IMAGINE a fusion of break-dance and Mbende Jerusarema on stage.
Cultures and society have always been dynamic, never fixed.
Thus the emergence of hip-hop in America can be traced back to the African continent where the drum has often taken centre stage and appealed to black children world-wide.
What began as protest music in the 70s on the streets of America has become a global trend that sees the best hip-hop crews competing internationally annually from diverse cultures and countries like Japan, Angola and England.
Hip-hop dance routines have their roots on the streets of black American communities that are often neglected and poor.
And locally, the best dance crews have often come from the ghetto, places such as Highfield, Mbare and Mabvuku among others.
While there was CHIPAWO and other traditional dance festivals, the hip-hop genre still remains unsponsored and harnessed locally.
Jibilika in their seventh edition of the urban dance festival have already begun the search for the best dance crew under the theme ‘Urban Roots’.
Founder and organiser, Plot Mhako said the dance festival, “seeks to merge and celebrate traditional and urban dance cultures”.
Mhako said the festival aims to promote dance as a vehicle for youth, talent development and a platform for recreation.
Since its inception seven years ago, the festival which aims to cater for the urban music lovers has faced financial challenges.
After getting a licence to host international dance festivals in the country, Jibilika struggled to take off.
“We are still to clinch a donor so for now we are still self-funding which has not been easy,” Mhako said.
A new structure has been put in place this year to increase the scope of the festival.
Eight provincial preliminaries will proceed the grand finale.
Each provincial final will select two groups to represent the province.
The crews will be tasked to create a dance piece that fuses traditional dances that represent their province and urban dances.
“The goal is to get young people to know and appreciate their culture and preserve it at the same time giving them the liberty to be creative and use their own preferred art form thus creating a unique dance style,” Mhako said.
The grand finale will be hosted in Harare on August 30 where the overall three winners will be crowned and given prizes to be announced in June.