PIETERMARITZBURG: The uMgungundlovu Business Expo took place at the Royal Showgrounds last week. District mayor Yusuf Bhamjee, centre, with Nana Xulu, left, and Sharne Glendenning. PICTURES: SHARIKA REGCHAND

Hip hop meets theatre this weekend when hip hop crews and dancers unite in a new initiative, Mixing It Up.

Hip hop is generally seen to be an informal street-based activity and this concept is set to change and develop hip hop as a justifiable form of art.

Formed as part of the British Council SA’s arts programme, Mixing It Up was adapted from the UK hip hop scene where hip hop has successfully been integrated into local theatre.

The showcase will provide artists with a platform for Cape Town-based artists to portray SA stories through mixed dance styles, music and words.

Participants include Immortal Style, Vuelta, Project E, Hand Break Turn, Retro Black, Objects in Motion and RFK.

They were all selected from the preliminary Sweat Week workshops, which took place in November last year.

The dancers are mentored by Emile Jansen of Heal the Hood Project, a Cape Town non-profit organisation that uses hip hop’s various elements to encourage the youth to break away from the gang culture encountered on the streets of the Cape Flats.

Headlining the event is Clash 66, international hip hop theatre pioneers comprising France’s Sebastien Ramirez and Hyun-Jung Wang from Germany. Other performers include hip hop artists from the UK and Zimbabwe.

The selected performers have the opportunity to show their work to key stakeholders in the arts, dance and theatre sectors.

Dancers will also be mentored by the show’s curator, award-winning dancer Mamela Nyamza, as well as Kwesi Johnson of Kompany Malakhi, who will be responsible for facilitating the hip hop master classes after the showcase.

• Mixing it Up, Saturday and Sunday at Artscape Theatre. Tickets, from Computicket, cost R50 and a reduced rate of R30 is for students with a valid student card.