We are petitioning to reinstate the biannual B-Series which has been reduced to one per year due to budget cuts.
The B-Series is essential as it:
-provides a FREE space for local and regional dancers, artists, and community members to connect with one another, build community, and hone their skills in a state-of the art theater with professional tech support and curators, providing an experience of the highest quality
-provides the department and its students the unique opportunity to learn first hand about and participate in the authentic practices of hip-hop and street dance culture—an experience which cannot be replicated in a classroom setting
-provides performance opportunities for students concentrating in these techniques through the practice of battling and cyphering—which is an essential practice for the growth of these dancers
-allows students the opportunity to connect and create relationships with both Chicago and nationwide hip-hop and street dance community members
The B-Series event also meets a number of Columbia's mission statement objectives:
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion:
The underground street dance community is one of the most diverse communities globally. People from all backgrounds of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation, participate in and are celebrated within the cypher. Hip-hop centered spaces provide a model for best practices in DEI such as celebrating uniqueness, originality, and individual expression within the context of a supportive community at the heart of Hip-Hop culture. The B-Series, in particular, makes curatorial decisions aimed specifically at making space for marginalized voices and bodies. The B-Series is a vital contributor to meeting DEI objectives around undoing racism.
The B-Series is the primary event for students to connect with members of the hip-hop and street dance communities. Each semester, prominent local and nationwide hip-hop/street dancers come to participate in the B-Series' battles and cyphers. We typically engage over 200 and often 350 or more people at each B-Series festival. It is a great opportunity for students to engage directly with the community and to make long-term connections with these dancers.
In addition to students being able to make professional connections with community members in the field of hip-hop/street dance, each semester the B-Series provides an internship opportunity available to students which prepares them for a career in Arts Management, Non-Profit Arts Management, or Events Management.