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World’s oldest hip-hoppers from Waiheke aim to make history

Press Release – Hip-Operation
The World’s Oldest Hip Hop Dance Group: The Hip Op-eration Crew will be making world history when they compete head-to-head against the top Hip Hop Mega Dance Crews from around the country in April.

The hip hop mega crew consists of 37 senior citizens aged 66 to 96 years old from Waiheke Island. They are registered to enter the Mega Crew division of the New Zealand National Hip Hop Championships at the Victory Convention Centre in Auckland on Friday 26th April. Mega Crews from all over New Zealand, with members up to 89 years younger than the oldest Hip Op-eration Crew member, will compete for the title of Top New Zealand Mega Crew.

“It will be the first time in world history where a Crew in this age group has ever officially entered a hip hop competition. There used to be an age limit; but that was removed last year. We don’t expect to win, but will certainly do our best to show the respect we have for the culture of hip hop. I’m positive it’s going to be the most exciting night of our lives. We are already jittering with excitement and putting in extra rehearsals to get everything just right for the big night,” says 79 year old Hip Op-eration Crew member Brenda Long.

The Hip Op-eration Crew recently performed at the Bruce Mason Centre during the Auckland Regional Hip Hop Championships on 23rd March and received a standing ovation to a screaming crowd of avid hip hop fans.

“Even the judges were on their feet cheering and stomping their feet in reaction to our debut ‘sneak peek’ performance. It was a very emotional and overwhelming experience for both us and for members of the audience. We had no idea that we would receive such a positive and warm response from everyone. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the whole Bruce Mason Centre that night,” says Long.

The ‘sneak peek’ dance The Hip Op-eration Crew performed at the Bruce Mason Centre during the Auckland Regional Hip Hop Championships on 23rd March can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaPWAqYkEdo

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 dance the Hip Op-eration Crew will perform during the Mega Crew Division competition on 26th April will be the first time the Crew will be performing their full dance routine in public. Up until that point, only ‘sneak peek’ performances have been performed publicly.

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’. The Patron, known as the ‘Official Groupie’, of The Hip Op-eration Crew is Dame Catherine Tizard, affectionately called ‘Dame T’ by the Crew.

Following the New Zealand National Hip Hop Championships, the Crew then hopes to travel to Las Vegas to do a tribute performance at the World Hip Hop Championships in August 2013.

“To raise the NZ$275,000 money we need to get to the USA we are offering ourselves as talent for any company who would like to use us for their advertising campaigns. We are becoming more popular by the hour as we go viral on the Internet – so think we’d be a great group to brand and sponsor. Basically, we would consider doing just about anything in return for our travel costs to the USA.

“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 Long.

The 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 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 Billie Jordan, Manager of The Hip Op-eration Crew.

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: www.hipop-eration.com

The Hip Op-eration Crew can also be viewed on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/thehipop-erationcrew

To watch The Hip Op-eration Crew compete at the Mega Crew Division Championships on 26th April, please purchase tickets from iticket at:-


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