Innovation, pushing things beyond their limits and turning them into something new. That’s what The Culture is all about. A perfect example of that is Hiplet, a stunning fusion of hip-hop and African dance with classical ballet.
Hiplet is the brainchild of Homer Bryant, the founder of the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center. He was a young dancer who came up with the seed of the idea in the 1980’s while at a rap concert. And he worked, refined, and grinded till it finally went viral in 2016.
It breaks the stuffiness and restrictions of traditional ballet and gives it’s highly-trained dancers more freedom to show what they can do and inject more of themselves into the dance. African-American dancers have struggled for years to fit into the world of ballet but this is their space to shine. Hiplet is contemporary, it’s now and it’s dancers and their moves rep The Culture. Watching classically trained ballet dancers plié and pirouette and then break out into choreography from Beyoncé’s “Put A Ring On It” but on their toes instead of in high heels is a sight to behold.
Over the last couple of years, Bryant’s troupe has performed on Good Morning America, The Steve Harvey Show, and even a Versace ad campaign. Hiplet videos now dominate YouTube and Instagram aweing millions of viewers. And the movement is continuing to grow, inspiring young women (and men) of color letting them know they can pursue their classical dance dreams, and can do it their way and with style.
Check out some of our other recent articles as well:
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- Interview: Hip-Hop Weekly Editor-In-Cheif Kim SoMajor
Written by @TalentedMrFord