Choreographing rappers

Jacopo Jenna

May 20, 2017 21:00

PARC Performing Arts Research Centre Firenze | IT

“Rap’s here-and-now is always here-and-now: a music without a future tense can’t but be immortal .” (David Foster Wallace)


The project aims to reflect using contemporary choreography on the construction of the hip-hop songs focusing on the concept of Immediacy of Rap: “The quality of bringing one into direct and instant involvement with something, giving rise to a sense of urgency or excitement”. (Oxford Dictonary )
Rappers use their flow, the rhythmic structure that arises in a rap from the interaction between the rapper’s words and the strictly musical rhythms of those words. It creates immediate attention on what is saying, in the same time “signifying” something else playing with the words.
The body and dance are used as the words of rappers, marking the rhythm of dynamic and shapes, displacing movements like words in a not organic way, creating immediacy, density, intensity and fragmentation in the danceflow.
The title of this dance solo project is based on the track “Signifying Rapper” on the album “Smoke Some Kill” by SchoollyD (1988) and Signifying Rappers: Rap and Race in the Urban Present (1990), a nonfiction book by David Foster Wallace and Mark Costello, that explores this music’s history as it intersects with historical events. The teasing, taunting, and insulting tradition within African American culture is referred to as “signifying”. The slang of rap, like all slang, may include words that signify others, I changed the title using “choreographing” but with the same goal to use movements to signify something else.


Jacopo Jenna is a choreographer, performer and filmmaker creating stage works, video pieces, and installations. The works are oriented towards research concerning the perception of dance or choreography as an extended practice. As a graduate of Sociology, he also studied dance in Codarts (Rotterdam Dance Academy). In Europe he has worked with dance companies and different choreographic research projects.
His work is produced and supported by spazioK/Kinkaleri; recently has been shown in festivals and institutions including Centrale Fies (LiveWorks Vol. 4 Performance Act Award), Cango in Florence, MART-museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Contemporanea Festival Prato, Pépinières européennes pour jeans artistes / Young Video Creation, Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci Prato, Fabbrica Europa, Le Murate. Progetti Arte Contemporanea Firenze, CROSS International performance award.


choreography and dance: Jacopo Jenna
sound project: Francesco Casciaro
light design: Giulia Broggi
organization: Luisa Zuffo
production: spazioK.Kinkaleri
with the support of CROSS International Performance Award, Le Murate. Progetti Arte Contemporanea, Collettivo C_A_P, Contemporanea Festival 15


[photo: Ilaria Costanzo]







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