With the end of the school year just around the corner, the French Heritage Language Program carries on taking French-speaking outside the classroom! As an end-of-year surprise, students from the Jamaica Learning Center and the International High School at Prospect Heights and Union Square attended a French hip-hop workshop and performance at the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center. The activity was organized with the help of KLP, a famous break-dancing collective based in Nantes, France, that is currently on tour in the United States.
After a few stretches, the KLP troupe guided our students through a series of break-dancing progressions, going over each step until the students had perfected the move. Some students were hesitant at first, but it wasn't long before the enthusiasm and energy of the troupe had everyone on their feet. The French break-dancers started off with some basic steps before introducing the more complicated choreography, and by the end of the workshop our students were spinning and kicking with confidence. To wrap it up, the KLP troupe gathered everyone in a circle, turned up the music, and gave the students a chance to show off their new moves.
After a quick break, everyone stepped into the Cultural Center's concert venue, where the KLP troupe put on a breathtaking and thought-provoking show. The performance, entitled "Tour of Duty", offered a visual interpretation of the history of break-dancing. Through the movement of their bodies, the dancers retold the story of 1960's Brooklyn: dirty, dangerous, but a place where the meeting of different peoples and cultures led to the birth of hip hop.
Both the workshop and the performance were done in French, allowing for rich interaction between our students and the performers. We hope to continue to organize such thrilling activities and field trips to help our students explore Francophonie in New York through performing arts. Many thanks to Nicole Birmann of the French Embassy, Sofiane Jouini of KLP, and Pierre Losson of the Clemente Soto Velez Center, to help make this great moment happen!
Jack Klempay, for the French Heritage Language Program
For more information, please contact:
Benoît Le Dévédec, FHLP Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit us at: http://www.facecouncil.org/fhlp/index.html