Senior Citizen Hip Hop Dreams Shattered
4.08pm, 20th March 2013,
Senior Citizen Hip Hop Dreams Shattered
The Trade Me auction selling the world’s oldest hip hop dance group, The Hip Op-eration Crew, closed today with no bids.
The hip hop mega crew of 37 senior citizens aged 66 to 96 years old from Waiheke Island were selling themselves on Trade Me in the ‘Antiques and Collectables’ category to raise the money they need to get to the USA later in the year. However, the auction closed without a single bid.
The Hip Op-eration Crew wants to visit Las Vegas in August to do a tribute hip hop performance at the World Hip Hop Championships. They have also been invited to an afternoon tea by the City of Las Vegas and plan on doing a performance for the Mayor and other local government officials at the Las Vegas City Hall. However, they need $353,770 to get there.
“We want to earn the money we need to get to Las Vegas by working as talent for an organisation’s advertising campaign. We may be a bit old and rickety but hope that, what we lack in the way of physical appearances, we can make up with our personalities and cool hip hop dance moves,” says 79 year old dancer Brenda Long.
“The aim of our group is to reduce the stigma of aging through entertainment. We want people around the world to see older people in a new light and, at the same time, inspire other senior citizens to get out and connect with young people. Even if we have to dance in the street or go to the world hip hop stage in Las Vegas to get our message across; we will. It’s all about having fun, enjoying life, pushing through our personal limitations and challenging stereotypes. It’s also a chance for us to show the rest of the world that ‘can do’ Kiwi attitude.
“A sponsor or buyer will get exclusive sponsorship of the Crew, the opportunity to give us a hip hop make-over and brand us, use us for talent in television, print and radio advertising campaigns, have us perform at public or private functions and become part of our support Crew by joining us on the trip to Las Vegas,” says Long.
The Manager of The Hip Op-eration Crew, Billie Jordan, says they are still for sale under the ‘Buy Now’ option on Trade Me and hope a buyer comes forward.
“We are open to any type of buyer or sponsor – including an individual or organisation from overseas that could benefit from having an association with a positive and inspirational international publicity platform. Anyone who comes up with the money to buy or sponsor The Hip Op-eration Crew will also make the dreams of 37 people, who don’t have a second chance at this, come true,” says Jordan.
Members include Violet, a 96 year old in a wheelchair; four people who use other types of mobility aids (including a zimmer frame and walking sticks), 14 members in their 80s and early 90s, many people who are deaf, and one member who is legally blind. The average age is 76 years old and there are eight men and 29 women in the Crew - including a mother (96 years old) and her son and daughter in law (both 69 years old).
The ‘Official Groupie’ of The Hip Op-eration Crew is Dame Catherine Tizard, affectionately known as ‘Dame T’ to the Crew.
The group of senior citizens are currently preparing for a tribute performance at the Auckland Regional Hip Hop Championships on 23rd March at the Bruce Mason Theatre. After performing the one minute and a half minute ‘sneak peek’ tribute performance they will then proceed to the New Zealand National Championships on 26th April where they will do their full dance routine and compete against other mega crews from around New Zealand.
A feature documentary film about The Hip Op-eration Crew is currently in development to follow the adventures of the Crew from Waiheke Island to Las Vegas. It is expected to have a cinematic release date of early 2014.
Donations to help The Hip Op-eration Crew fulfill their dream to perform in Las Vegas can be deposited into their bank account: 12 3114 0155178 50. Donees are asked to use the reference ‘Gift’ when depositing the money.
“All gifts of money will solely be used for the expenses related to the trip to Las Vegas and will be gratefully received,” says Jordan.
A comprehensive document outlining information about buying or sponsoring The Hip Op-eration Crew can be sourced from their website at:-
The Hip Op-eration Crew can also be viewed on Facebook at:-