The Story of the first UK B-Girl
While working on the
We B*Girlz book, we searched for names and photos
of pioneering B*Girlz from the early days of Hip Hop. These proved
surprisingly difficult to find. Although breaking had been going
strong since 1980 and had spread around the world, until recently,
very few girls had seriously participated in the scene. After hearing
about the legendary Hanifa Queen aka Bubbles we invited her to the
b-girl edition of the Gimme a Break jam in Rotterdam. After
meeting her, we were drawn to her personality and her unique history
and felt that she would be the perfect woman for a documentary—and
thus the idea for Redder than Red was born.
Cover of We B*Girlz
Bubbles as represented
in our book We B*Girlz
is a 17 minute
documentary about Hanifa Queen Hudson aka Bubbles, the legendary first
UK female breakdancer. Hanifa Queen danced with a renowned Wolverhampton
crew called The B-Boys in the early 80’. The B-Boys rose
to fame with appearances on TV and in the landmark Hip Hop films Electro
Rock and Bombin’. Bubbles was the first girl worldwide
to break and compete on the same level as the guys.
famous through a line in Electro Rock when the host says: “Check
out the one in red—it’s a girl!” Since she is Jamaican-British,
we took the title from the old Bob Marley song Redder than Red.
and recent footage, our film explores the life history of a talented,
now 37 year old, Jamaican-British girl who got caught up in the excitement
of Hip Hop in the early 80’s, attained a measure of fame, was virtually
forgotten, but has recently re-entered the scene. In the intervening years,
Bubbles converted to Islam, changing her name to Hanifa. The film captures
the excitement of the early days of Hip Hop as it arrived fresh from the
Bronx to England in the 80's.
includes interviews with people from Hanifa's past and present and shows
how her involvement in African dance, drumming, kick boxing, and her Jamaican
community in Wolverhampton influenced her dancing.
highlight is a reunion of Bubbles’ crew, the B-Boys in the local
community center where they dance together for the first time in nearly
20 years. An interview with Bubbles describing her life and her feelings
about it, weaves the segments together.
1986 The B-Boys (first and second generation) 2005
than Red –
Martha Cooper aka SupaSnapZ
was born in Baltimore, Maryland, graduated from Grinnell College, Iowa
and spent two years teaching English in the Peace Corps before studying
at Oxford University, Cambridge, where she received a Diploma in Ethnology.
In 1977, Cooper moved to New York and worked as a staff photographer for
the New York Post until she left in 1980 to follow the emerging
hip hop scene. In 1984, in collaboration with Henry Chalfant, she published
Subway Art (Thames and Hudson/Henry Holt, 1984), the classic
book showcasing the best painted trains of the era that has been dubbed
"The Bible" by graffiti writers. Cooper's other books of photographs
include R.I.P.: Memorial Wall Art (Thames and Hudson/Henry Holt,
1994) with text by folklorist Joseph Sciorra, and Hip Hop Files: Photographs
1979-1984 (From Here to Fame, 2004), a collaboration with Akim Walta.
The Director of Photography at City Lore, the New York Center for Urban
Folk Culture. Cooper, who lives and works in New York City has participated
in many film projects and has been producer/director of Redder than Red
– The Story of B-Girl Bubbles.
aka Nawtee Neek, writer, translator, and businesswoman, grew
up in Germany. Kramer was the text editor and German translator of Hip
Hop Files: Photographs 1979–1984 (From Here to Fame, 2004)
and the text editor of We B*Girlz Kramer’s fluent command
of English, Spanish, and German is invaluable as she lives and works in
Berlin and New York. She is producer/director and first camera of Redder
than Red – The Story of B-Girl Bubbles.
Mulderry aka No.1 from Ireland studied Film Production for two
years in Colasite Dhulaigh in Dublin before doing the final year of her
degree at the University of Wolverhampton. Worked as production assistant
on feature films, TV broadcast documentaries, short films, TV adverts
and music videos. Co-directed/edited/produced an award winning TV broadcast
short Larry the Bastard that screened in festivals in Ireland
and England. Amanda is the editor of Redder than Red – The Story
of B-Girl Bubbles.
Marty, Nika, Amanda, and Bubbles