I love it when seemingly opposing worlds collide.
For example, when local beat dancers B-Boy J-Sun and Dancin’ Dave perform some elegant street moves set to Beethoven’s Fifth (of course, it helps that the symphony is underscored with some beats from Beastie Boys’ “Paul Revere”).
Recently classical host Allison Young invited B-Boy J-Sun (a.k.a. Jason Noer) into the studio to talk about hip hop, dance and his favorite classical music; it’s part of her regular series Music With Minnesotans.
Noer explained that names like “B-Boy” are earned:
You get to be called a B-Boy or a Breaker after you’ve battled for a number of years, you’ve gained credibility in the local community and you don’t necessarily have to win a lot of battles but you just show a lot of heart by coming back and never quitting which is what the essence of hip hop is really all about – this unrelenting driving force, that no matter what happens, we not only make do with what we have, we thrive.
Noer uses his dance pieces to tell stories and offer social commentary. He says hip hop is a highly evolved art form, and he’s simply attempting to raise awareness of that fact.
When asked for some of his favorite classical music, Noer first chose Johann Sebastian Bach;s Toccata and Fugue in d minor:
I identify with music that has this driving, unrelenting rhythm in it, and that includes a lot of soul music that we dance to, specifically James Brown. So when there’s music that has kind of a sweeping or driving rhythm, it really resonates with me.
You can hear Allison Young’s entire interview with Jason Noer here, including a discussion of how beat dancers strive to dance not just to the beat, but in and around it.
B-Boy J-Sun performs tonight and tomorrow at the Cowles Center in Minneapolis.