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Two-day Event Celebrates Hip-Hop Culture

Two-day Event Celebrates Hip-Hop Culture

Califest’08 Hip Hop Theatre returns to UC Riverside on April 30 and May 1.

(April 21, 2008)

Rickerby HindsEnlarge

Rickerby Hinds

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Califest ’08 Hip Hop Theatre will celebrate hip-hop culture in a two-day event Wednesday, April 30, and Friday, May 1, at UCR.

The annual event, which features performances in theater, dance, music, poetry, spoken word and art, is presented by the UC Riverside Department of Theatre and is in its sixth year. Rickerby Hinds, UCR assistant professor of playwriting, is the creator and producer.

Performances will take place at 8 p.m. April 30 and May 1 in the Theatre Lab, Humanities 411, next to the University Theatre. Admission is free and open to the public. Parking is $5. Some performances may not be suitable for all audiences.

Schedule of events:

Wednesday, April 30: Borderlandia and the Frontera Explosion — Performance poetry by Amalia Alvarez and Mark Gonzales. Alvarez is a UCR graduate student in creative writing and writing for the performing arts. Gonzales is a Hip Hop Theatre playwright, HBO Def Poet and lecturer who has been commissioned to perform his productions for Cornell University, members of the United Nations, Congress and conferences across the United States.

Friday, May 2: “The Sixth Vowel” — A performance by Niki Klaymoon that incorporates elements of dance, spoken word and video to tell the story of a fifth-grader with an intuitive connection to the spirit world whose parents and teachers tell her she has a learning disability. Klaymoon has performed “The Sixth Vowel” at festivals in Florida, Oregon and Scotland.

Boom Bap Meditations by Baba Israel — A solo piece that employs beatboxing, MCing, freestyle rap and compelling body movements as Baba Israel relates his journey from his native New York to his mother’s homeland of Australia and his discovery of hip hop culture. Baba Israel has performed with Full Circle on Broadway and has appeared in such hip-hop films as “Freestyle,” “Breath Control” and “Hip Hop for Hope.”

Califest Hip Hop Theatre began as a one-day workshop and performance and has evolved into a longer series of performances that use hip-hop as a foundation while employing proven elements of the traditional stage in the creation of stories by, for and about a new generation of potential theater-goers.

Hinds, a native of Honduras who immigrated to South-Central Los Angeles at age 13, is one of the founders of the hip hop theatre genre.

Califest ’08 Hip Hop Theatre is sponsored by the UCR Center for Ideas and Society, Office of Vice Provost for Conflict Resolution, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Sweeney Art Gallery, African Students Programs and the Department of Theatre.
Niki Klaymoon performs " height="266" width="400" />Enlarge

Niki Klaymoon performs "The Sixth Vowel."

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