Shane Depree Fry of Verve Dance Studio is teaming up with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra to put on a performance fusing hip-hop and classical music for students on the West Side of Buffalo at Kleinhans on Thursday, March 12. The show combines music and dance in an effort to celebrate self-expression through the arts. This performance is an event presented by the orchestra’s West Side Connection outreach program, providing educational activities and curriculum to students of 12 Buffalo public schools.
“The BPO is very pleased to be working with Shane Depree Fry and Verve Dance Studio this year as part of our West Side Connection,” says Robin Parkinson, BPO education director. “Each year we look for dynamic local and national artists to collaborate with on this unique program and Shane’s work with young people and his creative spirit were a perfect fit.”
Fry, a professional breakdancer and musical/visual artist, will be debuting original hip hop instrumentals, which will be paired with samples from two orchestral pieces, Samba Suds by Sidney Torch and Soul Bossa Nova by Quincy Jones. The performance intersperses Fry’s beats from his drum machine with the orchestra’s renderings of each piece. Fry will also be B-Boying (otherwise known as break dancing), the style of dance he’s most known for, throughout the show. Fifteen-year-old cellist Sterling Elliott, who won this year’s Sphinx competition, will also be featured.
Along with the 2,000 students viewing the performance in the audience, the BPO will be providing free access to the show to all Western New York schools through the BPO Broadcast On Demand service.
“Verve started out of a desire for people to have a place to come together and have fun expressing themselves,” says Fry. “I am honored to be part of the West Side Connection program, and I hope it inspires the students to find their own voices as artists.”
Fry and his wife Heather Russell opened Verve Dance Studio, which provides a positive space for young dancers and exposes them to hip hop culture, in 2005. The studio is also celebrating their tenth anniversary of their monthly event Battle at Buffalo this year.