ZCCD

Collaborators / Haleem “Stringz” Rahul (Detroit, USA)

STRINGZ

b. 1977, Detroit, USA. Lives and works in Detroit, Michigan, USA

photo credits Lena Lee Photography

Participated in the ZCCD Artist Residence Exchange August 10- September 7, 2015

Partnering with Jibilika Dance Trust (Harare, Zimbabwe) Jibilika has organized a dance workshops around “jit” with participants both in Harare and Bulawayo. These workshops will lead to a public performance at the Amphitheatre in Bulawayo on Saturday August 22, 2015. Haleem will be working with Zimbabwe dancer, Franko “Slomo” Dhaka in preparation for the festival. The rest of the time is dedicated towards his own research. (more)

Haleem “Stringz” Rasul discovered his passion for the arts at an early age. Growing up in Detroit came with its own unique challenges that served as motivators manifesting into his creative and business ventures following graduating from Western Michigan University in 2001. He established Hardcore Detroit as a brand dance company and fashion label. His motto “hardcore,” represents success after struggle and overcoming hardships to achieve victory. His objective was to launch something positive and great within the city of Detroit: He has instructed dance workshops locally and abroad, judged and participated in dance tournaments throughout the nation gaining international respect, organized dance-related events in his hometown and produced relevant merchandising materials. And by 2010, Hardcore Detroit was voted best dance company in the Real Detroit Reader’s Poll.

In 2006 Haleem was selected for Red Bill Beat Riders: one of the world’s premier urban dance events. Beat Riders brings together a handpicked international group of 30 of the best up-and-coming urban dancers to train and study with the founders of contemporary urban culture and dance.

The stage is his canvas and his body moves like a brush within a balanced composition of technique and artistry: using design elements of line, contrast, shape, pattern, juxtaposition, and repetition to create a smooth display that interprets the rhythms he encounters.

After exploring dance in other communities, Haleem gained more appreciation for Detroit’s own innovations and by March 2009, he tracked down the Jitterbugs, the group recognized for catapulting the Detroit Jit in the mid 1970s. Compiling exclusive interviews with them and other pioneers he released a DVD illustrating the history of the jit through oral narratives, images, and never-before-seen footage. This historical project is compliment with a groundbreaking how to jit instructional. Now a recipient of two distinguished grant foundations (kresge and Knight Arts foundations) and earning the title of a dance ambassador of Detroit, Haleem finds it important to preserve its history and foundational steps for future generations and is set to teach a two credit special topics class in Jit at Eastern Michigan University in the fall of 2015.