My project aims to promote bboying & bgirling, or 'breakdancing', to the people of Kingston. There are two main initiatives to this project: a bboy battle that will bring in dancers from bigger cities where hip hop is far more prevalent, and through my own workshop series and educational materials. The battle is called Forgotten Styles and is Kingston's only annual bboy event. With my own workshops held throughout the year, my vision is to create a community of dancers across Kingston collectively known as the Kingston City Breakers. Historically, crews used to rep their neighbourhoods, but I want to create a community that represents the city of Kingston as a whole, and in a few years perhaps have them travel to other cities to compete. For now though, the emphasis is on promoting the existence and validity of the culture and dance, which is often misrepresented in the popular media.
Through Forgotten Styles, audience members will bear witness to impressive manifestations of hip hop culture. This year I plan to elevate the level of the dancing and integrate other aspects of hip hop, including spoken word, graffiti art, and community-building. This way, the public will have a better view of what hip hop stands for and what it has meant to generations of young people in the past 40 years.
The Kingston City Breakers collective's main goal will be to grow, gathering as many interested people and bringing them together to learn from each other. To facilitate this learning, I am teaching workshops for the community and planning to start an online web series and develop other educational material.
Through these two initiatives, my hope is that Kingston will discover the benefits of this culture that has swept the world.
Funded by Kingston, ON (November 2012)