The search for South Africa’s best dance crew kicks off this month when a new reality series, presented by Lalla Hirayama and Fred Kayembe, airs on youth channel Vuzu, part of the the DStv pay-TV bouquet.
Masters of Rhythm (MOR) debuts on Wednesday 22 June at 19:30 when the MOR team meets the 12 crews that will be competing in this year’s competition. Viewers will also get to know the judges and explore some of the history behind MOR as well as the Hip Hop movement in South Africa.
Over 13 episodes Masters of Rhythm will scour South Africa, with the aim of unearthing the best dance talent that the country has to offer – from popping and locking to breaking and krumping and more. Along the way, the role dance plays in the lives of young South Africans will also be in the spotlight: as an increasingly in vogue cultural phenomenon, hip-hop dance crosses the divide between sport and popular culture proving that it is a truly positive force in the lives of the youth.
Masters of Rhythm’s talent search culminates in a live event at the Standard Bank Arena in which the last remaining crews compete for the title, the Masters of Rhythm.
The show’s hosts Hirayama and Kayembe, aka Fred Mercury, are themselves true believers in the power of dance as a force for positivity, as well as entertainment.
Hirayama formed one of South Africa’s first mix hip hop crews “Clinch Crew” at the age of 16 and this popular TV presenter (Vuzu’s Scar Tissue and V-Entertainment) has danced professionally for the likes of Skwatta Kamp, Pro-Kid, Loyiso Bala, Bianca Le Grange, Lebo Mathosa, Relo, Danny K, Jozi, Slikour and many more. Mercury was also a founding member of Clinch Crew but chose to pursue basketball when it came to the crunch. However his love for dance has never diminished and over the past few years Mercury’s both hosted and/or been involved in the conception of numerous hip-hop and dance orientated ventures that include the prestigious Dance to Las Vegas festival, Rep Your City, Lords of the Floor Street Clash, Masters of Rhythm hip-hop festival and Masters national tour.
The Masters of Rhythm is the biggest dance event in the Southern Hemisphere- drawing roughly 10, 000 people each year. It was conceptualised by the founding members of Clinch City Entertainment in 2006, which include Mernoly Simba, Jay Kayembe, Olie Kayembe and Lalla Hirayama, and later, Fred Mercury, Steph Gregson and Clementine Mabena.