‘I don’t know. We have the funding to hire a contracting company that could do a better job than them. We don’t need their choreography.’
‘They even brought their own wardrobe. My six year old nephew could make a better costume than the ones I’ve seen them dance in.’
Pearl sighed as she walked past the other students. She agreed with them, but she wasn’t about to be rude. At least, not in front of the whole class.
‘Welcome to Rosemont’s auditorium, girls. We’re delighted to have you here, and we know it must be such a commute, with Kilberg High being across the city. I’m Pearl, and I’ll be in charge of the operation.’
Amethyst whistled from the audience seat. The rest of the students from her school clapped.
‘Join me now on stage, and we can start organizing this workshop.’
The Kilberg girls climbed on the stage. Most of them literally climbed, but Amethyst took the stairs. She walked right up to Pearl and elbowed her. ‘Hey, I’m Amethyst. I’m in charge of the troupe at Kilberg.’ She mocked Pearl’s uptight tone for the words ‘in charge.’
‘That’s nice. Would you like to discuss the choreography, or would you like to join your troupe in painting signs?’ Pearl looked down her nose, and it wasn’t hard, considering how short Amethyst was.
‘Let’s go in the back and start choreographing.’
Once backstage, Amethyst cracked her knuckles. ‘How do you preps usually do this? Let’s open with some Nikki Minaj.’
‘Uh, no,’ Pearl said. ‘We’re doing classical, only. These girls have never danced any other way.’
‘That’s lame. How about you impress me with some of your moves and I’ll consider it, though.’
Pearl took a deep breath in. ‘Why do I have to convince you?’
‘Because your school is losing support for it’s arts programs and without this collaboration, they would go to the shitter. Nobody supports art unless it’s impressive and cheap, and that’s hard to do. My girls are cheap. Yours have to be impressive.’ Amethyst tapped her phone a few times, and a fine classical tune rang out. ‘Now impress me, beautiful.’
Pearl gritted her teeth, but stretched her arms and began dancing. It was fluid, and obviously inspired by ballet. Amethyst put her phone on a nearby theater prop, and walked around the taller girl.
‘Doing good so far. Do you know this song?’
‘Yes, of course, it’s–’ Pearl was cut off by an abrupt bass drop.
‘It’s a remix.’ Amethyst took Pearl’s hand and pulled her into a dip. Pearl’s face flushed, and she was quickly thrust back into an upright position. Amethyst worked her dancing partner with finesse, and said partner realized she didn’t understand why Amethyst’s troupe was cheap.
In moments of calm, Amethyst was fluid and gentle, and when the bass hit hard, she was rough on Pearl, throwing her back and forth with excellent rhythm. Pearl somehow found it easy to keep up, like she was meant to dance with this girl. She felt at peace, and forgot about the other girls on stage until a few of them came in. ‘Pearl! We need your help settling an argument,’ one of them called over the loud music.
The two dancers were snapped out of their peaceful world together, and Pearl blinked rapidly. ‘W-what are you arguing about?’
‘The color of the sign. It should totally be Rosemont colors, right?’
‘Make it pink,’ Amethyst yelled over the music. ‘Tell my troupe I said so if they fight you on it.’
The Rosemont girls grinned and ran back to the stage. Amethyst looked at Pearl, who was walking after them, and grabbed her hand again. ‘Not so fast, cutie. There’s still another swell in this song.’ They finished their dance, and it ended with Pearl in yet another dip.
‘Do you still feel like you’re in charge of the operation?’ Amethyst whispered.
‘We can both be in charge,’ Pearl said, out of breath but strangely pleased.
Influential graffiti writers who attended the High School of Art & Design:
TAKI 183, SEEN TC5, LEE, DAZE, LADY PINK, MARE 139, and REAS among others. The above photo, shot by Martha Cooper for Hip Hop Files, shows some “spray cans and underage drinking on school grounds” during a graffiti art show. via Animal New York