Self-taught Japanese dancer Kenichi Ebina has gone viral this week after his performance on U.S. television show "America’s Got Talent" wowed the judges and audience alike. The 38-year-old from Tokyo described his act as “dance-ish” before taking the stage in Chicago to enact scenes from the Wachowskis' 1999 film “The Matrix.”
The dancer began his act with an extraordinary head-dropping trick that caught the judges' attention, before proceeding to act first as a robot, and then reenact fight scenes from “The Matrix” in slow motion. “The stuff that you did, I haven’t seen anything like it before. You have a control over your body that is unbelievable,” commented judge Heidi Klum, before Howard Stern added his appraisal. “We see a lot of guys who come on stage, they try to do what you do, they can’t do it. That was the whole movie, all in 90 seconds. You were magnificent. I could watch you all day,” said Stern.
Ebina has built a strong reputation in the U.S. over the last 12 years, since founding all-Japanese dance troupe BiTriP in 2001, winning the grand championship for amateurs at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. He has been a regular at the venue ever since, going on to perform and teach around Asia, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East.
Sometimes known as “Ebiken,” Ebina mixes various elements of mime, jazz dance, body-popping, and contemporary dance in his shows, winning him invitations to events such as TEDTalks in 2007. He performed his first full-length show at the prestigious Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. in 2008.
Ebina isn’t the first to impress the judges with a “The Matrix”-style performance though. Romanian Razy Gogonea stunned Simon Cowell on parent show “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2011, reaching the final that year. Nevertheless, Japanese social media has been buzzing with pride after the success of homegrown talent Ebina on such a high-profile American TV show, and will be hoping he can progress further in the competition.
Kenichi Ebina Performs an Epic Matrix- Style Martial Arts Dance - America's Got Talent
Razy Gogonea - Britain's Got Talent 2011 Audition