World-renowned b-boy to lead hip hop and street dance festival in Calgary this weekend

 World-renowned b-boy to lead hip hop and street dance festival in Calgary this weekend


Ken Swift nonetheless remembers one of many first instances he noticed folks break dancing.

He was in his early teenagers in New York Metropolis, and he heard a DJ enjoying close to a night-time carnival. A bunch of individuals had shaped, and he thought there may be a battle. 

However when he acquired a bit nearer, he says he noticed folks shifting in methods he’d by no means seen earlier than.

“I used to be sort of like intimidated and blown away,” he mentioned in an interview on CBC’s Daybreak Alberta. “I sort of checked out it and was amazed by it, and also you needed to determine it out with out asking questions.”

However it did not take lengthy for the dance type to work its magic on Swift. He is now often called one of many pioneers of break dance and hip-hop tradition, and he is in Calgary this weekend for a competition created to honour the artwork type and his impression on it.

“There’s legendary dancers from Calgary,” mentioned Swift. “This weekend is simply going to maintain on including on to methods to encourage folks to bop and be motivated with hip-hop tradition.”

Tara Wilson — hip-hop dancer, teacher on the College of Calgary and proprietor of Pulse Studios, a neighborhood dance studio devoted purely to hip hop — introduced Swift to Calgary to permit the town’s dancers to study from him.

She met him about 15 years in the past when he first got here to Calgary to evaluate some competitions and train a couple of courses.

Wilson says she’d already spoken with Swift about coming to the town to collaborate on a couple of tasks this fall, however a couple of weeks in the past, she realized what a possibility she had.

“I really feel that we’re simply so fortunate that many of those pioneers and this historical past continues to be related at the moment,” she mentioned in an interview on CBC’s The Homestretch.

“The reward that that is to my group is past phrases as a result of now they don’t seem to be studying it from a e book or from a film or from some third, fourth supply. They’re spending time with him within the room and listening to him speak and seeing the way in which that he does it.”

‘It is a lifestyle’

Swift is recognized for his legendary strikes, his work with the influential American breaking group Rock Regular Crew and his appearances in motion pictures like Flashdance, Wild Type and Beat Avenue.

All through the weekend there shall be movie screenings, demonstrations, Q&As and naturally some breaking battles, Wilson says, in what she hopes to be an annual competition.

Swift will even be speaking concerning the historical past of the artwork type. He says breaking originated within the Bronx borough of New York Metropolis within the early ’70s. He grew to become conscious of it a couple of years later, and he was instantly hooked.

“It is a lifestyle. You realize, it is one thing that I fell in love with as an adolescent,” he mentioned. “There was one thing about it that, you realize, at that age I felt this actually cool freedom … that is highly effective.”

WATCH | Loopy Legs and Ken Swift carry out on Late Evening with David Letterman in 1983:

Swift has now spent greater than 4 a long time within the business, and he says he is wanting ahead to sharing his information of the struggles and trauma that contributed to hip-hop tradition, in addition to a few of the mentors that he is discovered from.

“I wish to go the torch,” he mentioned. “If lots of people do not know what this has been via to get to the place it’s now, they are not going to know the probabilities of the place it may possibly go.”

The entire weekend’s occasions are occurring on the West Village Theatre close to 10 Avenue S.W. and 19 Avenue S.W. Tickets can be found on the door for between $20 and $30.

A youngsters breaking battle will get going Saturday at 1 p.m. Stroll-in rivals are welcome, Wilson says, and so they’re providing prizes of $150 for first place and $50 for second place. 

An identical battle for adults occurs Saturday at 6 p.m., in addition to a pop-up market.

On Sunday at 7:30 p.m., members will study a few of the theatre tasks Swift has been engaged on with dancers in the neighborhood.


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