Hip Hop Dance Ambassadors
UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE: Hip-Hop Dance Exchange, Part I
Hip-Hop Roundtable Discussion at New York University. From L to R: Dr. Joseph G. Schloss, Pop Master Fabel, Afrika Bambaataa, Alien Ness. All photos courtesy of Joe Conzo “ the man who took hip-hop’s baby pictures.”
For the last seven days, I have had the immense privilege of leading a group of eight hip-hop dancers/international cultural visitors on a tour of New York, thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of State and the visionary leadership at the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Hailing from Bolivia, Burma, Ecuador, Germany (by way of Turkey), India, Pakistan, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, these young artists and leaders have transformed the NYC streets and subway stations in which they dance (can’t stop, won’t stop) and every individual they’ve encountered since their arrival. To date, our ambitious tour has included attending “Swift Solos” and Freestyle Archityper 2: A Site-Specific Sculptural Installation by Carlos “Mare139″ Rodriguez as part of the Hip-Hop Theater Festival; FELA! on Broadway; a Hush Hip-Hop Tour with the Cold Crush Brothers (live and direct! including a visit to 1520 Sedgwick Ave.); dance workshops with olive Dance Theatre,Ken Swift, Kwikstep and Rokafella (and an impromptu trip to The Door, the teen center where they give free breaking classes to teens); a private tour of the Bronx Museum with Joe Conzo and Daze; a screening of All the Ladies Say; and two unmatchable experiences at New York University (round table discussion) and The Brooklyn Ballet, where our dancers presented works-in-progress at The Schermerhorn, developed in less than four hours with poppers and ballerinas with Founding Artistic Director, Lynn Parkerson’s expert guidance.