The concept for this project, which forms part of the British Council SA’s arts programme, was adapted from the UK hip hop scene where hip hop has successfully been integrated into the local theatre sector.
Looking at the local hip hop culture, the British Council saw an opportunity to contribute in the development of the local hip hop dance theatre culture, as it is still largely confined to the clubs and battle scene, where it nonetheless enjoys a strong presence and following.
The idea is to develop a new generation of South African hip hop dance performance artists, whose unique and world-class works will be exported for the enrichment of international audiences and will empower the artists to package their craft, manage their brands and to attach value to them.
A first for South Africa, Mixing it Up provides a platform for Johannesburg and Cape Town based artists to portray genuine South African stories through mixed dance styles, music and words. As a holistic approach to hip hop, audiences will also be enthralled by the genre’s other elements such as DJing , rapping, graffiti and the trendiest street wear brands.
The performers were selected from the preliminary Sweat Week workshops and closed auditions in November and January. Mixing it up will showcase their new original work, under the guidance from expert choreographers and curators. The idea is to show this work to key influential stakeholders in the arts/dance/theatre sector i.e. local and international dance festival curators, theatre programme managers, booking agents, press, and public.
Mixing it Up is made possible by the British Council in collaboration with Matchboxology Creative Incubator, Heal the Hood Project, Artscape Theatre, Goethe Institut, French Institute, the University of Johannesburg, French Embassy, EUNIC, DJ Switch, Bush Radio and the French Embassy.
The festival will take place in Johannesburg on March 7 and 8 at the University of Johannesburg Theatre; and on March 10 and 11 at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town. Tickets are available at computicket at a cost of R50 and a reduced rate of R30 is available for students on presentation of a valid student card.
Source : MIO