A multimedia performance event originally commissioned by Dancing in the Streets and the Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education (New York), The Bronx Revolution and The Birth of Hip Hop chronicles the origins of Hip Hop culture in the Boogie Down Bronx.
When Hip Hop first emerged in the mid seventies no one could have foreseen that it would become the dominant global youth culture and The Bronx’s biggest export. Conceived and directed by Joanna Haigood in collaboration with Hip Hop legends DJ Theodore Livingston aka Grand Wizzard Theodore and photographer Joe Conzo Jr., this celebratory work opens with a series of Conzo’s large scale projected photographic images from the seventies, which appear throughout the performance. In addition to the stories of Livingston and Conzo, the show explores the personal narratives of Grandmaster Caz from the Cold Crush Brothers, BGirl Rokafella and BG 183 of the Tats Cru graffiti collective. Each of these artists has a personal connection to the Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education, where the show was performed. The artists tell their stories through their own particular artform: DJing, MCing, graffiti art, or BGirling. Also featured in the first production were guest appearances by legends Grandmaster Melle Mel, Crazy Legs, Jazzy Jay, and Kwikstep. The show culminated with a Cipher in which the audience was invited to participate. Video design was provided by John Ensor Parker and 3_Search.
Direction: Joanna Haigood
Concept Advisors: DJ Theodore Livingston aka Grand Wizzard Theodore, Joe Conzo Jr., Grandmaster Caz
Video Design: John Ensor Parker and 3_Search
DJ Theodore Livingston aka Grand Wizzard Theodore, Joe Conzo Jr., Grandmaster Caz, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Crazy Legs, Jazzy Jay, BG 183, BGirl Rokafella, and Kwikstep
Funders / Commissioners
The Bronx Revolution and the Birth of Hip Hop was supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Con Edison, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, MetLife Foundation All-In: Re-imagining Community Participation Grant Program, and sponsored by Bloomberg
The South Bronx Culture Trail was supported by The Rockefeller Foundation’s NYC Cultural Innovation Fund with additional support from Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, Con Edison, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and The New York Community Trust
Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education, Bronx, NY
Poster design: Joe Conzo
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