Image Description: Photo of Kevin Li/Shazam’s silhouette. Kevin looks to his left while his left forearm is bent upwards, forming a right angle. His right arm extends straight out to the side, his right hand bent downwards and forming a curled shape. Photo by Shawn Kim.
“This is first of the photo series that I collaborated with Asian-Korean photographer Shawn Kim. Our plan was to explore Chiaroscuro photography as well as lines, shapes and forms using my tutting discipline. We also wanted to use clothing that reflect my culture and heritage.”
Description of tutting and its history by Nathan Onaka (Mr Freckles):
What is Tutting? Originally done by rotating the wrist, elbow, and shoulder joint at semi 90 degrees and hitting to the beats of the song. Occasionally making shapes traditionally in the form of boxes. The most common transition was liquid. There was not much emphasis on clean form.
However today the style has evolved to be more rigid and is no longer solely a popping style. “Tutting Dancers” or “Tutters” do not normally do popping “hits” to the beat and instead focus on the angles. There is an emphasis on straight hands, clean angles, and complex shapes.
A substyle called “Finger Tutting” has also recently appeared that essentially is tutting on a smaller scale, focusing on the fingers. Finger Tutting uses the digits and joints in the hands to make shapes and complex angles.
History of Tutting A poorly documented dance style that came out of the funk scene in the late 1970’s to early 1980’s. Tutting originated from popping and was done by making geometrical shapes to the beats of the music. Today tutting can be defined to be the illusion of shapes made by your arms and hands. Although no one person is accredited with inventing tutting, the inspiration came from Egyptian hieroglyphics and named after the pharaoh “King Tut”. This is also why it is sometimes referred to as king tutting.
Kevin Li “Shazam” 李彥樓
Kevin “Shazam” Li is an actor, dancer and choreographer best known for his hand choreography work on the American fantasy TV series The Magicians.
Kevin has last worked on the premiere Apple TV series SEE as a movement researcher, choreographer, and coach under the direction of the movement director, Paradox Pollack.
Kevin started dancing after moving from Hong Kong to Vancouver in 2009. He fell in love with hip hop and other street/club dance styles such as locking and house. He then joined SOULdiers, a part time training company that focuses on hip hop and other street dance styles.
After that spending three years with SOULdiers, Kevin went on to focus on tutting and flow arts. He practiced with the Vancouver circus community and explored prop and tutting hybrid dance. He also joined Technicru and started training in animation dance.
In 2014, Kevin took a leap of faith and joined Modus Operandi, a Vancouver based contemporary dance training program with zero contemporary dance experience. The directors Tiffany Tregarthen and David Raymond recognized his street dance ability and gave him a chance. The four year professional development program focusing on technical, artistic, choreographic and collaborative skills prepared him for a wide breadth of work in dance and movement.
Kevin is interested in all kinds of dance and art, he is especially interested in how different forms, styles, elements, and cultures intersect. Recently he has been learning Memphis Jookin from dancers from the city. He would like to continue exploring and bridging different forms, different cultures and their communities.
CMHC Granville Island Exhibition (May 24th – 31st)
Exhibition Access, Site Maps, and Audio Tours
Visit our accessibility page for information on how to access CMHC Granville Island and our on-site exhibition. Video tours are available in spoke English with English captions and subtitle files in: Tagalog, Hindi, Simplified Chinese, and Punjabi. Audio tours are available in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Tagalog.
Influences: The Moon Runners (Conrad “Icon/Sleepy Tut” Kaczor, Jan “Snapp” Yalda, Steven “Icy” Senga, Shawn De Ocampo, Knex), Houdoken, Kai Sosceles, Finger Circus(Strobe, Pnut, Jay Funk), Dexterity Dance League, Mark “King Boogaloo Tut” Benson, Geometric Madness