More than 3,100 fifth grade students – more than 18,000 over three days – from throughout Los Angeles County will simultaneously perform a choreographed Hip-Hop dance on The Music Center Plaza as part of the 46th Annual Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival Feb. 17-19.
As California’s longest-continuing arts education initiative, The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival has introduced more than 830,000 students to the power of the performing arts, despite school budget challenges that have virtually eliminated these types of programs. The Blue Ribbon, in partnership with The Music Center, helps address this need by providing students with comprehensive curriculum, as well as the opportunity to see a performance by renowned performing arts companies and participate themselves by performing a dance choreographed just for them outdoors on The Music Center Plaza.
Prior to their dance, the students will attend live performances inside The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion by Black Violin and Rennie Harris RHAW. Classically trained Hip-Hop instrumentalists, Black Violin has been credited for melding the traditional with popular culture, creating a new musical category that blends classical, Hip-Hop, Rock, R&B and Bluegrass. Rennie Harris RHAW (Rennie Harris Awe-Inspiring Works) is a dance company designed and structured to focus on youth and urban culture.
Students prepare for the Festival in advance with curriculum specially developed to complement their performance, which is provided to their teachers by The Blue Ribbon in partnership with The Music Center. They learn history and terminology, themes, what to watch for during the performance, and the choreography for their dance. The students will perform at around 10:55 a.m. each day of the festival to Black Violin’s “Brandenburg.”