A spellbinding performance rooted in traditional Hip Hop dance forms. At the Cowles Center for Dance: February 21, 22, and 23, 2014
Hip Hop. is the third installment in a series of performances that entertain and educate audiences about traditional Hip Hop dance forms. These forms which include rocking, breaking, funkstyles and house dance, have long been misunderstood or simply passed over in favor of contemporary techniques associated with popular culture. The Twin Cities is a leader in the arts and the success of the past two shows demonstrates a huge interest in seeing these forms come to life in the theater.
I'm committed to paying my dancers and other artists associated with the show more and more each year because they deserve it! But after not receiving a grant this year, I need your help.
The two main goals of this Kickstarter campaign are to 1). keep ticket prices low so that people from all walks of life can experience dance in the theater and 2). bring new and different talent to the stage, from choreographers to DJs and producers. I've been the sole choreographer of the last shows and believe it's time to have other choreographers' voices heard - but I need your support to make it happen.
Thank you for your donations from the bottom of our hearts!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
As a Hip Hop choreographer the list of obstacles just to get on a stage is long. My commitment to the local Hip Hop dance community and youth empowerment organizations demonstrates my dedication to our culture and craft. Sold out shows and acclaim from the dance community at large illustrate my determination to overcome any obstacle thrown in my path.
Guaranteeing success is no problem if I'm privileged enough to meet this campaign's goal. I've always been transparent and have garnered a sterling reputation for honesty and accountability. You won't be disappointed.
The traditional forms of Hip Hop dance are known as rocking, breaking, and funkstyles. Other dance forms that are non-traditional forms, but still important and relevant, are housing and waacking. Also, there will be some late 80s and early 90s social dances such as the Running Man, New Jack Swing and the Reebok.
Rocking is a dance that was done in the mid-sixties that incorporates salsa and swing. The characteristics of rocking is that is performed directly facing an opponent with both dancers moving at the same time, each dancer pantomimes attacks and defenses to outsmart their opponent, known as burns, and use a dropping movement, known as a jerk. Rocking is the mother of breaking, or where breaking comes from. In the show: J-Sun, Step Child, Annie-UP and Ozzy Dris.
Breaking is a rhythmic and acrobatic style of dance that utilizes upright motion, taken from rocking, and floor movement. The different parts of breaking are known as toprocking, go-downs, footwork patterns, footwork tricks, powermoves, freezes and zip-ups. Dedicated practitioners are known as b-boys or b-girls. In the show: J-Sun, Step Child, Annie-UP, Ozzy Dris, Boogie B and Wealthy.
Funkstyles is a name that encompasses over thirty different dance forms that center around a rhythmic contracting and relaxing of muscle groups. This long list includes waving, popping, boogaloo, Fresno, locking and the robot. The dance forms were originally performed to funk music, with such artists as Parliment, Roger & Zapp and The Gap Band. In the show: Amirah Sackett and Dancin Dave.
House dance and waacking are performed to fast, energetic music. Characteristics includes rapid footwork and wide arm movements. House originated in Chicago, IL and waacking comes from New York City. In the show: Arturo Miles and Ozzy Dris.
As of right now, the choreographers are Ozzy Dris (breaker, rocker, and house dancer), Arturo Miles (waacker and house dancer), Amirah Sackett (breaker and funkstylist), a collaboration between Wealthy Phonseya and Jake Boogie B Riley (breakers), and myself (breaker and rocker).
There is a possibility that Dancin Dave will choreograph a work with Tish Jones.
The dancers in show that are not choreographing are Step Child and Anne AnnieUP Aldag.
DJ King Otto will be on the wheels of steel for a piece.
Stefon BIONIK Taylor will be playing live music on stage for another work.
The first show in 2012 was titled Hip Hop? because there are a high number of theaters and performance spaces in the Twin Cities, but Hip Hop dance is allowed in very few of these venues. So, in essence, I was introducing MN audiences to traditional and non-traditional forms of Hip Hop and urban dance styles through a specific aesthetic designed for a theater setting. I choreographed the whole 90 minute show with the exception of each dancer's solo pieces. The performance dealt with the everyday lives of Hip Hop dancers and our regular jobs, I also choreographed two pieces that were about the loss of my good friend, eyedea aka Michael Larsen, and my wife's wonderful father, Rob Iverson. Finally, there were three works that used humor to advise Hip Hop dancers on how to act in a marriage - never leave your sweaty knee pads out where your SO has to touch them!
The second performance in 2013 was titled Hip Hop! because we were back! The cast demonstrated how valuable our work is by selling out both nights last year. The show included pieces about a dancer's process, my frustrations with technology, and the misconceptions that form when dancers see another style of dance and assume it's easy. We collaborated with super musical group, Saltee, to see if we could get the audience to dance using only movement. The experiment worked! I also choreographed a piece about my lovely wife, Bethany Iverson, and our adventures together. Finally, a collaboration with beatboxer extraordinaire and eloquent emcee, Carnage the Executioner rounded out the show.
The current show is titled Hip Hop. because the cast is here to stay and we can now tackle some more difficult subjects. This year we examine gun control, racism and suppressed histories. But this does not mean that it won't be fun or appropriate for all ages! It may sound a little weird but there are ways to attack these issues that bring the audience into the performance, and give them power to act. There is also a piece about my incomparable wife, of course. But I have to leave some surprises for you!
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