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Hip hop comes in from the cold -

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ELEANOR HALL: To an international cultural exchange project in Sydney that's aiming to bring
London's hip hop culture to Australian audiences.

East London West Sydney is a collaboration of artists that's taking the gang inspired dance form
off the streets and into the theatre.

Antonette Collins prepared this report.

ANTONETTE COLLINS: Rehearsing in a theatre at the National Institute of Dramatic Art may not be the
first place you'd think you'd find a group of hip hop artists from Sydney's western suburbs.

But that's exactly where they and some of their UK counterparts have gathered to show their work to
potential sponsors.

FARID FARID: I'm sick and tired of this racial hybridity...

ANTONETTE COLLINS: Farid Farid who grew up in Western Sydney has found this theatre collective has
helped him broaden his own ideas about his Islamic background.

FARID FARID: There were themes that connected and themes that collided off each other and there was
a certain intimacy between our stories and our bodies.

SARAH SAYEED: You speak to God constantly through the day truth say from the high almighty, you
know you never sway.

ANTONETTE COLLINS: UK hip hopper Sarah Sayeed says the cultural diversities in the group are
reflected in the performance.

SARAH SAYEED: We all live in cities. We all share the sort of urban experience but most importantly
we're human beings and we're all artists so we're ultimately trying to find stories and characters
that are truthful.

ANTONETTE COLLINS: Made possible by the British Council and Parramatta's Information and Cultural
Exchange, East London West Sydney has provided some of Australia's emerging hip hop artists the
chance to spend three weeks working with one of the UK's leading theatre figures Jonzi D.

He says his experience both of traditional theatre and the hip hop realm helps to push boundaries
and creates new ways of telling stories within the genre.

JONZI D: I think what excites me is the choreo-poetic form, using rap lyrics and finding physical
theatre ideas and movement motifs to present it. So it's not necessarily breaking and popping that
we use, although I explore them fields as well.

(rap music)

ANTONETTE COLLINS: During the production the topics range from love to the urban environment and
cultural identity. Director Jonzi D says violence in the hip hop world is also a misconception that
they want to explore.

JONZI D: In relation to the stereotypes I think what we're presenting a different way of seeing
these stories.

ANTONETTE COLLINS: Artists Farid Farid agrees.

FARID FARID: I don't think we should shy from violence because it does happen on a daily basis from
the local to the global level. So hip hop is genuine and authentic in telling the truth just how it
is. And the truth hurts sometimes.

ELEANOR HALL: Farid Farid is a hip hop artist from western Sydney he was speaking to Antonette
Collins.