STREET DANCE : RECOGNITION OF OUR HERITAGE
In order to fight against the disinformation and the cultural appropriation of which our discipline can sometimes be victim, the Forward Movements company wishes to emphasize that street dance as well as all the forms of art resulting from what one commonly calls “hip hop culture” is one of the many valuable legacies of Afro-descendant communities and the black cultures that flow from them. The conferences that we have organized as part of the Kairos Festival 2020 will be able to enlighten you on this subject, in particular that of Rashaad and Buddha Stretch, pioneers of Popping & Boogaloo and Hip Hop.
We invite people interested in our mission and our activities to recognize this heritage, to deepen their knowledge of street dance and that Afro and Latin American actors are at the origin of its evolution, while developing a critical look at the stereotypes and prejudices sometimes conveyed in the media. Here are some details that we think are important:
The term Hip hop designates both a style of dance, but also refers to a whole culture inherited from the African-American and Latin communities of the Bronx of the 1970s. Hip Hop dance is based on the principles of rock, groove and bounce. Danced to the music of the same name, the style appeared during the 1980s during block parties and clubs. Hip Hop is therefore originally what is called a dance party.
Popping (originally called “Boogaloo”) is considered today as a style of street dance belonging to what is called “hip hop culture”, Popping actually comes from “funk culture” and was born on the west coast of the United States (Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, Sacramento) in the late 1960s. Groups such as One Plus One, The Black Ressurgence, The Black Messenger made it possible to lay the foundations for a style that continues to evolve after more than 50 years of existence. Moving towards Fresno and Long Beach, it was made famous by the Electric Boogaloos group in 1978.
Popularized during the evolution of funk music, the strut attitude, the funky grooves, the different tensions of the muscles as well as the isolation body and muscle are predominant in this style of dance, it is the mastery of these techniques that will allow the dancers to create visual illusions such as the famous “wave” or “the robot”. In short, we could say that this style is the constant creation of illusion within a rhythmic framework. (Source: “The Formula”, by Ford Mckeown Larose)
Being a street dance company, consisting of disciplines birthed out of afro-descendant communities of the United States, victims of colonisation, assimilation, and dispossessed of their cultures, we wish to acknowledge that we are here on unceded ancestral territories, which have also been tainted by colonialism. It is important that our desire to preserve and sustain street dance is done with respect for everyone, and that it reflects the values of Hip Hop: “Peace, Love, Unity & Having Fun”.
Tiohtià:ke, sacred territory of the Kanien’kehà:ka Nation, has always been known as a place of gathering for the indigenous people, let’s respect the territory as we do our artistic practice.