is that it is ridiculously fast. Josh is cursed with an ultra sensitive ear for beats and as a result he cannot sit still or simply “ride out” through counts of percussive instrumentation. Every move has a specific place and creates a definitive picture for Josh’s routines. This means that for every movement comes a high amount of body control. After working on a routine for more than a minute, you will sweat if you do it correctly.
The new world of hip hop choreography is awkward and unexpected. Moves that come from nowhere with minimal prep, surprise audience members and make for a more entertaining dance. Josh has inadvertantly stumbled upon great success with this by having a relatively nonexistent flow in his steps. This is not to say that his choreography doesn’t make sense or doesnt tell a story in movement. This is more of a way of saying that for the dancer that is learning his choreography, there is almost no preparation between steps. Many times, I find myself switching body weight between beats of music at a centimeter level just so that I can hit the next move. Being liberated from standard studio dance training, Josh has no need or desire to add counts or steps to his choreography in order to smooth out footwork for his dancers. Relating the story of the beats of the music is his ultimate priority. What comes as a result is a set of steps that are near impossible to perform with normal human balance. As a dancer, this is the epitome of “just get there” choreography. Truly challenging, but inspiring when mastered and just plain awesome when watched on stage.
With every new choreographic endeavor, Josh takes on new challenges in his own movement and creatively adds more movement to his own repetoire. Dancing under his choreography is physically exhausting on the simplest level. I have had much growth in the quality of my own movement because of it and have been inspired to hear and respond to more beats in music for my own choreography as well. He has become a respected and ultra high level hip hop choreographer in both Apocalypse and in the broader hip hop community.
Check out some of his work on his brand spanking new youtube page Jaylebron22 and also this newest video with special guest, yours truly:
All of it done by his third year of dancing. Ever.