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Hip-hop dancer and choreographer Ricky Carranza.

PHOTO BY RICKY CARRANZA/FACEBOOK


Dance pioneer Ricky Carranza in Dubai, eyes Philippines’ first hip-hop institute

 

DUBAI – “They said this type of dance is a passing fad. That it won’t take me anywhere. Well, I’m here in Dubai!” legendary hip-hop dancer and choreographer Ricky Carranza told the crowd at the screening of his documentary film Beyond the Block: The Untold Story of Filipino Street Dance at Vox Cineplex, Grand Hyatt on Sunday (October 1).

In nearly four decades, Carranza helped shape the dance culture in the Philippines, Japan and Europe. “Dance allowed me to travel the world,” he said. In 2007, he set up his own dance studio in Finland where he has trained many Finnish dancers in urban dance. Now he’s planning on giving back where it all began for him: the Philippines.

The dance legend revealed that he wants to create a national hip-hop institute in the Philippines to give dancers a “platform for better opportunities”.

“I see the sacrifice that they put, the struggles that they go through. I thought I should help them. I thought if I can create a platform for them to have better opportunities then I will do it,” he said.

For now, he’s touring the world to screen his film and raise money for that project. The documentary takes viewers through the evolution of street dance in the Philippines, as well as Carranza’s own love-hate relationship with dance.

“Why did I make the movie? A lot of reasons why but maybe because… I felt I owe it to our people. I see street dancers everywhere, around the world and they just do it out of passion. Particularly those coming from the Philippines,” he said.

He added that the film is also in “honour (of) those who laid out the foundation (of urban dance) but had been forgotten”.

It took Carranza ten years to complete the film on a shoestring budget before finally releasing it in 2016. Since then, it has already gotten awards and nominations in the US, including a nod for Best Documentary at the Long Beach Indie International Film Festival, for Best Director at the Hip Hop Film Festival NYC, before finally winning Best Documentary at the International Film Festival in Manhattan.

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