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Hip-hop to spread social message

School students would rub shoulders with international artistes on Saturday to promote social awareness issues through hip-hop.

An US hip-hop group, Next Level, reached Patna on May 20 for a 10-day workshop-cum-training programme on art and music at St Karen’s High School. American Center, US Consulate, Calcutta, conducted it.

The final collaborative public performance would be staged on Saturday at Rabindra Bhavan, where the students and the artistes would showcase an entertaining collection of hip-hop theatre, kathak, DJ mashup, tabla-rap rhyme medley with Bollywood inclusions.

Paul S. Rockower, executive director, American Center, said: “The Next Level team — Korin Wong-Horiuchi (beat maker), Ansley Jones (dancer), Lester Wallace (DJ) and Sheikia Norris (rapper) — started the workshop on May 20 with around 60 students of St Karen’s High School. They trained the students on how to use hip-hop for storytelling and social communication. The workshop was a two-way exchange programme in which the artistes and the students got to learn from each other. The artistes also learnt about Indian music, culture and dance.”

He added: “Hip-hop is a dance form through which people in US promote social awareness. Similarly, we have also tried to teach the students to interact through dance and music. We have also made documentaries to interact with the students on social issues, including gender discrimination and civic democracy. We have tried to make a fusion of hip-hop, Indian classical music and dance. The students of Patna are a talented lot.”

DJ Wallace enjoyed the two-way exchange programme and the classical beats of Indian music. “India is rich in terms of classical music and dance. There are many forms of dance here. It was amazing working with the students. I have taught them how sound works, travels and gets converted into beats. Through music, I have informed them about the history of hip-hop. I have also taught them how to use poetry, fable and music in hip-hop.”

Beat maker -Horiuchi told the students about beat making and composition. “The students now know the basics of rhythm and beat that is essential for music composition. After a formal training, we have recorded four tracks.”

Dancer Jones trained the students on how to express themselves through dance. “I have tried to train the students in three areas — stretching, muscle movement and free style.”


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