3rd Street Beat: peace, love, unity fun for a whole family
Saturday, May 11, 2013 06:00 am
When 3rd Street Beat agreed to perform at the International Children’s Festival, they had no idea they’d score second place at Canada’s feistiest hip hop battle, the 2013 Montreal International Hip Hop Festival.
“We were in complete shock. We were all holding hands. There we were, six of us. We had put on a good show and we were hopeful. When they called our names we all started to cry and almost in synch dropped to our knees,” says Luke Geldert.
They immediately started jumping and screaming when they realized their second-place spot earned them a berth at the Hip Hop International world championships in Las Vegas on August 8.
“This is a big deal for the Edmonton, for the Alberta region, for Canada. We will be only one of two crews present from Canada.”
And for St. Albert, that’s doubly sweet since our own homegrown Kayla Wiberg is part of the crew.
Ironically, a section of the show 3rd Street Beat presents at the International Children’s Festival will be identical to the planned Vegas competition gig.
“The festival is a way to get a sneak peak at the piece we’re demonstrating,” Geldert adds.
Since Geldert opened up 3rd Street in 2001, he has launched numerous initiatives that ranged from kickstarting the national dance competition Artists Emerge to hosting and providing talent for an annual benefit concert Hip Hop for Hope that raised nearly $150,000 for various local charities.
And every single tour, competition, benefit concert and festival has focused on promoting the positive culture of hip hop.
The festival show incorporates all the elements of rock solid hip hop: deejaying, MC rapping, graffiti artistry and original b-boying and b-girling. Tied in with knowledge and innovation, these four elements bring out the best.
“It’s going to have a strong educational component. It’s going to explain hip hop’s history. We’re going to look at the iconic songs that changed the industry and the pioneers that moulded the dance of today.”
Yes, he acknowledges the negatives of hip hop come through with select rappers rapping about the high-risk gangsta lifestyle: bling, money and violence.
“But it’s all about what you choose to focus on. It’s all about the point of view.”
In a nutshell, the 45-minute presentation shows street dance styles from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, when popping, locking and break-dancing morphed into an international phenomenon. From the earlier eras, the show swings to the present with party music and trendy dances.
Geldert’s four-man crew made up of Wiberg, Harmon Baweja and Erica Torok will deliver the eye-popping power moves that burst on the scene throughout the last century.
And he’s hired three of Edmonton’s best b-boy professionals, Matthew Wood, Jackrit Kho and James Jones (So You Think You Can Dance) to show off the newest evolutions.
“We have a blank slate and the ability to educate a crowd and showcase the moves in the purest and authentic form it was created in.”
Once again Geldert partners with Baweja to perform the Shadow Twins, a beautifully synchronized fusion of mime, animation dance and good old-fashioned comedy.
“The Shadow Twins are so notable and so fun to watch because of the animation dancing. It’s an illusion that twists perceptions. It’s almost magical,” says Geldert.
“And it’s a nice break from the powerful head spins. It gives you a chance to breathe.”
He describes the festival offering as a journey through time.
“It’s definitely an electric show. I use the word electric because when street dance started no one thought the human body could move that way. But it’s also about a positive message – about peace, love, unity and having fun for a whole family. When you see it, you will want to get on your feet and learn something about the culture.”
Recommended age is six years and over.