The Bronx Revolution and The Birth of Hip Hop is a multimedia work conceived and directed by Joanna Haigood in collaboration with Hip Hop legends MC Grandmaster Caz, DJ GrandWizzard Theodore, photographer Joe Conzo, Jr., MC Sha Rock, Grandmaster Melle Mel, graffiti artist BG 183, BGirl Rokafella, and video artist John Ensor Parker.
The performance work is a series of poetic portraits that illustrate Hip Hop’s origins in the South Bronx in the 1970s and is structured around the personal narratives of 8 Hip Hop pioneers. The artists will tell their stories through their distinct media - DJing, MCing, graffiti, or dance - and through their interaction with a surrounding visual and sound environment. A video landscape, created by John Ensor Parker and the video arts collective 3_Search, includes projected images of Joe Conzo, Jr.’s archival photographs of the 1970’s South Bronx and the beginnings of the Hip Hop movement and its artists.
The performance will tour nationally and each performance will include a cypher of local artists, dance crews, and DJs. An educational component for local youth will be facilitated by the pioneering Bronx artists and will include DJ’ing (using the Scratch DJ Academy curriculum), MC’ing, dance, graffiti, and the history of Hip Hop.
As we continue to develop this new evolution of the work, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. graciously hosted The Bronx Revolution development team with an “Office Hours Residency" in August 2021. The “Office Hours" is a curated creative residency program hosted at the Kennedy Center’s REACH.