LIVE: The Movement, Manifesto Festival, Toronto

Photos by Voltaire Ramos (@voltaireramos). Please support. 

One of the things I love about travel is seeing culture being filtered through a variety of different lenses. We all know that Hip-Hop was birthed in the Bronx, but the music and the message is translated differently in Atlanta or London, Tokyo or San Fran. And its with this that I landed at the The Movement B-Boy and Dance event at Manifesto in Toronto.

What struck me about this event is how inclusive it was. Under the same roof you had B-Boys, vougers, krumpers and street dancers. Gay, straight, black, white, Philippino…it didn’t matter. It was a beautiful sight, and honestly its brought the sometimes insular genre of hip-hop into the 21st century.

The Movement kicked off of one end of 99 Sudbury with a full on dance party. The other end was a tad more serious with the Hip-Hop floor awards and the Canada vs Montreal b-boy battle. But it was the party side that caught my attention. The night reminded me of what a trip to the Soul Tran studios would’ve felt like, albeit updated with 2011 dance styles. Everyone mixed it up. Gay vougers interlinked with krumpers, B-Boys with house dancers. So many dance styles under one roof. My mind was quite perplexed at the situation.

I remember having a conversation with lightning rod recording artist Lil B, when he said “hip-hop is not for happy people.” Well after this night at Manifesto I must disagree. Hip-hop is an open tent for everyone: happy, sad, gay, straight, male, female. Okay, we’re not there yet as a culture, and the ideal situation is to have both dance style showcased ont the same stage. But for this American, seeing such diversity in one building in the name of hip-hop gives me hope for the future.