This semester, Rebecca Pappas organized a hip hop dance collaboration between Trinity College and Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy. Trinity College’s Theater and Dance department invited hip hop choreographer Amirah Sackett to create a dance piece for the 14th Annual International Hip Hop Festival and the Spring Dance Concert. Amirah, an internationally renowned B-Girl who explores Muslim identity via hip hop dance, brought new perspectives and energy for hip hop to campus.
Through a grant offered by Urban Educational Initiatives, Rebecca decided to expand the partnership and invite students at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA) to learn and perform alongside Trinity College dance students. At the start of the collaboration, guest choreographer Amirah Sackett and Trinity College Visiting Lecturer in Theater & Dance Brandon Couloute (pictured right) offered a series of hip hop Master Classes open to the public at Trinity and HMTCA. Brandon provided basic hip hop training to Trinity College students, HMTCA students, and Hartford residents.
The turnout to the Master Classes included Trinity College classes, HMTCA students, and Hartford residents– a perfect lead in to the International Hip Hop Festival. If there’s one thing that brings together the Hartford and Trinity College communities it seems to be hip hop.
After arriving on Sunday March 24th, guest choreographer Amirah Sackett ran 3 hour intensive rehearsals from 7-10PM for 5 days straight at Trinity Commons with her dancers Jacqueline Kromash ‘19, Gaby Gomez ‘22, Sarah Zhu ‘22, Nicole Saltzman ‘22 and a student from HMTCA. We were lucky to get a sneak preview of the performance and grab a few photos of rehearsal. At the end of the week, the dancers debuted their performance “Barzakh” at the 14th Annual Trinity International Hip Hop Festival on March 29th– and yes, the crowd loved it.
Over the next few weeks, Brandon Couloute will continue to prepare the dancers for their second performance in Trinity’s Spatial Harmonies Spring Dance Concert, which is free and open to the public on Friday April 26th and Saturday April 27th. We hope to see you there.
Thank you again to Rebecca Pappas, Brandon Couloute, HMTCA, and Urban Educational Initiatives for making the academic collaboration possible.