JIBILIKA Dance Festival organisers have introduced a French hip-hop dance competition dubbed Battle Rivalskool as the highlight for this year’s edition in Harare in a bid to maintain the fiesta’s sparkle.
BY ARTS REPORTERS
The dance fete scheduled for August 18 to 19 is to be held under the theme 10UP, will be used to commemorate Jibilika’s decade in promoting dance and youth culture at Jibilika Dance Academy, Batanai Gardens, Joina City, Dzivarasekwa basketball court and Theatre in the Park.
Festival founder, Plot Mhako told NewsDay recently that the introduction of the French hip-hop dance competition was a culmination of years of engagement with the French organisers.
“The Battle Rivalskool is an international hip-hop dance competition created in 2008 by Narmer Lite,” he said.
“It is based on the association of freestyle dance and stage play, all with exclusively hip hop music. It is in the heart of the city of the enlightenment, Paris, that dancers from all over France and the world confront each other, through a typical stage.”
He said Zimbabwe was the first African country to host a pre-selection, adding that the festival will involve a creative workshop and a freestyle dance battle covering several hip- hop and African dance styles, with winners set to participate at the final edition of the battle in France in December.
“Our goal in bringing the event to Jibilika Festival is to create a bridge for local dancers to get exposed with the dance scene outside of the country, learn and also share their knowledge, skills and heritage,” he said.
Lite said their desire is to create pre-sets in different countries to facilitate access to the competition, by erasing geographical or financial barriers, while promoting cultural exchange.
“By combining these two events, we want to inaugurate a lasting artistic collaboration between France and Zimbabwe,” he said, adding that finalists will be invited to Zimbabwe Rivalskool Paris.
He added that the Zimbabwean finalists will get a chance to teach hip-hop and traditional dance in the largest schools in Paris.
“They will also have the opportunity to do conferences and radio passages with local dancers,” he said.
The festival hosted international events in 2009 and 2010, including the biggest breakdance event in the world, and the African qualifier in 2011.
The festival brought to the limelight amazing talent including National Music Awards winning group Magesh, Rolx Dance Group, Flip Floppers and ProBeatz.