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When Hip Hop Becomes Art

Year: 2013, 52 + 60 mins
Code: FC-When

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Hip hop dance first began in the streets when dancers, known as “b-boys” or “b-girls,” attracted passing audiences with their acrobatic moves and turned hip hop into a worldwide cultural phenomenon. Yet, all over the world, hip hop crews are still largely ignored by the official art scene and denied opportunites to perform on national stages – except perhaps in one country: France.

The film visits several of France’s most top-ranked dance crews as they demonstrate – through master classes, theater performances and competition battles – how they are revitalising contemporary dance with the help and direction from renowned French choreographers such as Anthony Egéa and Mourad Merzouki. Whether it’s about raising their individual and artistic expression or combining unique styles such as boxing or circus-themed acts to their choreography, these professional dancers reveal how they are bringing fresh, new energy and creativity to hip hop in order to attract new audiences.

Combining stunning dance footage, personal interviews, and thrilling breakdancing competitions, this documentary sets out to show how hip hop is continually evolving and prove that it’s not just a form of dance – it’s art!

Languages: English, French

Director: Eric Ellena, Producers: French Connection Films, Beleza Film, Partners: M-Media, Programme Media (Europe), The French Film Board (CNC), Procirep & ANGOA, Hamburg-Schlweswig-Holstein Regional Development Fund



Groove n’Move Festival (Paris) 2016, FIFA Montreal 2014, Urban Film Festival (Paris) 2014, Break in the City (Hip Hop Dance Festival in Pessac) 2014

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