Hip-hop theater pioneer joins ASU as artist-in-residence this fall

Rickerby Hinds

World-renowned hip-hop theatre artist Rickerby Hinds will be on campus this fall as an artist-in-residence at the School of Film, Dance and Theatre.

A native of Honduras who immigrated to South Central Los Angeles at age 13, Hinds pioneered the use of hip-hop as the primary language in full-length plays in 1989 with his piece "Daze to Come." His subsequent works have empowered an entire school of young playwrights to speak in the language of hip-hop.

Currently an associate professor of playwriting at the University of California, Riverside, Hinds was inspired to work with inner-city youths of the “Inland Empire” in Southern California when he saw them performing “buck,” a new hip-hop dance style, after a church service.

“'Buck’ or ‘krump’ uses athleticism, rhythm and acrobatics to create a style that is simultaneously beautiful and intense,” said Hinds. “This unique dance form provides an outlet for youth who face harsh realities of violence and other challenges. Young people with no formal dance training gather in any neutral space each week to participate in ‘krump battles’ in which they use dance moves instead of bullets.”

Three years ago, "Buckworld One" ignited ASU’s Lyceum Theatre in a dazzling, sold-out performance presented by Performance in the Borderlands. Last year, Hinds returned to Phoenix when Borderlands organized the "Rickerby Hinds Hip Hop Theatre Workshop," an event that merged traditional theatre and hip-hop to create vibrant stories about race, gender, class and sexuality. Participants hailed from the Phoenix and ASU communities to learn various ways to implement hip-hop aesthetics and methodologies in their work. 

Media contact:
Laurie Trotta, laurie.trotta@asu.edu