Four hundred dancers from more than ten countries will be converging on Meknes to take part in the 9th annual dance festival to be held at various locations around the city. The International Hip Hop and Breakdance Festival takes place from September 17 through until the 23rd.
Once again the festival has been organised by the Moroccan "Hope Youth Association".
According to the organisers, "this event is truly a developer of talent and a springboard to the international scene for the winners and also for the world of work and show business".
The more than 400 artists will participate in "dance-offs" in different categories of dance to move to the final and maybe winning the first prize and the chance to represent Morocco in one of the international competitions abroad. The competition focuses on four categories: dance, graffiti, rap and freestyle. In addition, a panel of international professionals act as judges to decide the best teams and dancers in each category.
The Hope Youth Association aims to discover and mentor young Moroccan dancers. Its purpose is also the social and economic development of the performers including girls and boys aged between 12 and 25 years who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The association focuses in particular on the implementation and promotion of artistic and cultural projects related to urban culture. "Despite the growing number of practitioners and the real interest in hip hop, we find that the artistic and cultural practices associated with this culture, coming, as they do, from the street, are often informal. So we want to address this lack of structure because it hinders the identification of the performers involved and the value of their initiatives".