Continuing a newish endeavour for me--profiling people who are not visual artists, but work in dance, music, literature, etc.--my article on young Brampton dance-studio owner Jade Jager Clark is up at Yonge Street Media. An excerpt:
The low-slung industrial parks around 410 and Steeles in Brampton might initially seem the world's least hip-hop-esque environment. With shops like Safety Superstore and Metro Fence operating amidst chirping sparrows and whining weed wackers, it's hardly the stuff of Jay Z's Manhattan-centric hits or Will Smith's South-Beach odes.
But look closely at the one of the area's pinecone-smattered cul-de-sacs and you might recheck your head. Bram Court is home to Jade's Hip Hop Academy (JHHA), a youth dance school that's winning prizes with owner Jade Jager Clark's self-defined commitment to "authentic hip hop."
Recently, Clark sat on the floor of the academy's multipurpose room, showing 8- to 11-year-olds highlights from Rize, a documentary about the gritty South Central LA origins of Krump. The film's patois of "ghetto ballet" and drug-trade trauma contrasted starkly with the room's decor, which featured reams of shiny trophies, a tray of construction-paper crafts, a large bin of Duplo blocks, and a Rock N Roll Elmo doll.
"It's very important for even young students to see parts of these films," Clark tells me later, "because to do anything you need your foundations. You need to know where it comes from to truly appreciate what you're doing."
You can read more, and see some pretty fun pics, at Yonge Street.
(Image of Jade Jager Clark with some of her students from Yonge Street Media)
Friday, July 29, 2011
Posted by Leah Sandals at 1:42 PM