Need some inspiration? How about more than 3,000 enthusiastic 5th graders, from all over the city, doing choreographed hip-hop moves with a classical bent in the Plaza of the Music Center? Yesterday kicked off the Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival, which in it’s three-day period (ends Friday), will see over 18,000 children dancing and participating in free programs each morning at The Music Center. Yesterday they danced and then filed into the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to be entertained, and in many cases, get their first taste of the performing arts. “We practiced for days!” one 5th grader told me after the mass performance while we went to find our seats in the balcony of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. She then popped up in her seat when the performers onstage ended with the dance taught to the students.
The Blue Ribbon ladies, who staff and fund the event, choose Black Violin and Rennie Harris RHAW to perform, and from the reaction from the young, capacity crowd, all were a hit. The students sang along, clapped, and whooped it up to hip hop hits played on electric violins and break dancers who joyfully defied gravity. You could see the performers electrified onstage from the positive outpouring from the kids.
This is the 46th year of the Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival, the longest continuing arts education iniative. Seeing the sparks ignited in these kids, you know the importance of this truly inspirational endeavor. So big backpats to the Blue Ribbon ladies and the performers. From where I was sitting, you’ve got a hit on your hands.