Paris Olympics 2024: Mourad Merzouki Elevates Hip Hop to Official Dance Status for the Games

Renowned French-Algerian hip-hop choreographer Mourad Merzouki never misses the boat by delighting his fans with his amazing dance-creating skills. The way Mourad Merzouki transmits the dancing arts is admired highly by the audience. His every dance performance straddles the boundaries of several disciplines. Merzouki’s dance style seamlessly blends elements of circus, martial arts, fine arts, film, and music, captivating dance enthusiasts with its unique charm and allure.

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With his magnificent ability, the Lyon-born choreographer has been transmitting the style of dance for 30 years. The 50-year-old has achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first creator to elevate hip-hop to official dance status for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics Games.

Hip Hop gets official dance status at 2024 Paris Olympic

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With his extraordinary creativity skill, Merzouki has also become the creator of the “Dance of the Games’’, which will be the official dance of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris 2024. During his interview with EL PAÍS, Mourad Merzouki explained how anyone can learn the dance steps with his tutorials.

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Mourad also shared insights on how beginners can learn the steps through his dance tutorial videos available on YouTube. Additionally, he provided details about the contest, stating that participants can record themselves dancing and submit the videos for the live event. The top submissions will be selected to participate in a live event in Paris between May and June, although the specific date has not been specified yet.

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Given that breakdancing will be officially recognized as a sport for the first time, it seems quite fitting that a well-known hip-hop dance choreographer is in charge of the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympics Games. Mourad Merzouki also stated, “There’s been a lot of debate about this in France,” adding: Some people didn’t agree to consider it as such, because it’s an art. Others, myself included, believe that it’s good news because arts and sports aren’t incompatible. The Olympics are going to [put the spotlight] on the ‘battles,’ or the competitive aspect of breakdancing.”

Mourad Merzouki- a trailblazer in hip-hop dancing

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Apart from being an eminent hip-hop choreographer, Merzouki considers himself a trailblazer who brought the hip-hop dance from the streets to the stage by fusing the lighthearted with the profession. He also disclosed the struggle of his journey when he faced the negative backlash from the people. “When I started bringing hip hop dance to the stage, many people said that it wasn’t going to last, that it was just a fad. But it wasn’t…,” he added.

In addition to this, Mourad also disclosed how this specific style of dance got recognition.  “[Breakdancing] has been establishing itself on the scene… and it’s grown in two compatible directions: in the theater — with choreographies that go [deeper] — it questions things and has an artistic commitment. And, on the street — where it was born — the breakdance battles continue to unfold,” he further addressed.

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Mourad Merzouki’s dance company Käfig is also one of the first in the world to perform hip-hop dance shows in festivals like Kalypso and Karavel. Despite that, Merzouki also exhibited his choreography skills through his company in the choreographic hubs like Créteil in the southeast suburbs of Paris, which he directed between 2009 and 2023.

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