A few months before graduating as an Africana studies major, Kiana Sosa ’15 learned that she was the winner of Hamilton’s Bristol Fellowship. Instead of heading straight into a job or grad school, she would be spending a year traveling the globe pursuing a project she devised – how hip-hop culture relates to the theatre arts.
Her first stop was London, where hip-hop dancers are exploring new ways to incorporate theatre into their choreography. Sosa’s own focus is the other way around — working hip-hop aesthetics into the theatre arts. Next she followed the hip-hop beat to Italy, Ghana and finally Cape Town, South Africa. There she worked with one of the country’s pioneering hip-hop musicians and break-dancers who now runs community workshops and afterschool programs for underserved youth. “It was such an inspiration just to sit with him and converse about how hip-hop and theatre can come together as a form of pedagogy and as a way of connecting kids,” she says.
Her fellowship at an end, Sosa has returned to the U.S. to begin a master’s degree program at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University where she’ll continue her study of hip-hop theatre. She’s thinking she may go into teaching or working with young people on theatre with a hip-hop spin.