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Controlling Chaos and Building Unity:
By Eric Zuehlke / Sunday, May 21st, 2006 / New York Culture Center


“Left, back, left!”
“C, then B, and now to G!”
“Step up, around, up and out!”

From room to room and floor to floor, the New York Culture Center burst with the calls of dance instructions, chord changes and athletic direction on the afternoon of Sunday, May 21. Over 200 youth came from all over the tri-state area to unite towards the upcoming Youth Festival. After those of us in the Documentary Committee met and went our separate ways to take photos and notes on the rehearsals, I couldn’t help but smile at the energy and unity I witnessed in every room as I wandered from group to group.

On the fifth floor, over 20 members of the Youth Division dance group moved in unison, trying out new moves under careful and straightforward direction. There was talk about how the repetition of the moves eventually becomes muscle memory. Going through the motions slower is actually harder and it’s better to learn slowly and then gradually speed up. Gisell Moromisato, a YWD member of the group, explained how coming to the rehearsal with her daughter’s father, who doesn’t practice, was a huge benefit for her. Her determination towards July 16 is to open up more and be able to do shakabuku.

The Hip Hop MC group engaged in a passionate dialogue about the differences between Old School and New School, the rise of materialism in mid-1990s hip hop, and the importance of passing the torch from generation to generation. “They were in the muddy swamp and wanted to create a lotus flower!” said one participant of the originators of hip hop. It was great to see the wide variety of guys of all ages taking part in a discussion of the essence of hip hop.

The Youth Band, resolutely playing over the noise and commotion around them, became more confident as the afternoon went on. Hock Lim, a YMD Soka Group member took a couple of minutes from managing the floor to share his determination to grow in every area of his life – personally, in his career and health, and to gain more knowledge towards July 16. He also shared the magnitude of Soka Group’s mission on July 16. Up to 30 to 60 guys from the entire Zone will be needed that day to support the festival.

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Journal 1 (April 23)
Journal 2 (May 14)
Journal 3 (May 21)
Journal 4 (June 11)
Journal 5 (June 18)
Journal 6 (June 25)
Journal 7 (July 1st)
July 8th & 9th
July 15th
July 16th

African Performance
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Hip Hop (DJ Battle)
Hip Hop (MC Battle)
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YWD Dance

Art Committee
Byakuren, Soka, Gajokai
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April 23rd
May 14th
May 21st
June 11th
June 18th
June 25th (Teens)
June 25th
July 1st (Teens)
July 8th & 9th
July 15th