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By Stefani| I said this before and I will say it again. In Heerlen, anything you seek you shall find and even if you don’t, it will find you.

“The Notorious IBE a distinguished type of festival expressed through the artwork, the program, the artists and the colourful people who attend it.”

Yes, that includes senior citizens living in the neighbourhood who are trying to find out what all that noise is about.  Add this together and you have an experience that is hard to eloquently put into words.

The only thing you need to understand is that for most, arriving in the place to be this past weekend, while running into some of their heroes already is a dream come true. Then the program unfolds and people just lose their minds.

“It’s a very complete experience of what the culture is nowadays. However what you will come to know is that the magic happens in the conversations you (get) to have in the middle of the night. With your inspiration or a complete stranger.”

That exchange of points of view, that exchange within a cypher or a party. That information is so valuable and that’s what every single one of us takes back and applies, adjusts or pays forward to their direct surrounding. I’ve been saying this from the first time I came to IBE: Can you imagine what kind of ripple effect this event creates throughout the globe ? It’s easy mathematics if you consider that visitors and artists came from all corners of the world.

Hopefully next year we’ll welcome them from Gaza too (!) A nice bridge that leads to the following highlights: I attended the live skype session with bboys from Camps BreakerZ. It was a very emotional moment.

It is immensely unjust if you cannot travel to follow your passion because you are denied the right to -literally- move around this beautiful earth.

“The skype connection with Gaza was hopeful. I would ask our Steppers to consider all human beings around the world caught in the struggle of war & politics.”

Like I wrote in my Qatar report: Don’t take your travels for granted. If you are able to travel far then get everything out of it. Every single time.

“Honor your brothers and sisters by working harder on your projects, make a positive change however small. Start by renting Shake the Dust on Vimeo. Shout out to my brother Hamoody (Mighty Jokerz) for representing his beloved Yemen in this film.”

Spirit Session Poeone
Still by Najim Jansen from Spirit Session with Poeone

IBE is a place to witness the newest battle concepts, a place to reconnect, to consider, to create, to release, to network, to appreciate what’s come before you and anticipate what’s still to come. WE got a good thing here. Still.

“It may change this culture of ours, since change is the only constant but it’s essence will always remain as long as we honour it.”

There is no end to the possibilities. This year I set out to shed light on the essence by creating a Spirit Session.

by Mariusz Be.True

“Poeone accepted the invitation and he trusted me to approach his life from a different angle. The feedback we received from the audience was humbling.”

Faith would have it I ran into a few audience members  afterwards. Hearing their individual stories and why it helped them on their path was dope. It moved me, it was a grateful experience from A-Z. Shout out to Lance for sharing one of these with me. Thank you to Tyrone and Poeone. Team work makes the dream work so I have to give a special thank you to Jurskee for altering the set of the talk show.

“We moved from the basement to a great space in the theatre with daylight, relaxed beanbags and a specially designed backdrop to refresh the setting and the feel. As a result all the talk shows enjoyed way more audience members than the previous year.”

Got to enjoy snippets of the other talk shows as well. This item is important for visitors as well as for the festival itself. My personal aim is to expand my own views on some of the subjects discussed by travelling to New York this year!

Stefani interviewing Mounir (Vagabonds) Photo by Munir Werner paperwings-media.com

Thanks to my dear friend Mooh Vagabonds I had a chance to easily connect with Mounir on saturday and talk about his new project: Hard work Easy Everything. A real soldier with big ideas. Catch the interview soon on #SXSTV!

Frankie J photo by Maurice van der Meijs
Frankie J photo by www.MauricevanderMeijs.com

“Moving on to more greatness: House of Kapela was once again a killer! The line up x Sam Won.  Excuse me SAM ONE!”

Plus, my boy Frankie J is LIFE. His dance is pure, organic life. For all you people that need some oxygen or sunshine: he remains in the Netherlands for Summer Dance Forever.

Skeme Richards during Freestyle Session Final by Stefani
Skeme Richards during Freestyle Session Final | Photo by Stefani

The music was incredible. Big respect to my brother Skeme Richards, Nobunaga & Lucas Benjamin. Without music there is no dance. The entire line up of DJ’s was delicious. Speaking of, there was Dutch soulfood; Pass the Peas was back with a vegetarian option and there was sushi and pasta available! The culture market is getting more versatile and a more cohesive part of the whole, every year. I could order fresh smoothies at Yordana’s stand, have a massage, a haircut or listen in to the one and only Mounir next door.  And while the Sun warmed my back as I was sippin’ my fruit, I witnessed the freshest wall come to life.  And you better believe I ordered my laces from RDM Sneaker Event!

Of course IBE wouldn’t be IBE if it wasn’t being Notorious… in some type of way:

Kid Colombia @ Afterparty IBE 2015 photo by www.LittleShao.com

Heard hype reactions of the Blind Date battle. Keep an eye on Prodance TV!

“IBE also featured an armless battle and the first Seven to smoke Crew battle. Yes you read that right: Crew battle!”

There will be a dope recap from Najim Jansen (Concrete Jungle) and me about VIP at IBE. This year Step x Step Dance teamed up with Samira’s Dance Express to create a recap of this all inclusive trip. It also gave me the opportunity to work with a film partner for which I’m very grateful.

Happy faces after 3 days of madness

This event started in 1998 in Rotterdam and over the course of 15 years has continued to be outstanding and ground breaking.

“Your presence as an artist or a hip hop lover, will be an addition and a gift to it’s continuation and celebration in 2016.”

In honor of Poeone I suppose from now on it’s: IBE is WE. Here I’ll let Electro Kid explain:

  • Expect the full talkshow with Poeone to be posted www.stepxstepdance.com a.s.a.p.
  • Expect an interview with Mounir about his new project “Hard Work Easy Everything”.

Thank you to organisation, all the staff, media and especially Tyrone, Paul, Mario, Najim, Samira, Michal & Mariusz and Munir.

For full battle coverage visit Prodance TV and click here for more information about The Notorious IBE.

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