HIP HAAP- By Vishwa Kiran

The intent was to do hip hop but y does it look like moves stolen from a Chinese fight sequence blended with a real bad MJ impersonation. Well, I’ve been askin myself this q evrytime I watch somin on indian television where someone is trying to krump with an oversized pull over( Intentionally worn) trying to point towards his man b**bs with those arthritis fingers. Well you have to appreciate his guts, after all he is doing this to himself on national television, but wait a minute; I also saw about a hundred odd dancers imitate his moves in a local competition in the city, where has it gone wrong??????
Well honestly I don’t know; may be for them it just didn’t matter as long as they had fun. Well things were not that different when I was growing up, shaking a leg for everything possible MJ, Ricky Martin, BSB, Shivarajkumar, Mamooty….. just about anything that inspired us to move. And the moves we did would resemble anything from riding a bicycle to peeling bananas.
My affiliation with hip hop is like Britney Spears’s brain; Though biologically you might prove it exists, it’s hardly any proof????. With a little professional training, I decided that hip hop is my second favorite dance form. Well I would not say I was very bad at it, when compared to the guy with the arthritis fingers. Not to brag or anything, but I’m naturally good with movements and hip hop comes with less effort. I could really make people believe that I know what I’m doing, Kinda like what our Indian cricket team does with their fielding. My folks at the company were so impressed they made me take a couple of technique sessions for them, well, glad I could help.
You know this thing that you really like, not very good at, but you keep doing it and eventually get better at, the same thing happened to me. As a dancer it gives you time to understand a movement form, its history, origin and its purpose. You will question yourself about why you like it so much or why the movement flows naturally in your body. Answering this might help you understand your connection with the dance form and once you have done that all you need is an inspiration point to create movements, which in my case was just about anything.
It’s really important that you know what you are going to do with all the knowledge you have acquired, Well NOT REALLY. I never learnt anything with an intension to make good use of it, I’ve got proof- 18 years of academic education and I’m a full time dancer. It really does not matter, you know how they say, everything happens for good; My CREATIVE IMPULSE told me to do something brave and stupid, well I rule the kingdom of ‘The Brave and Stupid’; hence I went ahead and did it. I thought why not find a connection between my two favorite dance forms- Hip Hop and Indian contemporary( suggested names for the dance form- Indian Haap, contemporary Hip……..). Guess what, it is not as ridiculous as it sounds, it looked much better than the omlette I made for the first time (another one of my brave and stupid decisions). It looked refreshingly new and made sense to me. To think of it, both of these dance forms are very similar in its origin- I am of the belief that hip-hop culture can be seen as a form of
struggle against the wider society whose belief and values are generally
accepted in the society. It can be seen as a religion because it holds its own
values and beliefs. And contemporary dance was a movement started against the rigid classical dance form.
Things became much clearer when I started to choreograph (Which I have elaborately explained in my next blog ‘How NOT to choreograph’), Hip hop is a vast language and there is a wide range of styles one can get inspired to create movements from. And the culmination of the two languages has to be interesting, right? At this point you might think the movements might look like, cheese burger with pudina chutney, statue of liberty holding a Taras in hand, Barack Obama in lungi ……, but it was not like that at all, atleast that’s what I thought, well unfortunately my dancers thought differently, to be more specific they stopped thinking. Everytime I showed them a movement, they looked like they just came out of the movies after watching ‘Inception’. Well, after a lot of trial and error (mostly error), all of us landed in the same page; after all, dance is the easiest language to learn. The dancers took it pretty well, to be fair to them. In the beginning, for them, it was just movements and they didn’t want to look beyond it, which kinda worked for me. It was important to keep alive the aesthetics of Indian dance, while achieving the dislocated and disfigured movements. At the end of the day I’m happy, kinda like how Isaac Newton would have felt, for not having sat under a jackfruit tree………….. I’m not saying this is the most creative and unique thing in the world, but its mine.
Well, Here I am claiming to be the proud owner of Hip Haap, still experimenting, understanding and still in the first page of a book, which I’m hoping will become a novel and not a comic strip. To me, it was what they stood for, its purpose and what it meant for their people that attracted me most towards these dance forms. What contemporary dancing did to people was evidently revolutionary, it gave regular people a chance to enjoy the art of dancing, In times when only the best of bodies were allowed to take up dancing seriously. And how the hip hop culture was more of a struggle, a mean to express, a mean to survive, if there was one thing in common between both, it was ‘Hope’.


  • Mayuri

    24th August 2010 at 8:22 pm Reply

    Its hilarious and witty, Vish…some brilliant observations that travel beyond Dance..YO!!

  • Madhuri

    25th August 2010 at 6:17 am Reply

    You proved you are “Hero Hiralal” with this blog ha ha! On a more serious note, I love the similarities and comparison drawn between the 2 styles. I did not know you are so serious on your quest to understand hip hop so deeply, I am proud of you. But, Dude you seriously lost your chance with Britney Spears!!!!

  • devi

    25th August 2010 at 7:47 am Reply

    vishwaaaaaa!!!!! you and your comparisons!!! awesome!!! couldn’t stop laughing!!! 😀 😀 😀 proud to be your student!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Anagha

    26th August 2010 at 1:49 am Reply

    Very Well Written!…you’ve clearly put across your point and are funny at the same time! 🙂

  • Sathya B.G

    26th August 2010 at 3:24 am Reply

    Good stuff bro. Nice flow n pretty humorous. Keep it up my boy 🙂

  • Geetha

    26th August 2010 at 10:20 pm Reply

    Awesome vish… 🙂 and you said you couldnt write? well, this more than summarises your thoughts beautifully… keep it up.. 🙂

  • Umesh Balavaradaraju Naidu

    26th August 2010 at 11:09 pm Reply

    Hey Vishiphaap! Awesome awesome blog dude! starts off with a pictures and ends with hope! Liked it a lot!

  • Rachana Malagi

    30th August 2010 at 9:54 am Reply

    WOW!!! Dat was one helluva blog vish… :):) Hilarious, wid d proper insight abt both d forms, wid a good coverage of d content.. i really liked it.. :):) n ya i knw, u were statin u cd nt write??? ;);) so glad m a part of ur team “Hip Haap”… :):)

  • Keerthana

    2nd September 2010 at 11:44 pm Reply

    Nice blog Vishwa Hip haap sounds like the ‘new cool thing’ 🙂
    While I was reading I just wondered weather contemprory was a revolution to traditional or was in an alternate stream of thought ? There was a need to break free from rigidity… but
    today’s contemprory dances (in India) doesn’t really seem all that ordinary and easy to understand one can give any meaning to anything and say its contemprory (Remember watching theme – celebration of life – with sullen looking frowning girls and boys doing one hand and head shake movements!!) besides the movements are so abstract that sometimes I feel like its an insult to intelligence when no one seems to decipher what it is – but maybe thats the motive of that dance – no one knows what it is mystic contemprory dancing 🙂
    Nonetheless a nice read good job yo !

  • Yashwanth

    3rd September 2010 at 2:17 am Reply

    Keep it up…..:)

  • Namitha Kudpi

    5th September 2010 at 11:51 am Reply

    Oh my gawd!! (This is not for the write up but for the very few serious phrases you have used in the write up)… I’m not surprised to read this. Its just U .. The way i think i knw u or the way I have imagined u wud be. I can still see the same vishwa standing on the stage and confidently talking on the day of Youthwing Showcase (but this time in tracks and tee and not formals and cufflinks).. No drama no hype.. Just straight from the heart. I’ve seen u doin contemporary with the utmost ease and for me U r the best. I’ve also seen you trying to teach us moonwalk (hahahahahahahaha) and I think we failed u terribly. But the fact remains the same. U R the best. I’m proud too, just like the rest of ur students..

  • Namitha Kudpi

    5th September 2010 at 11:57 am Reply

    that was too long. So I had to break it. Its not easy to become a full time dancer, especially when everything else in this world is so lucrative. I really appreciate the courage, and I have high regards for you and the entire team… You guys rock!!

  • Sapna

    8th September 2010 at 10:27 pm Reply

    Hey Vishwa
    That made fantastic reading. As Namita rightly put it, we struggled with the moonwalk but those were fun days though very short for me. Kudos to all you guys!

  • Megha

    15th September 2010 at 6:23 am Reply

    Beautifully written……… The first page of ur novel is super…… Waitin to read the entire thing……. Proud to be a part of ur team……

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