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Lucy Pollak
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Hip hop
Ford Amphitheatre
United States
Greater Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

L.A.'s Versa-Style Dance Company Presents 'Box of Hope,' Sept. 17

by Lucy Pollak
September 12, 2016
Ford Amphitheatre
2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East
Los Angeles, CA 90068
Versa-Style fuses Motown sounds with hip hop moves for evening of street dance under the stars at the Ford.
Versa-Style Dance Company fuses the vintage sounds of Motown and R&B with the exuberance of hip-hop — house, popping, locking, whacking and boogaloo — as well as salsa, merengue, cumbia and Afro-Cuban dance moves. Escape to the Ford Theatres for "Box of Hope," a joyous evening of L.A. street dance, spoken word and music under the stars. Saturday, Sept 17 at 8 p.m.; Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East (just off the 101, between Hollywood and Universal Studios in the Cahuenga Pass) Hollywood, CA 90068; $30, $50, $70; (323) 461-3673; www.FordTheatres.org.

"Box of Hope" takes its title from a little red box used by Versa-Style co-artistic director Leigh Foaad as a prop for a solo dance piece. “That red box inspired us,” explains Foaad’s co-artistic director, Jackie Lopez. “It reminded us of Pandora – about how all the bad things escaped when she opened her box. When she was able to shut it, the only thing left inside was Hope.”

“Hip-hop is special because it crosses color and socioeconomic barriers to create a haven where people can come together for a common passion,” Lopez says. “Artists like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and The Temptations sang about overcoming obstacles to make a better world. Versa-Style highlights the timeless nature of this struggle by imbuing their iconic music with contemporary street dance.”

“When I was a little girl,” concludes Lopez, I never thought I could dance professionally. I take great pride in being able to offer these opportunities to Latino and African American youth in our communities. Versa-Style is a unique company, and we are thrilled to be able to share our joy, social consciousness and love of dance with Ford audiences.”

"Box of Hope" features principal dancers Allison Gray, Harry Weston, Ernesto Galarza, Jackie Oka,Brandon J. Williams, Anthony Berry and Alex Almaraz, and core dancers Cynthia Hernandez, Joey Velasquez, Sandy Vazquez and Gbari Gilliam. Choreography is by Jackie Lopez and Leigh Foaad; lighting design is by Daniel Tator; and the dramaturg is Kevin Kane.
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