Press Release – The Hip Op-eration Crew
Dame Catherine Tizard, a keen supporter and fan of the world’s oldest hip hop dance group, called The Hip Op-eration Crew, has been named their official groupie. The hip hop mega crew consists of 37 senior citizens aged 66 to 96 years old from Waiheke Island.
“When The Hip Op-eration Crew asked me to be their Patron I was really flattered but felt the title ‘Patron’ was a bit stuffy. So instead, they have given me the title of‘Official Groupie’ which I am much more comfortable with. They have also named me‘Dame T’ – saying it was more gangster,” says Dame T (aka Dame Catherine Tizard).
The Hip Op-eration Crew, which aims to reduce the stigma of aging through entertainment, used to be called The World’s Oldest Flash Mob and did surprise performances around Auckland in 2012. However, in January 2013 they set themselves up as an official Hip Hop dance group called ‘The Hip Op-eration Crew’.
“I am a huge fan of The Hip Op-eration Crew and love what they stand for and what they do. Just because you’re getting on in years, it doesn’t mean you can’t just go out and have fun. If you feel like dancing in the middle of the street when you’re in your nineties; then just do it. You’re never too old to do anything you want to do – especially if it makes you happy and brings joy to others,” says Dame T.
The Hip Op-eration Crew Manager, Billie Jordan, says having Dame Catherine Tizard onboard as the official groupie is a great compliment.
“It’s a huge honour for us to have someone of Dame T’s calibre. As our official groupie she will be invited to all our events and performances and will hopefully come to Las Vegas with us as well. After all, no road trip is complete without at least one groupie.
“At 81 years old, Dame T would be considered a ‘junior’in our group. Our seniors are in their nineties and our babies are under 80. You never know, maybe Dame T will pick up a few hip hop moves from our Crew over the coming months so the next time she’s at a formal function she can get her freak on and break out with some cool hip hop moves,” says Jordan.
The Hip Op-eration Crew 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 group of senior citizens are currently preparing for a tribute performance at the Auckland Regional Hip Hop Championships on 23rdMarch 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.
The dance group then hopes to travel to Las Vegas in August to do a tribute performance at the World Hip Hop Championships.
“The World Hip Hop Championships in Las Vegas is an opportunity to take our message to the rest of the world that age is just a number and, at the same time, enable us to pay homage and respect to young hip hop artists all over the world,” says Jordan.
To raise the money they need to get to the USA they are selling themselves on Trade Me’ under the‘Antiques and Collectables’ category. The auction closes at 4pm on 20thMarch 2013.
The successful buyer of The Hip Op-eration Crew will get exclusive sponsorship of the Crew, the opportunity to give them a hip hop make-over and brand them, use them for talent in television, print and radio advertising campaigns, have them perform at public or private functions and become part of the support Crew by joining them on the trip to Las Vegas.
“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.
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 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.
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:-
For more information about Dame T (aka Dame Catherine Tizard) please refer to:-