Words and Photos by: Alexandra Contreras
On the morning of Saturday, February 3, dancers of all ages and backgrounds met at The Dance Complex for a workshop taught by two cast members of French dance company Compagnie Accrorap. They shared some of their knowledge about hip hop, breakdancing, and locking while creating a fun environment where creativity and exploration were at its highest. The workshop ranged from activities and explorations across the floor, in a circle, individually, with partners, and in small groups. Throughout the two hours of dancing the teachers related some of their movements and explanations to hip hop’s influence from tap, martial arts, capoeira, and salsa –to name a few. And during every activity they encouraged dancers to try and explore new movements, qualities, and speeds while listening to their bodies and feeling the music.
In only two hours, a sense of community and camaraderie had already been established among the dancers and one could see that everyone was feeling way more comfortable in the style. This just served to show yet another impact of hip hop and dance, which successfully unites people of different techniques and paths. At the end of class, both company dancers shared an impressive improvisation which gave a preview and piqued the excitement of those who were going to see them that night at Boch Center’s Shubert Theatre in the company’s show The Roots. Directed and choreographed by Kader Attou, The Roots is a 90-minute show of 11 male dancers doing equally breathtaking and intriguing movements in pieces that gave tribute to the origins of hip hop.