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Urban Sol rejuvenates the spirit of dance at ASU

Urban Sol held the moniker of “Civil Disobedience” at its start in 2008 by Melissa Britt and Richard Mook. According to the Herberger website, “Urban Sol is rooted in the unlikely union of the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and the Valley of the Sun's urban artist culture of DJs, MCs, graffiti artists and dancers.”

The event is one of the most attended in the Valley area. Because of its root, there is a strong ASU student following, particularly in the School of Film, Dance and Theatre.

When asked to explain why Urban Sol was so successful in the Valley, dance education senior Kayla Tomooka explained that Urban Sol and urban arts in general have helped her find her own voice. Tomooka believes that other artists feel the same way.



“The urban arts allow for so many paths to follow and so many different platforms of discussion on social and political topics that have helped me gain more knowledge about what has gone on around me,” she said, “It has helped me find my own voice.”

The underground aspect of Urban Sol adds intrigue to the event. It teases the curiosity of the community at large and forces individuals to get involved if they want to participate.

“Urban Sol is such a different type of event that most people don’t know about unless they have connections in the urban dance community,” Tomooka said. “The event also provides a fresh perspective on hip hop.”

Urban Sol showcases more than dancers, though dance remains the central aspect. They have graffiti artists, spoken word, music production and more in store for their audience. It’s a community event that helps uplift the talent within the Valley.

Each year, Urban Sol has a new theme. This year, their theme is “PARTicipate (People Artistically Reimagine(ing) Together).

“This semester Urban Sol’s theme is PARTicipate," she said. "With this theme, we asked crews to really take time to train with the people of their crew and build community within them prior to the event.”

The show consists of four disc jockeys battling and 5-on-5 crew battles. There will be spoken word performances and an Graffiti instillation by Bboy House.






Urban Sol PARTicipate is a free show and will take place Friday, April 4, at 6 p.m. in ASU Galvin Plaza.

Reach the reporter at or follow her on Twitter @StephanieITA

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