|Courtesy of Lori Teague|
My working title is “Stay Real” and it was inspired by my research through the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. I am researching hip-hop vernacular dance on the concert stage. I explore themes of authenticity and appropriation through interviews with choreographers Kyle Abraham, Victor Quijada, and Rennie Harris. I question, what happens when a street dance form is danced in a formal setting? Is the movement restrictive or liberating? Does it become a fusion with modern or ballet techniques, or can the vernacular live as its own entity on stage? All of these questions surround my research and are the foundation of my work.
“Stay Real” addresses other concerns within the hip-hop community however, issues and themes I encountered during my research. For example, the theme of authenticity: whom does hip-hop belong to? Another issue is the current financial narrative of hip-hop music and the negative consequences it can have on youth, the black community, and hip-hop music itself.
I began with generating movement phrases in each of the street dance forms that fall under the Hip-Hop Dance Umbrella: breaking, popping, locking, whacking, Voguing, Krumping, and hip-hop studio. Once I had the movement material, I started playing with composition to create structure, develop relationships on stage, and ultimately communicate something. In addition, my musical choices also play key roles in creating the right atmosphere for the movement.
Some say that choreography is all about the process. I agree, but choreography and composition are important because of the final product they yield. In the end, I hope my choreographic process will produce a great piece. So far so good.
On April 12th Medina hosted an exciting lecture-demonstration, "Keeping It Real?"! "Keeping it Real?" was the culmination of Medina's Fellowship work, an exploration of hip-hop on the concert stage.
Don't miss the Emory Dance Company Spring Showcase, Tabula Rasa. Click here for more details.
For more information on the Emory Dance Program, please go to our website.