The name Jorge “Popmaster Fabel” Pabon, may not be widely-known, but his pioneering work in Hip-Hop has been experienced worldwide since 1982. The acclaimed B-Boy was featured in the 1984 film Beat Street, is a longstanding member of the Rock Steady Crew, co-directed and co-choreographed the first two Hip-Hop musicals, and much more. To this day, Fabel still teaches popping and locking, regularly.
In addition to his skills as a dancer, Fabel is also a supremely talented graffiti artist, working under the name PASER. His pieces have been showcased in galleries and on cityscapes for decades. A new documentary series titled Make The Letters Dance seeks to shed light on Hip-Hop’s thought process, and the first episode explores the interconnectedness between dance and graffiti, through Fabel.
In describing the focus of his film, director YNOT says “dance and the written letter of Hip Hop, despite being two apparently diverse subjects, present a complementary relationship regarding space and movement. Dance performs patterns of movement and creates ephemeral forms in space, while writing or drawing, by its material substance, becomes a permanent fixed form created from movement.” Fabel concurs, saying “the beauty of Electric Boogaloo style of dancing is that there’s a juxtaposition with sharp movements and very fluid rolls. It’s kinda like urban stylized letters. You’ll see these sharp angles and then all of a sudden you’ll see a smooth swirl that’ll go yet into another sharp angle.” He goes on to liken popping to “a graffiti letter coming to life.”
Throughout the film, Fabel’s insights are supported by visuals interspersing his artwork with his dance moves. It is the ultimate expression of just how connected the core elements of Hip-Hop are to one another.
Props on the spot: Ego Trip