Hip-hop dance has always been about the beat. It's 1 and 2 and 3 and 4; you're up on the and, and down on the 1, or down on the and, and up on the 1; you pop to the clap or hit on the 2, and you toprock to the kick and the snare -- it's been like that since Kool Herc noticed the kids went crazy during the breakdown section of "Get on the Good Foot," and started buying two copies of each record to extend the "break." But what happens if you switch up the music? Clas/sick Hip Hop aims to find out.
The show brings virtuoso violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain together with hip-hop dance pioneers Rennie Harris and b-girl Rockafella, turfing experts and Oakland natives Levi Allen and Ladia Yates, and Marquese Scott, among others, for the ultimate visual mash-up. The dancers kick it old-school first, doing their own routines to their own music -- but after intermission they come back out and freestyle to Roumain's live violin playing. Violins and street dance might not sound like a natural pairing, but Roumain was recently hailed as the "new face of classical music," by Esquire magazine, so we're guessing he has a few tricks up his sleeve, and beats under his strings. Or as the kids might say, "This is gonna be sick!"
Here's Ladia Yates doing her thang with the beautiful S.F. bay as background:
And here are some more mind-blowing moves, plus YBCA curator Marc Bamuthi Joseph describing hip hop as the classical American musical and dance form: