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New platform dedicated to hip hop dance theatre

Nefeli Tsiouti - photo Danilo Moroni

A new hip hop dance theatre platform hits the island and aims to showcase the talents of Cyprus. Breakalign Grounds is the first platform of its kind and is set to give a louder voice to the artists concerned while supporting them with the required knowledge and help from trained professionals.

The initiative to create this platform was taken by Project Breakalign, a prevention of injuries research project for dancers created by Nefeli Tsiouti. Also known as Bgirl sMash, Nefeli founded the project to prevent injuries for dancers, specifically breakers. A skilled dancer herself, Nefeli underwent a serious operation due to an injury which stopped her from continuing her career smoothly. Since then, she has devoted herself to reducing the risk of injuries.

Though she wears more than just one hat – she is a lecturer, dance scientist, choreographer and sports massage therapist – Nefeli combines her unique expertise to educate follow creatives and offer career longevity.

“I created this platform because I have been creating hip-hop dance theatre since 2010 in London. I created it for my MA thesis and since I moved to Cyprus in 2016 I have felt the lack of hip-hop dance theatre in Cyprus. The most important reason I wanted to create this platform was to raise awareness about this genre, educate younger people interested in this, and to develop hip-hop artists from a different approach through their artform,” she said.

The Breakalign Grounds platform, in its first outing, will produce a performance of four different companies showcasing hip-hop dance theatre pieces curated by Nefeli and guided by the dramaturgy of Christina Kostoula. The evenings will present a new perspective on hip-hop, in combination with dance theatre dramaturgy. Performances will vary from solos, duets and trios.

Part of the performances presented next Thursday and Friday is Endymion, a piece initially developed as part of the Artists in Residence at the Dance House Nicosia between March and June 2018.

The activities continue on November 25 with a masterclass with two of the performers of Endymion along with Nefeli, which will be a practical explanation of the methodology used to create the piece. The workshop is mainly targeted towards dancers, actors and physical performers.

Though the first two nights invite the wider public to witness this dance form, experience it and learn, “the performances are targeted towards an audience that wants to see something new in Cyprus, dance theatre disguised under the hip-hop umbrella, staged with dramaturgical tools. Dancers and artists will find the night very interesting, and the hip-hop audience will definitely find the evening an intriguing and thought-provoking night,” added Nefeli anticipating the opening night.

If all goes well, the organisers hope to have the second edition of the platform in 2019 and continue paving the road for a more enriched hip hop dance theatre scene on the island.

1st Cyprus Hip-hop Dance Theatre Platform
Live dance performances as part of the new platform for dancers and theatre performers. November 22-23. Workshop November 25. Egomio Cultural Centre, Nicosia. 8.30pm. €10. Tel: 99-462320

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