art | embodiment | cognition | networks | post-humanism | crypto
A multimedia excursion across planet hip-hop, the break/s dramatically realizes the living history of the hip-hop generation through the performed personal narrative of poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph. Challenging, funny, and touching, the break/s is a deeply honest investigation into the conflicts between Bamuthi's public identity as successful spoken word artist, and his private identity as young man coming of age in our globalized, multi-everything era. A life-long performer, he leaves it all on stage-simultaneously devouring the space with everything from shamrocks to attitude turns and eloquently spitting rhymes spoken from the heart.
In the break/s, the medium is also the message. In this "mixtape for the stage," Bamuthi performs in a call-and-response format with turntablist DJ Excess, and beatboxer and percussionist Tommy Shepherd (aka Soulati). The multiple layers of meaning in their exchange are intensified by video projections, created by filmmaker Eli Jacobs Fantauzzi, composed of interviews and documentary footage of hip-hop culture throughout the world.
Bamuthi drew inspiration for the break/s from Jeff Chang's 2005 American Book Award winning publication, Can't Stop Won't Stop, which definitively captures the birth of hip-hop as a local movement inspired by a generation's longing to make culture that impacts the world. A remarkable team of artists and creative advisors contributed to the break/s, led by director Michael John Garcés, and including dramaturg Brian Freeman, choreographer Stacy Printz, video and set designer David Szlaza, lighting designer James Clotfelter, and composer Ajayi Lumumb.