Home Chennai City braces for first hip-hop festival

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    Whata��s going down at the first-ever Indian Hip Hop Fest in the city

    While Chennaia��s stiletto shod head to the Chennai International Fashion Week this weekend, a couple of streets away an excited bunch of B-Boys will be lacing up their best sneakers for the citya��s first hip hop fest. Though they might be largely an underground section of dancers, given that hip hop is still a fairly nascent dance form in India, expect desi B-Boys from as far as Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and even Kerala.

    Organised by the Catalyst Art Foundation and supported by the Goethe Institut, where the three-day festival will take place, we hear HIPHOP3that although the buzz around the competition has been primarily via social media, the response has been pretty over the top. a�?People have already called me to ask whether I can organise this festival in their city for the next edition,a�? says Phani Kumar, the man behind it. A dancer and DJ himself, hea��s previously organised festivals like the Chennai Street Festival and BOTY (Battle of the Year). a�?But this time, we wanted to make it bigger,a�? he shares.

    Mark your calendar
    Gear up for B-Boy battles, a Super B-Boy battle for teeny boppers, a rap showcase, workshops by B-Boy Pozaki from Bangkok and a beatboxing session with MC Beep from Bangalore. a�?Therea��s also a docu-film wea��re going to screen titled Bouncing Cats,a�? Kumar tells us. a�?Ita��s about how downtrodden kids in Uganda had their lives turned around thanks to hip hop.a�? To top it all off, Aussie DJ Astro Black will ensure the mood is always a�?upbeat,a�� with his dance and electro music. For those wondering about the crews, watch out for gangsta names like Black Ice Crew (Bangalore), Smackerz (Chennai) and De-rockyoumerz (Kerala). We asked Keralite Jayadave aka Kastor, when he was on the dancefloor, a�?what are the Za��s all about?a�� a�?I dona��t know,a�? responds the 21-year-old with a laugh. But no matter, wea��ll still be there to cheer him on. God knows those headstands arena��t easy!

    The Indian Hip Hop Fest is between July 18 and 20 at the Goethe Institut, Nungambakkam. Tickets at `500. Details: 9841458192 / facebook.com/Indianhiphopfest

    a��Sonali Shenoy

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