At the end of July, France will be represented for the first time at the Hip-Hop International World Championship in Las Vegas. The three French dance crews to go to the U.S. (categorized by age group: Junior (7-12) Varsity (12-18) and Adult (18+)) were selected at the Hip-Hop International France Championship held at the Casino de Paris this past May. Despite being the first year for the French tournament, all of the competing crews were really strong and the event was a huge success thanks to passionate dancers, a great audience and a lot of hard work put in by the HHIF organizers Jean Pierre Chandler and Sabrina Bouhanik. During the competition, I interviewed J.P. and Sabrina backstage about the challenges of putting together the event and what lessons and opportunities HHIF has to offer young people in France. You can check out a portion of our interview above.
In addition to the dance crews, well-known French hip-hop rappers also performed at the event including Freeman (formerly of IAM), Philemon, Vicelow (formerly of Saïan Supa Crew) and Pit Baccardi. Having interviewed dancer-turned-rapper Freeman the previous week (in fact, he was the one who first told me about HHIF), I was also interested in interviewing Vicelow about his decision to make dance a big part of his current solo project The Blue Tape. Above, you can watch a portion of our interview to learn why Vicelow considers it both “natural” and important for him to work closely with dancers and how he was first inspired by Michael Jackson to be a true performer.