B-Boy Spaghetti of Norway was among the international artists taking part in the world premiere of “Isolation in Humanity,” a collaboration commissioned by the International Hip Hop DanceFest festival showcasing b-boying, popping, krump, house, and contemporary dance. (Photo courtesy Ekopics)

B-Boy Spaghetti of Norway was among the international artists taking part in the world premiere of “Isolation in Humanity,” a collaboration commissioned by the International Hip Hop DanceFest festival showcasing b-boying, popping, krump, house, and contemporary dance. (Photo courtesy Ekopics)

Performers pop, lock, spin and sit at International Hip Hop DanceFest Saturday

Spinning, popping and flipping — and at times sitting — performers in the 22nd annual San Francisco International Hip Hop DanceFest carried on the event’s tradition virtually Saturday.

Founded in 1999 by El Cerrito resident and dance instructor Micaya, who goes by only one name, this year’s event was livestreamed from the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco at noon.

Before the descent of COVID-19, the event regularly sold out over multiple days at San Francisco’s capacious Palace of Fine Arts Theatre. More than 300 people purchased tickets to Saturday’s livestream.

“Our goal is to curate top-notch movement architects who create works of art onstage,” Micaya said as the event began.

Twirling a flame-red swath of fabric that nearly spanned the stage, pulling Prince-style splits and spinning on one foot, the Loyalty Dance Team of Murfreesboro, Tennessee kicked off the performances in a video from a past DanceFest. Two soloists, Rama Hall and Nasty Ray, followed with live performances. Reflecting the innovative nature of the event, Nasty Ray incorporated a chair into his performance, spinning in the chair before spinning on one hand in a more familiar hip-hop move.

Hip-hop began on street corners and in nightclubs in the 1970s, with crews facing off in dance battles. Micaya founded the DanceFest as a non-competitive way to spotlight a wide variety of dance companies.

In a riveting challenge to preconceptions about dance and who can perform it, one performance began with the words, “My name is Kujo. … I can’t hear.” The dancer is a member of Ill-Abilities, an international dance crew comprised of differently abled dancers. The piece is titled “No excuses, no limits.” Other members of the troupe appeared in the piece as well.

“When I can’t hear the rhythm, I make my own beat,” Kujo said in a recording that played as he danced across the stage, at times scooting backward on his head, seeming to defy gravity.

The program also included the world premiere of “Isolation in Humanity,” a collaboration between five international artists commissioned by the festival showcasing b-boying, popping, krump, house, and contemporary dance.

The artists are BBoy Spaghetti of Norway, Jade Hackett of London), Sun Kim of Korea and New York, Jardy Santiago of California and Duwane Taylor of London.

Celebrities such as Alicia Garza, who is credited with co-founding the Black Lives Matter movement, and RuPaul, a longtime friend of Micaya’s, taped short videos that were interspersed with the performances.

The event concluded with a videotape of children under 14 dancing to “Just Fine, Treat ‘Em Right Remix” by Mary J. Blige.

Bay Area NewsDancesan francisco news

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

After the pandemic hit, Twin Peaks Boulevard was closed to vehicle traffic, a situation lauded by open space advocates. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New proposal to partially reopen Twin Peaks to vehicles pleases no one

Neighbors say closure brought crime into residential streets, while advocates seek more open space

Members of the Sheriff’s Department command staff wore masks at a swearing-in ceremony for Assistant Sheriff Tanzanika Carter. One attendee later tested positive. 
Courtesy SFSD
Sheriff sees increase in COVID-19 cases as 3 captains test positive

Command staff among 10 infected members in past week

Rainy weather is expected in the coming week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Rainstorms, potential atmospheric river expected to drench Bay Area in coming week

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation Multiple rainstorms, cold temperatures some… Continue reading

Lowell High School is considered an academically elite public school. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Students denounce ‘rampant, unchecked racism’ at Lowell after slurs flood anti-racism lesson

A lesson on anti-racism at Lowell High School on Wednesday was bombarded… Continue reading

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23), shown here against the San Antonio Spurs at Chase Center on January 20, was ejected from Thursday night’s game on a technical foul after he yelled at a teammate during a play. (Chris Victorio for the S.F. Examiner).
Warriors 119-101 loss to Knicks highlights Draymond Green’s value

Team struggles with fouls, lack of discipline in play

Most Read