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Initiative brings hip hop enthusiasts, talents together for collaborative performance

By Anna Horton - Aug 04,2019 - Last updated at Aug 06,2019

Artists take the stage during ‘Next Level’ cultural initiative’s performance at Shams Theatre

AMMAN — Joining forces with the Jordanian hip hop scene, cultural initiative “Next Level” put on its final performance on Saturday at Shams Theatre after a week-and-a-half programme, which offered rap, beatboxing and breakdancing classes.

Developed by the US Department of State, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Meridian International Centre, Next Level seeks to “promote understanding and conflict transformation” while also providing local hip hop artists and enthusiasts with collaboration opportunities, according to the initiative’s website.

Over the course of the programme, Next Level’s “Team Jordan”, which included beatboxers Kaila Mullady and Mark Martin, dancer Dinita Clark, MC Tef Poe and team manager Jaci Caprice Clark, engaged Jordanian youth in beatboxing, hip-hop dancing and rapping workshops in preparation for Saturday’s performance.

The team also collaborated with local talents, including Egyptian rap artist Ahmed Afroto, rap artist and founding member of Jordan’s hip hop scene Amer Taher, Jordanian beatboxing champion Fahed Huawayn and b-boy artist Amer Dahman in a fusion of Jordanian and American hip hop styles, according to the website.

Saturday’s performance, which was hosted by NCCA Dance and the US embassy, included collaborative beatboxing, rapping to popular songs, breakdancing and a final cypher, or breakdancing circle, during which all the Next Level students and instructors danced and rapped together on stage.

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