The Institutionalized "Technical" Hip Hop Dance VS the "Improvised" Street Hip Hop

The Institutionalized "Technical" Hip Hop Dance VS the "Improvised" Street Hip Hop

Have you ever tried to categorize dance? The options are endless.

Any dancer, teacher or choreographer chooses their own category of dance according to their practice and experience it's neither black nor white. They can name their style what ever they feel is right, nothing is set in stone.

Some teachers will define their class as Hip Hop while others will define the same class as modern jazz or funky modern. 
How's that possible?

We all know well known techniques such as: Classical ballet, Neo classical, Graham, Lemon, etc' but once you mix some of it adding your own "flavor" freestyle, what do you call it then?

The range of freestyle dance is endless, that's why everyone can find their own niche.

Over the years many great well known choreographers experimented with different movement materials, usually taken within specific technique vocabulary, adding their own freestyle affected by their heritage. That is how we got what I like to call the institutionalized Hip Hop.

What I mean is that you can find dancers with very strong technical skills that studies dance professionally and at the same time preserved and improved their own freestyle.

Among all this different styles there is one "outsider", one unique type of dance that is clearly controversial. It has its own language, technique and say.

I'm talking about the improvised Hip Hop or as most of us know it as Break-dance, the street Hip Hop. The break-dance has its own unique technique.

Not any dancer, even a professional, that is capable of dancing various dance styles such as: classical ballet, lyrical jazz, funky, African dance etc' will be able to dance break-dance without prior extensive practice.

Any professional dancer will tell you that classical ballet technique is "point zero" it's the basics on which all other styles lean on. Without it he's lost.

Professional dancer is usually measured by his technical skills and that is one major parameter at any audition.

However, most break-dance dancers lack any classical training what so ever. 
So how do they do it? All this complicated moves?

Break-dancers use completely different skills and their movement vocabulary "speak" a whole different language containing a lot of acrobatics and fine muscle movement isolations.

Studying further, the great differences between two similar yet so different types of dances, made me dig deeper...

The Institutionalized Hip Hop grew up within the dance studios leaning on the basic principles of classical ballet training and modern dance, slowly pushing the boundaries making way to a new rougher and funkier jazz.

No matter how far the boundaries were pushed, they still relied on the safety of the technique the helped it grow and develop.

On the contrary, the Improvised Street Hip Hop technique evolved out of completely different needs and utterance has created an amazing movement vocabulary.

The break-dance has a unique way of manipulating the body into different shapes using techniques of popping, locking, breaking, freezing and more creating an illusion of dislocated joints.

The emphasis of this technique is developing a freestyle and improvisation while pushing boundaries, defying gravity and the human body limits.


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Author: Regular Articles

Mor Barr teaches Hip Hop and Jazz. Visit her site Hip Hop Dance to find the latest information on dance styles, hip hop and more. Learn how to dance online.

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