Get ready for some hip hop diplomacy
KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — You know what they say about dancing and music right? That they cut across all barriers? Well, American Voices — a non-profit group — is a great believer in that and have been bringing their brand of cultural diplomacy to countries all over the world.
They will be hosting two performing arts academies here in Malaysia this month and they are going to be all about hip hop. So if you think you can bust a move (or would like to learn how to), this is your chance.
The two Youth Excellence on Stage (YES) Academies will be held in Kota Kinabalu from today till June 5 and Penang from June 7-17.
At the Kota Kinabalu academy, YES Hip Hop KK will be offering youths classes on hip hop, breakdancing, DJ-ing, beatboxing, graphic design and community leadership.
Members of the HaviKoro Crew of Houston, Texas, which includes Yung Chris, Mario, Criket and Joe B, will be leading the hip hop and breakdance lessons.
The YES Academy KK will host 75 youths from Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Labuan. It is co-sponsored by the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur with support from local partners such as Battle 21, The Rock School Musical Theatre, Music Mart and Malaysia Suzuki Association.
Following that will be YES Academy programmes in Penang which will be held in conjunction with the George Town Festival, an annual cultural festival that celebrates George Town’s addition to the UNESCO World Heritage list.
The YES Academy Hip Hop Penang programme with HaviKoro and YES Academy Broadway Penang will also feature American Voices faculty member Michael Parks Masterson.
Young artists will learn selections from favourite musicals such as “Rent”, “West Side Story”, “Hairspray”, “Footloose”, “Grease” and “Wicked” at the YES Academy Broadway Penang.
American Voices was founded in 1993. It conducts cultural diplomacy and cross-cultural engagement with audiences in over 110 nations worldwide. It was awarded Best Practice Organisation in 2010 by the US Centre for Citizen Diplomacy (USCCD) in recognition of its work in cultural engagement.