I reviewed the SF Hip Hop Dance Fest for today’s Chronicle:

“The idea of a hip-hop dance festival may seem gratuitous in an age when everyone from Justin Timberlake to a squeaky puppet named Elmo is doing it. But there was no festival dedicated exclusively to the form in 1999, when San Francisco dancer Micaya created the SF Hip Hop DanceFest.

Do we still need a hip-hop dance festival? Absolutely. You’d have to do more than surf through countless music videos to come up with a survey of hip-hop dancing as wide ranging, fresh and — oh, yes — roof raising as the two programs that kept the beats pounding and the bodies shaking over the weekend at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre.

Friday’s opening night was a party. It was also eye-opening exposure to hip-hop gone global. Who knew that in Montreal, a sextet of women calling themselves Extreme freak furiously while wearing ’80s-esque acid-washed jeans and flinging Jon Bon Jovi-worthy feathered hair? And who could imagine a talent as sui generis as Japan’s Takahiro Ueno, a skinny, Chaplin-esque fellow who krumps and pops — hilariously — to everything from Richard Rodgers to Verdi.”

Click here for the full review.

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