HaviKoro delighted the audience with its dance and music that promote clean living

Watching HaviKoro perform is like watching the human forms of Energizer bunnies in action. The Hip Hop group from Houston, with its superior dance skills, sure knows how to grab eyeballs. At the atrium of the Express Avenue Mall, the members did head stands, jumps, single hand stands, head spins and a host of other hip hop dance rituals that delighted the audience, shoppers and mall rats alike.

Formed in 1999, HaviKoro is a group of 13 people who produce music, rap and dance. This time around, only seven of the team members (Chris Thomas, Mario Jaramillo, Marlon Efren, Perla Lizama and Nathan Rene Cano, Joe Manuel Belmarez and Steven Cantor) are travelling around the country, performing and conducting workshops. They believe in promoting clean living and positive life choices through dance and music. “When we were growing up, our neighbourhood was filled with negative activities. Instead of hanging out with those people, we started doing this. We all have issues, but some of us follow our heart and passion,” they say.

Tattoos, dreadlocks, skull caps, piercings, the group conforms to most of the stereotypes associated with artists of this genre, except for drugs and violence. “The problem is that a lot of uneducated people make music about the things they do, and so it's a wrong notion that Hip Hop is only about drugs. But, educated people talk about different topics. So, more people need to rap the educated way,” says Mario. HaviKoro's music ranges from party tracks to songs about their culture and so on.

The hour-long show is a combination of dialogue and dance — it almost seems like a blend of street play and dance drama. It's entertaining and educative as well, as the HaviKoro members decide to impart some gyaan about the dance form. “There are four elements to Hip Hop — Graffitti, DJ, Rap and B-Boy,” explains one of them. Each element is then explained with an example. As the group members flipped around, their toned abs made it quite clear that this dance form was also a great workout.

Everything was fine as long as the performers stuck to dancing. But, 20 minutes into the act, the momentum was lost, when the group tried to talk and interact with the crowd. Clearly, the audience only wanted the dance — chairs emptied out in the last few rows. But that did not deter the group from doing a floor rock; the crowd was in raptures again.

One of the group members wanted to know if India could Hip Hop, and promptly a bunch of lithe boys scrambled onto the make-shift stage and started doing their moves. While the hardcore b-boyers were busy crumping and twisting their bodies like elastic, a toddler waddled her way onto the stage, tottering and swaying to the catchy beats. That promoted Mario to say: “It's catching on here. Indian dancers have great potential and are on the right path.” The performance finally ended to loud cheers from enthusiastic front-row audiences, who crowded around the HaviKoro members for autographs and photographs.

The group's next stops are Hyderabad and Kolkata.

Keywords: HaviKorohip hop


Priyadarshini PaitandyJune 28, 2012