Khirkee Hip-Hop Community Centre
During KHOJ's long engagement with the community through its various community-based art projects and especially with the children of Khirkee, Hip-Hop came about as one of the dance forms that the children and youth here were very excited and eager to learn and further engage with. KHOJ, seeing its role as a facilitator for its numerous community-based art projects over the past six years was keen to nurture the existing creative opportunities and potential of these youth from the community and sought to bring in an artist to facilitate the same. This has led to the formation of KHOJ's youth-based initiative in Khirkee - The Khirkee Hip-Hop Community Centre since October 2010 undertaken in collaboration with hip hop artist HeRa who's also the founder of TinyDrops.
Collaborating with HeRa, KHOJ has cultivated a space for the youth in the neighborhood to practice, learn and innovate on hip hop dance & culture. Participants learn and practice Hip-Hop with the mentors thrice a week and practice on their own almost every evening between 7 - 9pm at the KHOJ Studios. This not only keeps them from many untoward influences of the street during their crucial formative years but also harnesses their creative energies, rebuilding their self-confidence, individuality and a sense of identity, in addition to providing them loads of fun and sheer delight in engaging with the acrobatic dance-form.
Hip-hop is a creative outlet that has always helped youngsters find joy and express themselves creatively. The Khirkee Hip-Hop Community Centre attracts around 20 - 30 talented youth, aged 8 -18 from Khirkee, Hauz Rani as well as from adjacent neighbourhoods of Panchsheel Vihar, Malviya Nagar and even Chirag Dilli. Many were already break dancing before coming to the Centre, taking cues primarily from television and internet videos.
The Khirkee Hip-Hop Community Centre offers a base from which youth can cultivate a solid foundation of the art form, organize with each other and create artist collectives, and develop an identity to present within the larger hip hop dance scene in Delhi & beyond. They have demonstrated their talent on numerous occasions and events and have presented hip-hop performances to diverse crowds including the local community, artists and many international visitors as part of several KHOJ programmes. They won the hearts of the Khirkee community and friends and garnered much appreciation during the most recently organized Khirkee Park Jam, held at the Khirkee Village Park on the evening of 15th May 2011 alongside Grafitti artists and International Live DJs. The event was very well received by all in the community.
Over the past months, the young B-Boys (A b-boy or break-boy is a male dancer who practices breaking or b-boying, the acrobatic hip-hop dance style, commonly known as "breakdancing") of Khirkee have received wide press and media coverage, featuring extensively in newspapers, magazine articles and photo-essays. Besides this, they have participated in several hip-hop jams and battles/ competitions organized by various groups both within and outside the city of Delhi and have featured in music videos and documentaries on the evolving hip-hop scene in Delhi and India.