In the midst of all the food festivals and fairs, one event in downtown Buffalo will throw a little variety into the summer routine. Verve Dance Studio and New Era Cap’s second annual Battle @ Buffalo: Under the Lights hip-hop festival, taking place this Saturday, August 25 outside the New Era Building on Delaware Avenue will celebrate music, art and dance in a completely unique way.
The all-ages, family friendly event is being hosted by Verve Dance Studio owners Shane Depree Fry (photo below) and Heather Russell, who have made it their goal to nurture young dancers and promote the art of urban dance and hip hop culture in our local community. The studio hosts monthly b-boy and all-styles dance competitions in their Battle @ Buffalo program, and this weekend’s festival will take that competition to the street for the entire community to witness. Fry and Russell’s mission is to host a positive event based on the foundations of hip-hop culture that will promote unity in the local community.
From 2 to 10 pm, festival goers can take in the full sensory experience with music from local hip hop artists and DJs, live, interactive art displays by local graffiti artists, and breakdancing battles between some of Buffalo’s most talented performers and international competitors. Featured DJs include Forest Getemgump, Cutler, Simple, The Chill Harmonic Orchestra, and select MC’s.
Many local artists will be creating live work at the Interactive Art Tent, where anyone can stop by, pick up a brush and join in the creative process. Local art and merchandise from B-boy Dupree, Paris Henderson, Dario Mohr, Full Blast Gear, and others will be sold at the festival. The Cheesy Chick and Whole Hog food trucks, Mr. Cool and event sponsor Vitamin Water will also be on site providing refreshments for festival goers.
The main events will be the one-on-one All Styles dance battle and the three-on-three B-boy/B-girl competition. Admission to watch the battles is $5, and those who wish to join in the competition can buy a slot for $6. The All Styles dance battle will start with a showcase and preliminary rounds at 3:30 p.m. Audiences will see dancers performing gravity defying moves as they compete to win the grand prize of $200 and a New Era gift bag. The B-Boy competition will take off after the semi-finals segment of the All Styles competition concludes. Participants in this battle will be competing for a prize of $1,200 and a New Era gift bag.
Those interested in getting a few pointers before stepping up to perform at the festival can attend two workshops being offered at Verve Dance Studio on Friday, August 24. From 6:30 to 8 pm, Pete Nasty of Repstyles Crew will be teaching a power workshop that will cover everything from flares to headspins. From 8:15 to 9:45 pm, New York City’s own Kid Glyde of Dynamic Rockers will be teaching a footwork workshop. The cost of admission for an individual workshop is $15 and $25 to attend both.