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Celebrating Southeast Asian hip hop via dance pageant

Young dancers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines will virtually gather to promote and celebrate Southeast Asian hip-hop culture in the finals of Redefining Elements: A Hip-Hop Pageant, which aims to reformulate the approach to the popular genre in terms of talent, knowledge, technique, and engagement in the society. 

A collaborative platform built by the academic and hip-hop community, the contest studies the components of the art form through the lenses of the dancers in both education and praxis. The friendly match likewise investigates the diverse effects of the discipline in the Southeast Asian countries.

La Salle Dance Company-Street’s Gracles “A to Z” Dela Rosa from Taguig is one of the Philippine representatives.
La Salle Dance Company-Street’s Gracles “A to Z” Dela Rosa from Taguig is one of the Philippine representatives.
The finalists will be graded based on their skills, representation, and awareness of their respective hip-hop cultures. Each participant will be given three minutes to exhibit their distinct artistic movement on top of the core elements.

There will be a separate freestyle showcase, wherein they will portray the aesthetic balance between the dance genre and their national identities through styled looks and costumes. The competition will likewise feature a brief question and answer portion with the judges to test the contenders’ understanding and grasp of hip-hop. 

Competitors include Indonesia’s Lalu “Mamiq” Indra of @lombokhiphop and @eastblocsyndicate; Malaysia’s Amirul “Peot” Hafiz of Walawei and Beat my Bois; Singapore’s Luqman B Asád, founder of Shift Singapore; and Thailand’s Thad “Oam” Prasert of The Zoo Thailand and Litefeet Nation Thailand.

The Filipino participants include Streetmovers and ONEUPCDO member Ran Villaver Omapas from Cagayan de Oro, ALAB Danse Company and Battle Krew PH delegate Deidre “Heidra” Palaruan from Baguio, and Aftermath PH rep Carla “Foxy B” Faner from Manila. 

Other finalists are COALIXON’s Jegad “KayumanJG” Gapasin, who hailed from Soccskargen, La Salle Dance Company-Street’s Trisha Kerstin “Tribute” Tan from Zamboanga, and Gracles “A to Z” Dela Rosa from Taguig, as well as San Juan City-based John Matthew “Prodigy” Quiambao of Kinection, Krumpinoy, Original Flavor Crew, The Empire, and Armoury Krump.

The roster of judges include Swaggie Baggie Indonesia Creative Conceptor and Owner Semmy Blank, Original Flavor Crew and Beyond Passion Entertainment International Inc. Chief Creative Officer Ian Villanueva and Danz People and Danz Kidz Director Kayte Willis. 

Hosted by Benilde Experimental Dance and the Dance Program of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Manila, Redefining Elements: A Hip-Hop Pageant was the brainchild of Christine Crame, the college’s Experimental Dance Artistic Director and Dance Program Full-time Professor and Mentor. She is the highly acclaimed principal dancer and former associate director of Ballet Philippines, the country’s prestigious classical ballet institution and dance company. 

The event was spearheaded by choreographer, educator, and La Salle Dance Company-Street Artistic Director Coach Mycs Villoso, proponent of several hip-hop competitions in the country.

Redefining Elements: A Hip-Hop Pageant is co-presented by Hybrid Series Singapore, at the helm of creator, director, dancer, and choreographer Alif Aircho, together with Prelude Dance PH. It is also organized in cooperation with Proprio Wardrobe Malaysia and Jacqueline Jala of Jala Styling Studio.

The finals will go live on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 7:00 p.m. PHT in a private Facebook group. Interested viewers may register at https://forms.gle/1c1zN32cb3kVbLRNA and secure their access for P150.

Topics: Southeast Asian hip-hop culture , Redefining Elements: A Hip-Hop Pageant

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