PHASE 1: RESEARCH AND EXPLORATION
In 2011, Terrance and Chancz were partnered by New Dance Horizons and Sâkêwêwak Artists’ Collective Inc. to produce a cross-cultural performance piece that combined First Nations hoop dance and North American hip hop. After two weeks of collaboration, they presented the original Hip Hop Hoop Dance as part of the BluePrint Series at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. The minimally staged 40-minute performance mixed pow wow and hip hop music with traditional and contemporary dance styles and storytelling. Afterward they engaged in 20 minutes of talk-back with audiences to connect more closely in dialogue and discussion.
The response from the public was so positive that Terrance, Chancz and an accompanist independently embarked upon six years of presenting Hip Hop Hoop Dance to schools, community organizations and cultural and children’s festivals. They realized that the story they shared on stage was historical, cultural, educational and inspirational.
They knew they could make an impact by using the arts as a medium to explore diversity, but they also knew they couldn’t do it alone. It was time to take Hip Hop Hoop Dance to a new production level by securing a creative team that would help bring their dream to fruition.
PHASE 2: CREATION
In January 2018, Terrance and Chancz received a grant from SK Arts to create a new version of Hip Hop Hoop Dance. This version was not a reimagination of the previous piece; it was inspired by their work with children in schools, keeping in mind that the performance should also speak to a wide range of audiences.
They assembled a team: Terrance and Chancz (creators, writers, choreographers and performers), Jayson Littletent (traditional singer/drummer), Kelli Fox (director), Devon Bonneau (sound and lighting), Tori Yuzik (stage manager) and Rebecca Donison (set and costume designer). This group of exceptional artists worked for weeks to develop a new and improved version of Hip Hop Hoop Dance.
Later that year the production was presented as part of the Globe Theatre’s Shumiatcher Sandbox Series. The entire run and extension sold out. Immediately following the debut, the show was picked up by the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils’ Junior Concerts Tour, impressing more than 65 elementary and high schools throughout Saskatchewan.
PHASE 3: PRODUCTION, PRESENTATION AND TOURING
Over the last decade, Hip Hop Hoop Dance has made an impact on the lives of more than 65,000 audience members who may not have had the means to afford this kind of programming.
In 2019-20, the team used grants from SK Arts and the Canada Council for the Arts to tour the show nationally. They covered four Canadian provinces before the tour was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In British Columbia alone, they reached 25 cities, 89 schools and more than 30,500 students and teachers.
Hip Hop Hoop Dance has gained recognition both inside and outside Saskatchewan, showing other parts of the country what Regina-based talent has to offer. The team continues to form relationships with partners, schools, organizations and communities, with their sights set on a world-wide tour.
“One of our goals is to enhance the public’s appreciation of the performing arts by providing access and bringing our production to urban and rural communities. By delivering a quality production, we open a gateway to new worlds of experience, emotion and ways of knowing. Our production promotes unity, self-expression, interactivity and inclusivity. We look forward to generating new opportunities by working with arts organizations to provide wonder-filled programming for diverse communities.” – Terrance Littletent and Chancz Perry