Poetry, dance, visual arts and music come alive at Flushing Town Hall’s ‘Paige in Full’ hip-hop performance

Paige H_BFLY_LAUGH_Dan Corey Photography
Dan Corey Photography

Performing artist and educator Paige Hernandez is bringing a blend of poetry, dance, media and music to the Flushing Town Hall stage on Saturday, March 7, before International Women’s Day. 

Hernandez’s show, “Paige in Full,” tells the tale of a multicultural girl’s journey through hip-hop to self-discovery. Since its premiere in May 2010, “Paige in Full” has packed theaters, received exceptional reviews and has sold out performances throughout the country. 

“Paige in Full” (Photo by Joey Kennedy)

“This is my 10th year of touring the show, and the fact that communities like Flushing are interested and excited about it, it’s exciting for me,” Hernandez told QNS. “I never imagined I’d do a solo show, let alone an autobiographical show based on my life.”

Paige in Full portrays Hernandez’s chronicle of growing up with a mixed-race identity. She was born and raised in Baltimore, Md., and says she identifies as black. 

“My dad is Afro-Cuban and my mom is black and Chinese,” Hernandez said. “I grew up in the 80s when mixed race heritage and identity wasn’t really championed — you were the other or different. I got bullied a lot in school.” 

According to Hernandez, she still grapples with imposter syndrome, feeling as though she’s not “black enough, Latin enough, or Chinese enough.” 

With “Paige in Full,” Hernandez aims to create what she wants to see on a stage: a positive story from a woman of color that is both uplifting and insightful. 

“The show needed to blur cultural lines with infectious music, choreography that moved the story forward, poems that defied structure, accessible emotion, and a strong narrative of love, pain, and triumph,” Hernandez said. 

(HIRES C. Stanley Photography)

She hopes the audience takes away the themes of love, identity, and keeping in mind the things that bring them joy — also, creating their own work and being their own boss. 

As a master teaching artist, Hernandez has taught throughout the country, to all ages, in all disciplines. She has reached 10,000 students, from pre-K through college, in over 100 residencies, workshops and performances. She has been recognized in many organizations including the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts and Arena Stage, where she was awarded the Thomas Fichandler award for exceptional promise in theater education.

As an award-winning dancer, her choreography has been seen all over the world, including Bahrain, Singapore, India, Jamaica and Bermuda. And in the United States, her choreography has been seen at Imagination Stage (MD), The Kennedy Center (DC), Playhouse Square (OH), Alliance Theatre (GA) and at Woolly Mammoth Theatre (DC). She recently received an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council as well as two Helen Hayes nominations for choreography and performance.
At 1 p.m., attendees can take part in an interactive workshop called Hip Hop Body Rock to learn about significant hip hop choreographers, different styles of hip hop dance, and regional/cultural influences. The family performance of “Paige in Full” begins at 2:15 p.m.

“Paige in Full” is produced by B-FLY ENTERTAINMENT, which specializes in productions of all art mediums that speak to a multi-faceted hip hop generation. Informed by jazz, stimulated by hip-hop and created in the spirit of B-girls, B-FLY seeks to elevate hip hop within the art community.

Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train and foot—located a short distance from the 7 train—at 137-35 Northern Blvd., in Flushing. Access for wheelchair users and individuals with limited mobility is available. More information is available at www.flushingtownhall.org.

Tickets can be purchased at www.flushingtownhall.org or by calling (718) 463-7700 x222.

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