Furious Beauty: A Hip Hop Family
The soulful journey of a professional street dance company, Versa-Style, as it creates an inspired theatrical stage show in Los Angeles. Led by Jackie “Miss Funk” Lopez, a single Latina mother, and her partner Leigh “Breeze-Lee” Foaad, they pull together a dance company with young people from the street scene and the yards of Los Angeles’ public schools, infusing in them a sense of discipline and commitment. A community develops where people of all races and creeds are able to express themselves, turning their fears and desperation into performance art. More than a dance troupe, Versa-Style becomes a family and serves to upend prejudice about the hip hop lifestyle.
FURIOUS BEAUTY: A HIP HOP FAMILY is a documentary detailing the influence of Los Angeles dance troupe Versa-Style and its founders Jackie “Miss Funk” Lopez and Leigh “Breeze-Lee” Foaad who inspire their underprivileged students to find value in their own lives by elevating hip hop dance into theatrical performances. An official selection of the Downtown Independent Film Festival, FURIOUS BEAUTY follows the troupe as they gear up for a big show and will become available on DVD and Video On Demand (VOD) platforms (including Hulu and Amazon Instant) on 12/10/2013.
In a few years, Versa-Style, a dance program born from the streets, has developed an award-winning troupe that serves as a surrogate family, helping inner-city, high-risk youth to achieve goals beyond their dreams. The program’s founders, Lopez and Foaad, specifically aim to instill a socio-cultural understanding of and appreciation for the dance styles that define this generation. With this educational sentiment at the heart of each performance, Versa-Style tours LA area schools, competes, and has been invited to travel as cultural ambassadors to Israel and India to share their brand of infectious dance. The program, which serves lower income youth, has helped several students earn acceptance to academically demanding colleges such as UCLA. Several students are currently working towards becoming dance educators themselves.
Director Calvin Leung was a Yale graduate with a biology degree who found a second calling in dance that led him to connect with Lopez and Foaad at a dance competition. He found the troupe’s sense of family appeal—a group of men and women, bound by a shared passion and united in their desire to rise above their circumstances. His film demonstrates how finding one’s community can make all the difference in a life.