IN an effort to make the annual Jibilika Dance Festival maintain its sparkle, the festival’s organisers will this year introduce a French hip hop dance competition dubbed “Battle Rivalskool” as the core highlight at the fiesta to be held on August 18 and 19 at various venues in Harare.
By Winstone Antonio
This year’s edition, to be held under the theme “10UP”, will commemorate a decade in the promotion of dance and youth culture through a number of activities and performances.
Festival founder Plot Mhako told IndependentXtra that the introduction of the French hip hop dance competition was a culmination of years of engagement with the French organisers.
“The Battle Rivalskool is an international hip-hop dance competition created in 2008 by Narmer Lite,” he said.
“It is based on the association of freestyle dance and stage play, all with exclusively hip hop music.
“It is in the heart of the city of the enlightenment, Paris, that dancers from all over France and the world confront each other, through a typical stage.
“Zimbabwe becomes the first African country to host a preselection.”
Mhako said the festival will involve a creativeness workshop and a one versus one freestyle dance battle covering several hip hop and African dance styles with winners from the contest set to participate at the finale edition of the battle in France in December.
“Our goal in bringing the event to Jibilika Festival is to create a bridge for local dancers to get exposed with the dance scene outside of the country, learn and also share their knowledge, skills and heritage,” he said.
Lite, Rivalskool founder, Lite said their desire is to create pre-sets in different countries to facilitate access to the competition, by erasing geographical or financial constraints, while promoting cultural exchange.
“By combining these two events, we want to inaugurate a lasting artistic collaboration between France and Zimbabwe,” he said.
“Finalists will be invited to Zimbabwe Rivalskool Paris, on December to participate in the French edition of the battle.
“The Zimbabwean finalists will get a chance to teach hip hop and traditional dance in the largest schools in the Paris.
“They will also have the opportunity to do conferences and radio passages with local dancers.”
This is not the first time that Jibilika Dance Festival has hosted an international event, as In 2009 and 2010 they hosted the biggest breakdance event in the world Battle of the Year and subsequently the African qualifier in 2011.