Here at Team Viparo, we're all 80s and 90s kids, being huge fans of pop culture references like Boyz II Men, TLC, Around the Twist, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Kids Incorporated, Saved By The Bell and video games like Super Mario, Street Fighter and Doom. One video game that was a shared favorite, was Mortal Kombat, a series of fighting games that began in the early 90s.
In celebration of their long-anticipated new Series 'Mortal Kombat Legacy 2, Machinima and Warner Bros. approached 25 year old Dancer/Choreographer/Actor Ivan Koumaev , who is about to embark on Justin Timberlake's 20/20 Experience tour, to come up with a concept dance video in which he created, directed and produced himself. The video is set to the Series' theme song, created by the show's Director, Kevin Tanchereon.
How did the project come to life?
Huge as the whole Mortal Kombat Series is - this project all came together very fast... we were given a short deadline,I was given a song and was told they that wanted to incorporate Dance -- and it has to be about Mortal Kombat - and that's kinda it! So as the creative mind, the way I work, I went back and listened to the song a million and a half times and eventually things just start kind of forming in your head and when you watch it - the handkerchief - was kind of the first thing that that for some reason I saw and I don't know WHY that was the image that stuck out, but I saw a spotlight, and a slow motion handkerchief falling and then from there, it just kind of built. From there you have to put a story on it, have to put a reason why - why is it falling, where is it falling, whose gonna be around it - what's gonna happen.
When people think of Mortal Kombat, fighting and kick-ass ninja moves usually come to mind. You've changed it up a bit, what was your take on the concept?
I didn't want to put everyone in a Mortal Kombat costume and have a fight scene cause that's... that's (laughs) that's what the show is, that's not my job - it was to make it Dance-appropriate,cool and interesting. I tried to take a little different spin on it. Like a little boot-camp, training camp, where all the secret gangster dance Ninjas hang out. The franchise of Mortal Kombat is amazing, it will continue to be awesome for a long time, so it was just cool to be a part of it - that's my childhood stuff, I used to play MK as a kid, so getting to create something alongside of it is... pretty neat.
Watch the music video in its entirety here: (If you're having trouble viewing the video, click through here!)
Check out below an interview with Dance Track Magazine where Ivan talks more in-depth on the project (click through to watch via Youtube).
All photo credits courtesy of Kat Cressida & www.IvanKoumaev.com