Beat Nation at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, is an exhibition comprised of Aboriginal urban art, dance and music, all of which come together in the Beat Nation All Styles Dance Battle! The two on two dance competition, where the winner will take home a cash prize of $1000 dollars, is taking place March 22nd.
What would a battle be without hosts? Similar to previous competitions of this nature, the hosts are individuals well versed in the art of Hip Hop dance as well as the culture. The lineup includes Harbourfront Centre favorite, Benzo (Bag of Trix), who has made multiple appearances as both a performer and a seasoned b-boy judge.
We managed to grab a few words with Benzo in regards to the event:
As a host, what do you hope to bring to the All Styles Battle?
I bring the true culture of Hip-Hop as the host to the All-Styles Battle, it’s not just about dancing. My lifestyle is Hip-Hop, the way I dress and talk is all a part of being a good host for this event. Hosting battles is something I love to do and I have the experience.
What are your thoughts on the merging of aboriginal and hip hop culture?
I don’t think we are merging with aboriginal art, because the dance that we are doing comes from their Pow wow dances. I would say it’s more like we are getting a chance to go back home, if you know what I mean. Hip-Hop has so many influences so it’ll be interesting to focus on the aboriginal part of Bboying/Bgirling. So what I am trying to say is that aboriginal culture has always been a a part of Hip-Hop.
At the end of this event I just want people to see how important dance is to these people that are involved in this battle. For most of these dancers they dance for a living. So I would like everyone to treat what we do like a real dance and art form, the history shows that it is real dance.
Bboying/Bgirling is evolving dance and it even changed gymnastics eg. AirFlare Morgan Hamm who did it at the Olympics 2008. I hope everyone sees the love for the music cause that is why we dance.