Lately I feel like I’ve been scrambling to hold on to my game. I hit the gym daily and dance hard at rehearsals just to stay at my current level. Still, I feel no positive growth. I need heavier challenges and I need to find a way to dance around the fact that I’m too broke to afford classes outside of my busy 9-8 schedule. This last week I may have finally found the inspiration I’ve been looking for.
There is an organization on campus called “CYPHER” that embodies the very ideals of the culture that I hope to someday teach at the collegiate level. Recently they dropped a mixtape featuring some talented local artists. So many people came together and put aside all of their outside responsibilities to create an album for the love of hip hop and nothing else. Why couldn’t I do the same? How many late nights did some of these artists throw down to make their works? If I really loved the hip hop I claim so hard on my dance resumes then maybe its time I prove it to myself.
So here is my declaration of a new project: Starting this month, I’m giving myself 9 months to set choreo on every track on that album. This will be in tribute to the artists who devoted their time to the art of hip hop and also provide a study for my own artistry in hip hop. I might not create every single work for the album. I’ll employ the help of my friends whenever they can, and I’ll even cross genres of dance to capture the mood of each individual track. The goal is to have choreographic work that accompanies every track. In CYPHER we frequently celebrate the 4 elements of hip hop. While hip hop choreography is not one of the 4 elements or even one of the 9 expanded elements, I’d like to think that choreography acts as a celebration and combination of the initial 4. By taking on this endeavor I’m hoping to push myself a little to stay on my hip hop prowess. I want to be able to keep my creative mind in check and give it the exercise I believe it so badly needs. Without the ability to teach classes in Tallahassee, this will be the outlet that I need to stay on my game. Additionally, I’ll be helping to promote my peers in their artform as well. Sometimes, as artists we find the most success in collaboration. As a bonus, we also get to learn a thing or two about the other elements that we might not study as intensely.
So here begins my mission. By the end of June 2012, I will have completed my project to create a choreographic album in celebration of the CYPHER mixtape.
If you want to know what I’m working with, either for contribution or just to hear that good-good, you can download it for free here.