Saturday, August 28 2021 - This month on LAMusArt Live! Versa-Style lit up the stage with their vibrant, high energy dances that took us through the history of hip hop and the diverse dances that helped make hip hop what it is today.
Versa-Style began the show with “Legacy” a group number that highlights Latin dance styles like salsa and transitions into a variety of hip hop styles including breakdancing, whacking and solos. Each dancer has their time to shine with a respective solo. With Cynthia Hernandez taking a more Latin approach, and Ernesto Galarza showcasing liquid dance and popping in his solo, each moment represented the versatility of this LA-based dance crew. As dancers shifted between dance styles, each move is smooth and seamless, mirroring the ways that the history of hip hop was and still is continually evolving with new styles and dance moves being incorporated everyday.
The Soul Train number takes us back to the music of the funk-driven 1970 and 80s. The music and dance of this number is infectious and highlights dances that were spearheaded by the Black American community. A standout style was Waacking, a street dance created by the underground LGBTQ community in 1970s Los Angeles. Beyond the many group numbers, Versa-Style also showcased a crucial element of dance, freestyling, which Brandon Juezan, a Versa-Style principal dancer, says “is the basis of the hip hop dance, rather than just choreography”.
The show also had some more theatrical elements such as “Powers That Be” that had Versa-Style dancing to striking orchestral music, and founder Breeze-Lee’s solo “Blues Boys” incorporated more storytelling and an emotional, fluid pace.
Versa-Style provided the audience with an educational yet entertaining avenue of learning about the story of hip hop and its pioneers. Fittingly, Brandon Juezan comments on how the act of performing is in itself an act of education saying, “When we present our dance movement, the history and culture of those movements come with it, automatically." Read the Versa-Style Guide here! Great for classrooms.
This performance presents an ode to the creators of hip hop and the diverse styles that make it what it is today. If interested in our array of dance classes, from hip hop dance, to Afro-Latin Dance, to ballet dance we invite you to learn more about our dance classes by visiting https://www.lamusart.org/dance. Register to submit your information, and one of our scheduling staff members will contact you to get you all set up!
Join us every second Saturday of the month for more dynamic performances. The performance for the month of September features our very own Latin Jazz Ensemble in the Eastside music project. RSVP today at www.LAMusArt.org/season.
LAMusArt Live! is a versatile venue for sharing artistic experience and expands our reach from LAMusArt’s families to arts supporters and patrons from all over the world. LAMusArt's mission is to provide the community of East Los Angeles with equitable and affordable access to multidisciplinary arts education programs and offer opportunities for underserved youth to partake in quality instruction regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status so they are afforded creative tools for success and social change.
The 2021 DANCE: Versa-Style is currently available to stream on LAMusArt’s YouTube Channel and at www.LAMusArt.org/season. Students interested in the dance program can learn more about various classes at https://www.lamusart.org/dance.