9/3/15 O&A NYC Dance: Earl Mosley’s The Hearts Of Men- A Dance Family

By Walter Rutledge

Earl Mosley

Earl Mosley didn’t choose to dance; dance chose him. Growing up in rural North Carolina Mosley was expected to farm the family land. After taking a dance class on a dare any expectations of living an agrarian lifestyle were lost to a career based in movement.

Mosley applied the life lessons from his upbringing to his dance philosophy. He believes that there is room to nurture the entire artist. Mosley has created more than a dance company, instead to establish a dance family.

The Hearts Of Men (presented as part of Ailey Extension) is a two-week workshop that brings together dancers and movement enthusiasts of different ages, disciplines and technical levels. The participant’s work with established teachers, choreographers and arts professionals culminating with two performances on Saturday, September 5 at 7pm and Sunday, September 6, 3pm at the Ailey Citigroup Theater. The philosophy is geared toward a return to artistic integrity. 

A Conversation With Earl Mosley

In an age when texting has replaced face-to-face conversation, Mosley has decided to create an environment based on sharing and communicating. He has designed a safe haven where artists can not only work on their craft, but also find solace from another person who is or has experienced a similar problem or situation. In other words, you are not alone

The concept is not new it is really a return to another era, when dancers didn’t usually travel by airplanes it was the director’s station wagon that became official company vehicle, and it lodgings were motels instead of hotels. Thankfully it was an era when dance had intrinsic aesthetic value, and was not just a trick laden competition sport. Despite the hardships and challenge those dancers describe their performance experiences as “a family”.

The two performances this weekend will showcase thirteen works by ten choreographers, and feature eighty performers including an array of accomplished guest artists. The works presented will range from dance theatre to abstract, from complete choreographic statements to movement studies. The common denominator throughout will be a terpsichorean brotherhood expressed through movement.

Tickets are $25 Adult $18 Students we suggest purchasing online to ensuring seating at http://www.alvinailey.org/hearts-of-men-performance.

 

 

 

 

9/2/15 O&A NYC Magazine: Brother And Sister Make Dreams A Reality

By Walter Rutledge

IMG_5127

The Frank Sinatra classic New York New York declares “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere”. For a brother and sister their dreams of dancing on stage at the legendary Apollo Theater are about to come true. Jelani and Arnese Britton (who reside in the Bronx) will get a chance to strut their stuff tonight at Amateur Night At The Apollo.

Jelani (age 24) and Arnese (15) have a special big brother little sister bond. The self-trained duo rehearse their routine in Jelani’s living room. His apartment provides them unlimited rehearsal hours, but lacks the space and mirrors that would help hone the dance.

The Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center Genex Program provided Jelani and Arnese studio time and an advisor for professional feedback. “Its been our mission for almost 40 years to assist new and emerging dancers, choreographers and dance companies”, says Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center Executive Chairman Alex Smith Jr. “Our Genex Program is designed to offer young artists one-on-one assistance and technical support.”

You could see the excitement on the dancer’s faces as they began rehearsing at DANY Studios on 38th Street in Manhattan. “This was our first time ever working in a real studio”, Jelani explained. “We were able to get a feel for dancing in a big space with mirrors. It is something I’ll never forget.”

Jelani, the choreographer, has wanted to one day dance on the Apollo stage for as long as he can remember. His sister Arnese dances at church and at school, but this is the first time on a public stage. “I can’t wait to dance at the Apollo, I’m a little nervous; but I know it’s a once in a lifetime experience and I want to have fun”, says Arnese.

Photo of Ella Fitzgerald

The Apollo amateur night is the oldest continuous talent shows in the world. Ella Fitzgerald won the first Amateur Night in 1934, and received a prize of $25 and work for one week. The list of other Amateur Night winners include Billie Holiday, the Isley Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, and the Jackson 5.

The selection process for the The 81-year-old Amateur Night hasn’t changed, participants from all disciplines audition for chance to perform. Amateur Night At The Apollo remains an incubator for talent, and is also one of New York City’s most acclaimed live performances. The world-renowned weekly performances attract an international audience, who can either make or break a performer.

Jelani and Arnese hope to go to the next round and eventually win the Amateur Night competition. They are all ready winners for having the courage to turn their dreams into reality. Whatever the outcome they are performing tonight on the stage “Where stars are born and legends are made.”

For tickets for Amateur Night At The Apollo at $21, $27, $33 and are available in person at the Apollo Theater Box Office, online at Ticketmaster.com, and by calling Ticketmaster (800) 745-3000, for Groups Call (212) 531-5355.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9/2/15 O&A NYC Wildin Out Wednesday: Bugs Bunny- Rabbit of Seville

wildin out wednesday
images

 Rabbit of Seville is a Warner Bros. Looney Tunes theatrical cartoon short released in 1950. It was directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese. The cartoon, in a plotline reminiscent of Stage Door Cartoon, features Bugs Bunny being chased by Elmer Fudd into the stage door of the Hollywood Bowl, whereupon Bugs tricks Elmer into going onstage, and participating in a break-neck operatic production of their chase punctuated with gags and accompanied by musical arrangements by Carl Stalling, focusing on Rossini’s overture to The Barber of Seville. Read More »

9/1/15 O&A NYC Inspirational Tuesday: Dr Wayne W. Dyer- You Become What You Think About

Inspirational-Tuesday

Wayne-Dyer

Wayne Dyer, the prolific self-help guru and motivational speaker, has died. Dyer’s family has announced on Facebook, “Wayne has left his body, passing away through the night.” More than 50,000 people shared the post Sunday evening. “He always said he couldn’t wait for this next adventure to begin and had no fear of dying. Our hearts are broken, but we smile to think of how much our scurvy elephant will enjoy the other side.”  In 2009 Dyer announced he has battle with lymphocytic leukemia, was 75.  Read More »

8/24/15 O&A Inspirational Tuesday: Janet Mock

Inspirational-Tuesday

JM19-Redefining Realness

Janet Mock is a writer, transgender rights activist, author and the former staff editor of People magazine’s website.  She underwent sex reassignment surgery in Thailand at age 18 in the middle of her first year in college. She came out publicly as a trans woman in a 2011 Marie Claire article, but took issue with how the author misgendered her by stating she was born and raised as a boy. Mock lives in New York City with her fiancé, photographer Aaron Tredwell. Read More »

8/24/15 O&A Hollywood Monday: Runaway

Hollywood-Mondays

Runaway-short-film-for-kids2

Runaway is a charming story about a misunderstanding between a man named Stanley and his treasured 1950′s refrigerator, named Chillie. Set in present day, a sad event sends Chillie into a whirlwind of emotional turmoil, and as a result, he runs away. This charming CGI animated short film was created by the talented female team of, Susan Yung, Emily Buchanan and Esther Parobek at Ringling College of Art and Design. Read More »

8/19/15 O&A NYC: The Rucker Basketball League Turns 50

maxresdefault

Malcolm X stated, “History is a people’s memory, and without a memory, man is demoted to the lower animals.” The documentary Rucker 50 establishes the collective conscienceless of the history of the now world-renowned basketball tournament/ phenomenon. The Rucker is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary and to mark this milestone Robert McCullough Jr. and Darryl L. Neverson have written and directed the film Rucker 50.   Read More »

8/22/15 O&A Its Saturday- Anything Goes: Louis Vuitton Men’s Fall/Winter 2015-2016

It is Saturday

stylish-modern-mens-ateliers-louisvuitton-2015-16

Christopher Nemeth was always Kim Jones’ favorite London designer. The way he mixed Savile Row and the street anticipated Jones’ own aesthetic. But, outside Japan, where Nemeth lived from 1986 until his death in 2010, he was largely overlooked. Jones set out to fix that state of affairs today. Utilizing to the max the creative muscle of Louis Vuitton, he saluted the man who was, on some level, his mentor. Read More »

8/21/15 O&A NYC Shall We Dance Friday- REVIEW: Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance presented Hearts of Men Celebrates Dudley Williams

By Walter Rutledge

Dudley Williams

Earl Mosley’s Hearts of Men Celebrates Dudley Williams August 10 and 11 at the Manhattan Movement Arts Center. The evening was a testosterone charged tribute to modern dance’s Lyric Crown Prince- Dudley Williams. Mosley presented fourteen works and vignettes. The large cast was predominantly male with the right “dash “of female performers, similar to the wisp of vermouth in William’s trademark classic dry Bombay Blue Sapphire Martini.

IMG_0235

Mosley’s mission in many ways echoes the Black Live Matters movement. He has chosen to empower young people by developing artists of color. This noble undertaking included both neophytes and professional dancers and choreographers; the combination produced an evening rich in aesthetic integrity and artistry, and was a fitting tribute to the legacy of Dudley Williams.

Dyane Harvey- Salaam opened the evening by sharing her memories of Williams.  Eleo Pomare (Williams high school friend) introduced the two. Harvey-Salaam and Pomare had a long-standing relationship; he was one of her mentors, and she his muse. Harvey ended with the audience calling Dudley Williams’ name multiple times in a chant to honor his memory.  

Throughout the evening there were works that encapsulated the essence of Williams, an artist whose technical prowess was only superseded by his stage presence. It was his ability to touch an audience, and communicate with a single perfectly phrased gesture that allowed him to perform until months before his passing at age 76.

IMG_8070

Germaul Barnes’ solo I Was Young Once conveyed a thoughtful yet bittersweet elegy to Williams. Using a montage of music for the soundtrack with the focal point consisting of edited excerpts from his 2014 Clark Center conversation with Jennifer Dunning. Barnes’ well-crafted work referenced signatures images from Williams’ performance repertoire including I Want To Be Ready (Ailey/Revelations) A Song For You (Ailey) Toccata (Talley Beatty) and Horton and Graham shapes from movement studies. Shawn Hawkins performed with great sensitivity and a sense of imbued reverence.  

Audrey Lynch choreographed and performed Soul Space. The solo also used dialog and ambient music to tell a story of love and friendship. In this work Lynch narrated, and his soothing voice provided a gentle and profound accompaniment. The work used a strong upper body gestural vocabulary, which had an unabashed honesty and completeness. His presence and deportment was so strong he almost did not need the occasional (and well executed) extension, turn and jump Lynch sprinkled throughout the choreography.

2

Jamal/Darius, a duet choreographed by Mosley and performed by Jamal Story and Darius Crenshaw was a true delight. The two seemed to awake from a peaceful sleep and then perform a loving “good morning” dance. The work possessed a subtle sophistication, it was intimate as opposed to sexual. This was not an encounter, but a relationship. The duet was void of the expected angst and overt sexuality, instead these two accomplished artists communicated affection and mutual respect. This quality transcended gender and evoked the words of Nat King Cole “Just to love and be love in return”.

Joshua Beamish’s solo Adoration for Martha Graham Dance Company Principal dancer Lloyd Knight was art in motion. Set to Haydn’s Concerto in C Major for Cello and Orchestra the choreography seemed to emanate from the performer, fitting him like a tailor-made Savile Row suit. We never saw the choreography, we only saw the message expressed through the performer’s body. It was also refreshing to see Knight perform without his Graham armor; we got a chance to experience the versatility of this truly gifted artist. 

The group works featured the young performers of Diversity of Dance with additional guest artists. These works ranged from vignettes, which expressed simple ideas and movement themes, to complete textural choreographic statements. Many of the works had strong Hip-Hop and vernacular dance influences. These works brought freshness to the performance and received immediate approval from the audience.

15

The most memorable ensemble work was Mosley’s Breaths set to a score by Eddie James. Clifton Brown (former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) principal dancer) and Matthew Rushing (Former Ailey principle and presently AAADT guest artist and rehearsal director) lead a cast of 18 dancers. Brown technical prowess and crystalline attack did not disappoint. Rushing, the central figure, performed in the role originated by Dudley Williams.

The male ensemble danced with a unified spiritual verve. And Rushing, a consummate artist, seemed to channel the late Williams. His performance was not an imitation rather an homage; honoring Williams in his own voice. Throughout, Mosley’s abstract narrative displayed strong choreographic structure and originality.

The concert was a celebration of the male dancer, and featured a bevy of young men honing their craft. Three standouts were Randall Riley, Isaiah Harvey and Daniel Moore. Riley’s physical appearance and height made him impossible not to notice, but his physicality made him a pleasure to observe. Isaiah Harvey’s clean line and technical proficiency was well-balanced by his on-stage intensity. And Moore’s assured and committed execution allowed his movement intent to immediately communicate to the audience. 

In addition to the strong male presence there were also female performers who distinguished themselves. Imani Johnson has a powerful earth women quality that was equally effective in the Hip Hop material and the West African based movement. Aqura Lacey provides the perfect juxtaposition with her effervescent demeanor that charmed the audience without ever becoming overt.

Fana2014_690x389 2

Fana Tesfagiorgis is in her own stratosphere. Tesfagiorgis possesses that rare on-stage quality I describe as pure light. In Homer’s Iliad it is the quality that made King Menelaus launch his armada to retrieve Helen of Troy. She has an innate ability to make you want to watch her, even when she is doing nothing. This quality cannot be learned- it is a birthright, a gift from God.

The performance proceeds went to establish the Dudley Williams Scholarship Fund for student of the Hearts of Men and Manhattan Youth Ballet. This is a fitting tribute to Williams, passing on the gift of dance to the next generation of movers. If you had ever met Dudley Williams you soon realized he was a humble servant of dance.

Williams lived most of his life dancing, teaching and sharing his gift with anyone with an appetite for learning. A genuinely good and gentle soul Williams would have been proud of this celebration in his honor. And I am sure he is still dancing somewhere above the clouds.

Hearts of Men will hold a Summer Dance Intensive August 23 through September 6 as part of The Ailey Extension. The workshop is open to the public. For more information visit EMIAdance.org or email info@EMIAdance.org. 

In Photo: 1) Dudley Williams 2)Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance 3) Shawn Hawkins 4) Darius Crenshaw and Jamal Story 5)Cameron Evans and Randall Riley 6) Fana Tesfagiorgis 

Photo by: 2-5) Saya Hishikawa 6) Andrew Eccles

8/20/15 O&A Throwback Thursday: Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell- Ain’t no Mountain High Enough

Throwback Thursday logo 2
marvin-gaye

 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough was written in 1966 by Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson prior to joining Motown. Simpson recalls “We felt like that could be our entry to Motown. Nick called it the ‘golden egg’.”The care-free, danceable, and romantic love song that became the signature duet between Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. The song set the tone for a string of Ashford and Simpson hits, which many consider the crown jewels of the Motown discography. Read More »

8/17/15 O&A Hollywood Monday (REPOST) : The Hire: Star- A BMW short film starring Madonna

Hollywood Mondays maxresdefault

The Hire are an eight short films BMW film series, directed by Guy Ritchie and produced for the Internet in 2001 and 2002. The series starred Clive Owen as the Driver, and featured icons including Madonna, James Brown, Marilyn Manson, Gary Oldman Don Cheadle and Forest Whitaker. The series highlighted the performance aspects of various BMW automobiles.

2013-05-30_180314 Read More »

8/16/15 O&A Gospel Sunday: Richard Smallwood- Same God

GOSPEL SUNDAY
81Qv4hQu01L._SL1500_

Same God, the rousing feel-good retrospective is the lead single from Richard Smallwood’s aptly named Anthology. This epic project includes his 20-member renowned ensemble, Vision. The classically trained Smallwood presents a collection of music like only he can– rich, heartfelt, and layered with dynamic musical arrangements. Anthology is steeped in the tradition of gospel music. Read More »

8/14/15 O&A NYC: Lillias White Joins The Cast Of The Wiz: A Celebration In Dance And Music

By Walter Rutledge

lillias_white3945

What do you do when you need to replace a Tony Award winning actor? You replace her with anyone Tony Award winning actor! And that’s just what George Faison did with The Wiz: A Celebration In Dance And Music, the concert version of the 1975 Tony Award winning musical presented in the City Parks Foundation SummerStage series August 12 through August 14.

Dee Dee Bridgewater, who won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance as Glinda, the Good Witch of The South in The Wiz, opened the concert on Wednesday, August 12 at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. Due to prior commitments Bridgewater could only perform opening night. On Thursday, August 13 the production moved uptown to Marcus Garvey Park for two final performances and in true “The show must go on” style Tony Award winner Lillias White took over the role.

Again for a second night the audience began to arrive in the afternoon for the free performance and by show time the overflowed crowd spilled out of the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater. White did not disappoint she stepped into the role of Glinda and with an entourage of tuxedo clad men brought Dorothy and the musical home!

There is one final performance tonight. The evening begins at 6:45 with a master class by Darrin Henson. This is a free performance and seating is first come first served so you better arrive early!

TO READ MORE ABOUT- The Wiz: A Celebration In Dance And Music CLICK BELOW

150812 CPF SS Aug 12 ORG 0758

http://outandaboutnycmag.com/81315-oa-nyc-review-the-wiz-is-a-wow/

8/14/15/ O&A With WaleStylez Fashion: Air Jordan 7 Marvin The Martian

By Adewale Adekanbi

jordan-7-marvin-martian-retail-2

Marvin The Martian is the outer-space villain of Michael Jordan’s buddy Bugs Bunny of the Looney Tunes universe. On Saturday August 15th, Jordan Brand will create a landing pad for Marvin with this incredible Air Jordan 7 “Marvin The Martian” release, which features the character’s signature colors on the upper and mainly the multi-colored outsole. Just like how “Hare” dominated the month of May, expect a ton of Marvin themes throughout the rest of July and August.

8/13/15 O&A NYC REVIEW: The Wiz Is A Wow!

By Walter Rutledge

150812 CPF SS Aug 12 ORG 0758

The concert version of the 1975 Tony Award winning musical The Wiz debuted on Wednesday, August 12 at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. The Wiz: A Celebration In Dance And Music directed and choreographed by George Faison marked the 40th Anniversary of the groundbreaking musical. Before the performance started Rumsey Playfield looked more like it was a rock concert than a dance performance; the overflow crowd began lining up mid afternoon for the free outdoor theatrical event.

After a brief introduction by City Parks Foundation SummerStage dance curator Danni Gee, George Faison took to the stage with classic Faison panache. He and former Wiz munchkin Phylicia Rashad co-narrated the concert version of the musical, which featured the songs and dance numbers from the original musical plus new choreography and staging created for this production.

The cast was a combination of young performers, many who have honed their craft under Faison, and original cast members returning in roles and cameos. Darlesia Cearcy (Dorothy) and Anita McKinney (Aunt Em) opened the evening with McKinney’s rendition of The Feeling We Once Had. The tornado dance followed creating a whirlwind of moment. Khalia Campbell wowed the audience as the Tornado Eye. The tall and limber Campbell reminisced the memorable performance of Broadway diva Evelyn Thomas who transported Stephanie Mills and the Majestic Theater audience to Munchkinland. 

150812 CPF SS Aug 12 ORG 0411

Ebony JoAnne had fun in the role of Addapearle, and her playful rendition of He’s The Wizard sent Dorothy on her journey to Oz. Her escorts Jahmal Chase, Martel Ruffin, Nehemiah Spencer and Devonte Jerome Wells were the funky yellow brick road quartet complete with trademark yellow Afros and poles. Throughout the entire performance the audience clamped and sang along.

It was evident that time had not diminished the popularity of the Charlie Smalls’ score. Dance Arranger/ Musical Supervisor Timothy Graphenreed and a six piece on-stage Wiz band featuring Edward Callahan (Keyboard 2) John Matthew Clark (Bass Guitar) Paula Green (Percussion) Jeremy Jordan (Keyboard 3) Segdrick Marsh (Drums) and Damien Sneed (Keyboard) kept the face paced production moving. While Oz Singers Chenee Campbell, Anitra McKinney, Matia Washington and Darryl Jovan Williams provided the background vocals.

150812 CPF SS Aug 12 ORG 0704

Garry Q Lewis was an energetic Scarecrow, John Manzari’s strong tenor voice and tap dance acumen endeared his Tin Man to the audience and Reji Woods’ comedic cowardly Lion was entertaining. Inaya Day (the second Dorothy) cooled the audience with her soothing rendition of Be A Lion. One of Faison’s real gifts is showcasing performers strengths; Day also returned to sing Home and again proved  a capable balladeer.

A new number, the Emerald City dance, is a sharp, lively and invigorated addition. The stylish sequence complete with emerald-green attire and copper-colored wigs had “Emerald City elegance”. Gate Keeper Devonte Jerome Wells proved a formidable triple threat with his strong dancing, stage presence and vocals.

The Poppies scene became an immediate audience pleaser when six ladies from the 1975 original production appeared on stage. Shirley Black Brown Coward, Paula Brown Douglas, Jamilah Halvorson, Alyson Williams, Joni Palmer and Gina Ellis strutted, posed and brought sexy back. This sextet of sexy sirens seduced the Lion with ole’ school charisma and swagger.

Another standout was Nehemiah Spencer as the Lead Monkey, which remains a pivotal role as the leader of Evilene’s bidding. Speaking of the wicked witch, Elaine Nicole Phifer attacked the role with great command. Evilene was mean (and clearly hungry), but her No Bad News and chant were definitely good news for the audience. Her eventual demise provided witty comic relief and was a clever transition to Brand New Day complete with full stage kick line.

Andre De Shields returned in his signature role as The Wiz. Complete with white jumpsuit, cape and platform shoes he played a major role in this production. De Shields seemed to enjoy performing the role almost as much as the audience enjoyed his performance. The proof was his show-stopping sustained vocals, swashbuckling super hero cape, which billowed across the stage with great aplomb, and De Shields’ three songs ranging from up-tempo, to ballad, then gospel infused lyrics.

150812 CPF SS Aug 12 ORG 1565

Dorothy returned home with the helped of Glinda and an armada of white-clad dancers. Dee Dee Bridgewater floated on stage via the shoulders of four men in white tuxedos. Bridgewater’s impassioned delivery had the élan of an accomplished performer and again made us all “Believe”.

The Wiz celebrates 40, but this classic musical remains timeless. Faison continues to do what he has done for more than 40 years, to mold talented young artists- this is his true genius. Even before The Wiz Faison trained dancers, many of the returning artists met Faison as teenagers; and eventually became members of his dance company the George Faison Universal Dance Experience.

The number of artists who have experience “The Faison Boot Camp” and now have profession careers are as plentiful as the lights on Broadway. All speak of him with respect, admiration and great affection. Congratulation to George Faison, co-producer Tad Schnugg and The Wiz as they continues to “Ease On Down The Road”.

The production moves uptown to Marcus Garvey Park for two final performances Thursday, August 13 and Friday, August 14. The evening begins at 6:45 with a master class by Darrin Henson. Seating is first come first serve so please come early.

In Photo: 1) Reji Woods 2) Ebony JoAnne and  Darlesia Cearcy 3) John Manzari 4)  Darlesia Cearcy and Dee Dee Bridgewater

Michael Seto Photographer

TO READ MORE ABOUT -The Wiz: A Celebration In Dance And Music  CLICK BELOW

lillias_white3945

http://outandaboutnycmag.com/81415-oa-nyc-lillias-white-joins-the-cast-of-the-wiz-a-celebration-in-dance-and-music/

8/10/15 O&A NYC- A Conversation With Laiona Mitchelle

Laiona Michelle

Laiona Michelle is making her Broadway debut as Nanna in the new musical Amazing Grace at the Nederlander Theater. The production explores the true story of Josh Newton’s journey from slave trader to abolitionist. The statuesque Michelle has a commanding on-stage persona, and her character is an ancestral force of nature. Off-stage she is an intelligent, engaging young woman, who truly disarms you with her wit and vivacious spirit. She shares her inspiring story of diligence and determination with O&A NYC. Read More »

8/8/15 O&A Coming Attractions With WaleStylez: Vin Diesel- The Last Witch Hunter

COMING ATTRACTIONS

The-Last-Witch-Hunter-Poster-Trailer-Talkie-Treat
Vin Diesel returns to the big screen as Kaulder the upcoming fantasy flick The Last Witch Hunter. Diesel plays an immortal witch hunter cursed by a supernatural being, leaving him to chase after rogue witches and other celestial creatures in an alternate universe. Directed by Breck Eisner, The Last Witch Hunter also stars Elijah Wood, Rose Leslie, Olafur Darri Olafsson and Julie Englebrecht. The movie will be released in theaters on October 23, just in time for Halloween. Read More »

8/7/15 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal

Shall We Dance

Michael-Jackson-Smooth-Criminal-3-smooth-criminal-10906384-1024-768

Smooth Criminal is the seventh single from Michael Jackson’s 1987 Bad album. Jackson originally wanted to make the music video in the western genre, but he later decided after watching “The Third Man” with Director Colin Chilvers to change it to a 1930s gangster style. Jeffrey Daniel of the soul music group Shalamar co-choreographed the Smooth Criminal video with Jackson and Vincent Paterson, who was a back-up dancer in Beat It and Thriller.

Smooth-criminal-smooth-criminal-10897403-894-1297

The dance sequence of the video in the 1930s style lounge (and Jackson’s white suit and fedora) pays tribute to the Fred Astaire musical comedy film The Band Wagon. Jackson and some of the dancers around him perform a seemingly impossible forward lean. For the video, this was done using harness cables. To accomplish this maneuver for stage performances, though, Jackson co-patented a hitching mechanism which was built into the floor of the stage and the performer’s shoes.

smooth criminal

Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal

8/6/15 O&A Throwback Thursday: Earth, Wind & Fire – Reasons

Throwback Thursday logo 2

tumblr_lrr0tmpaiY1r3ocaho1_1280

Reasons is a love ballad by Earth, Wind & Fire from their sixth album, That’s the Way of the World (1975). The album was the group’s most successful and contained the falsetto singing of Philip Bailey. Although it never charted Reasons has endured. The song, which was written by Bailey, Charles Stepney, Maurice White has appeared on dozens of albums, including almost all of Earth, Wind & Fire’s greatest hits and compilation albums.  Read More »

8/5/15 O&A With WaleStylez- Song Of The Day: OMI – Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)

OMI-2015-promo-1

Cheerleader recorded by Jamaican singer OMI, with a track written and produced by OMI and C. Dillon, and additional writing by M. Bradford and R. Dillon. Cheerleader originally released in 2012 through Oufah Records with an accompanied music video directed by Tim Cash. It gained popularity in OMI’s home country Jamaica and to a certain extent in Hawaii and Dubai.  Read More »

8/2/15 O&A Gospel Sunday: Brian Courtney Wilson – Worth Fighting

GOSPEL SUNDAY
Brian_Wilson_header-600x360

Brian Courtney Wilson has a voice full of sincerity that always connects to fans, and he’s back with a new song called Worth Fighting For.  In response to hate crimes, social and civil injustice and outright killings of unarmed young men, Wilson wanted a way to bring people together to share visual messages for our community and our young people- “WE are valuable, treasured and worth fighting for“.  Read More »

8/1/15 O&A Its Saturday- Anything Goes: – Vivienne Westwood Spring/Summer 2016 Men Fashion Show Exclusive Backstage and Runway

It is Saturday
Vivienne-Westwood-Spring-Summer-2016-2

Rebel, Vivienne Westwood is always enjoying her shows to get a message across, especially to defend the environment. Her show for next summer reflects perfectly her sharp mindedness. Her collection is an ode to nature, with lots of bikinis, rustic tunics evoking undoubtedly a lost primitive world, mesh knits and luxuriant floral prints. Read More »

7/31/15 O&A Song of the Day: Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk ft. Bruno Mars

bruno-mars-mark-ronson-uptown-2014-billboard-650

Uptown Funk (stylized as UpTown Funk!) is a song recorded by British producer Mark Ronson, with vocals from American recording artist Bruno Mars, for Ronson’s fourth studio album, Uptown Special (2015). The music video was released on 17 November 2014. It stars Mars, Ronson and the Hooligans walking around a city, wearing brightly colored suits and chains. It was directed by Bruno Mars and Cameron Duddy. Read More »

7/31/15 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Beat Street Roxy Battle

Shall We Dance

71eMD4YncYL._SL1500_

Beat Street (1984) is a  film featuring New York City hip hop culture of the early 1980s; breakdancing, DJing, and graffiti were front and center. Set in the South Bronx, the film follows the lives of a pair of brothers and their friends, all of whom are devoted to various elements of early hip hop culture.  Many of the internal dance sequences were filmed at the Roxy, a popular nightclub/disco located in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. Read More »

7/28/15 O&A REVIEW: The 2015 Fire Island Dance Festival

By Walter Rutledge

Fire-Island-Dance-Festival-2015-cast-photo-by-Daniel-Roberts

The Fire Island Dance Festival 2015 took place July 17- 19 in Fire Island Pines. The three-day dance event has become Fire Island’s premiere summer dance showcase; spotlighting the talents of new, emerging and established choreographers, dancers and dance companies. This year the festival presented ten works by nine choreographers, and featuring forty-three performing artists.

Due to the high level of artistry and the picturesque setting (overlooking the bay) the entertainment element is the festival’s focal point; but the purpose and mission should always be reinforced and reiterated at every opportunity. The Fire Island Dance Festival is the successful result of two communities that have been greatly impacted by HIV/AIDS coming together to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable. Dancer Responding To AIDS (DRA) was founded in 1991 during the bleakest days for the AIDS pandemic.

The Fire Island Dance Festival achieves its goal through the very essence of the art form- by sharing. The response and generosity of the dance and Fire Island communities has allowed DRA to surpass the previous year’s financial accomplishments. This year the festival raised $544,555 that will assist in their year round support for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Due to the freelance nature of the “no business like show business”, many artists living with HIV/AIDS lack adequate health services, emergency financial assistance and contingency funds, lifesaving medications, counseling, healthy meals, and vital support systems. Through various programs including The Actors Fund, the HIV/AIDS Initiative and The Dancers’ Resource, artists and the community at large receive assistance.

 Desmond-Richardson-Fire-Island-Dance-Festival-2015-photo-by-Daniel-Roberts

Festival host Desmond Richardson is quickly becoming dance’s eloquent elder statesmen. Richardson (who participated in the very first festival) is also co-founder of Complexions Contemporary Ballet; and along with Artistic Director Dwight Rhoden remain a staple throughout the festival’s 21-year history. This year Rhoden offered a solo set two Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, and performed by his present muse Clifford Williams. Williams gave an articulate and impassioned performance.

 

The ten works ranged from lighthearted dance theatre to ballet bravura, which epitomized the range, scope and inclusiveness of the event and the mission. Choreographers: Joshua Beamish, Al Blackstone, Pontus Lidberg, Duncan Lyle, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Stephen Petronio, Jules Perrot, Dwight Rhoden, Manuel Vignoulle, and Charlie Williams.

Dance Companies: Ailey II, Ballet Hispanico, Intermezzo Dance Company, Joshua Beamish/Move: the company, Manuel Vignoulle Dance– M/motions, and Pontus Lidberg Dance.

And dancers: Paulo Arrais, Alex Biegelson, Biscuit, Shay Bland, Christopher Bloom, Mary Carmen Catoya, Chloe Cambelll, Marc Cardarelli, Mario Ismael Espinoza, Mark Gieringer, Jacob Guzman, Christopher Hernandez, Jakob Karr, Justin Keats, Dimitri Kleioris, Lindsay Janisse, Adrian Lee, Pontus Lidberg, Kourtni Lind, Reed Luplau, Chase Madigan, Raymond Matasamura, Johan Rivera Mendez, Adam Perry, Karine Plantadit, Kleber Rebello, Isaies Santamaria, Logan Schyvynck, Nicholas Sciscione, Corey Snide, Terrell Spence, Manuel Vignoulle Clifford Williams, Stephanie Williams, and Joshua Winzeler should all be commended for donating their time and sharing their artistry.  

The Fire Island Dance Festival is a once a year event that take place on the third Saturday of July, but the services provided by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS are year round. DRA supports more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states.To find out more about the programs and service provide or to make a donation visit dradance.org.

1) 2015 Fire Island Dance Festival 2) Desmond Richardson

Daniel Roberts Photographer

On Carousel  1) Pontus Lidberg Dance 2) Mary Carmen Catoya and Kleber Rebello 3) Manuel  Vignoulle Dance M/motions 4) Joshua Beamish/Move: the company 5) Charlie Williams 6) Ballet Hispanico 7) Al Blackstone 8) Ailey II 9) 10 Hairy Legs

Whitney Browne Photographer

 

7/28/15 O&A Inspirational Tuesday: Prince Ea- Why I Think This World Should End7/28/15 O&A Inspirational Tuesday: Prince Ea- Why I Think This World Should End

Inspirational-Tuesday
o-SPOKEN-WORD-facebook

Rapper Richard Williams, aka Prince Ea, gives us a rundown of various issues our generation is facing in his spoken word piece. He begins with the bold statement, “The world is coming to an end,” and proceeds to highlight key issues our generation is facing. Read More »

7/24/15 O&A With WaleStylez- Fashion: Concepts and Nike SB Release The Grail Collection on July 25

concepts-nike-sb-grail-pack-1

Concepts has a big weekend ahead with three upcoming Nike SB collaborations dropping this Saturday, July 25th. The trio is known as the Grail Collection and inspired by classic catheral stain glass window motifs. This theme runs throughout each sneaker in the collection.

concepts-nike-sb-grail-pack-6

The Nike SB Stefan Janoski Max “Mosaic” utilizes a unique wear-away construction in which the vibrant primary colors of the upper will eventually fade away to reveal an underlying pristine white.

concepts-nike-sb-grail-pack-13

The Nike SB Dunk Low “Grail” champions iridescent qualities while a gold skull lace dubrae is a nice harkening back to the guardians of the Holy Grail.

concepts-nike-sb-grail-pack-10

The Nike SB High “Stained Glass” has one of the craziest all over prints a Dunk model has seen in a while, as a transparent overlay on the ankle support adds to the cathedral inspiration.

Concepts will also roll out extremely limited custom wooden boxes for each shoe in both their Cambridge and New York locations. This perk has sneaker heads already lining up for the limited release. This is only the beginning just wait until dawn Saturday morning!

IMG_5077

Concept and Nike SB- The Camp Out Has Begun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7/24/15 0&A Shall We Dance Friday: Bessie Schönberg- How to Look at Dance

Shall We Dance

13707_320_240

Bessie Schönberg (1906-1997) a distinguished and beloved educator in the dance arts,  speaks to a class of interns at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in the summer of 1989. She discusses the art and technique of how one can watch dance as an audience member. Schönberg offers insight into how one can prepare oneself to view new dance, find an entry point or “handle-bar” into the content, and how to build an appetite for the multitude of dance forms. Read More »

7/23/15 O&A Throwback Thursday: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince- Summertime

Throwback Thursday logo 2

will-smith-dj-jazzy-jeff-the-fresh-prince-whycauseican

Summertime is a song by hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. It was released in May 1991 as the lead single from their fourth studio album, Homebase. The song won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group at the 1992 Grammy Awards. It spent a week at number #1 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart as well as reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Read More »

6/22/15 O&A Song Of The Day: Shamir – On The Regular

cover-1200x1200-75

On the Regular released by XL Recordings on October 28, 2014 by musician Shamir. The song features a prominent rhythm with cowbell and heavy bass. Shamir uses an androgynous falsetto, delivering rhymes in contrast to his singing on Northtown. The music video for On the Regular was directed by Anthony Sylvester. It shows Shamir with different hairstyles, flashy patterns, and a fringe jacket. He plays with a rubber band gun and makes balloons burst into color. Read More »

7/20/15 O&A Hollywood Monday: Home Sweet Home

Hollywood-Mondays
1006155_363547463768006_1716943423_n-houses-have-emotions-in-this-heartwarming-short-film-home-sweet-home-jpeg-195642

Home Sweet Home is a beautifully animated 3D short film about a house which escapes from its suburban foundations and sets off on an epic journey. Created by the talented Pierre Clenet, Alejandro Diaz, Romain Mazevet and Stéphane Paccolat, made in Supinfocom Arles during their last year in 2013. It took one year to create the film, and they used 3ds Max and Vray for rendering and Maya for animation. Compositing was done in after effects. Read More »

7/18/15 O&A Gospel Sunday: Erica Campbell- I Luh God

GOSPEL SUNDAY

maxresdefault

Erica Campbell caused a stir when she released her new song, I Luh God. Campbell switches up her look several times and praises with a group of friends. Her sister and the other half of Mary Mary, Tina Campbell, also makes a cameo. Upon its release, responses to Campbell’s new song varied with many questioning her decision to explore new territories in gospel music. Some have compared the song to previous releases by Kirk Franklin and God’s Property, which include “Stomp” featuring Salt of the female rap duo Salt-N-Pepa.
Read More »

7/17/15 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Lar Lubovitch- Duet from Concerto Six Twenty-Two

Shall We Dance

image008

Duet from Concerto Six Twenty-Two is set to Concerto in A for Clarinet and Orchestra, K. 622 by  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Choreographer Lar Lubovitch premiered this work on his company, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, at the Municipal Theatre in Angers, France on December 12th 1985 on dancers Sylvain Lafortune and Edward Hillyer. The work was performed at the first Fire Island Dance Festival, which has become the annual summer fundraising centerpiece for Dancers Responding To AIDS.  Read More »

7/16/15 O&A Dance : The Bessie Awards Announce 2015 Nominees

 By Walter Rutledge

header_bessie

On Wednesday July 15 The New York Dance and Performance Awards (The Bessies), announced the nominees for the 2014−15 season at its annual press conference. For the second consecutive year the Gibney Dance at 280 Broadway hosted New York City’s premier dance awards honoring outstanding creative work in the field. Two 2015 awards, Juried Bessie Award and Outstanding Emerging Choreographer were presented at the press conference.  Read More »

7/16/15 O&A Throwback Thursday: Céline Dion- My Heart Will Go On

Throwback Thursday logo 2

1436205583861

My Heart Will Go On, also called the “Love Theme from Titanic”, is the main theme song to the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic. The song became Celine Dion’s biggest hit, and one of the best-selling singles of all time, and was the world’s best-selling single of 1998. Due to the song’s widespread popularity it has become Dion’s signature song.  Read More »

7/9/15 O&A Throwback Thursday: Marvin Gaye- What’s Going On

Logo
Throwback Thursday logo 2

Marvin Gaye Performs In Rotterdam

Marvin Gaye approached Berry Gordy What’s Going On, Gordy took a profound dislike to the song, calling it “the worst thing I ever heard in my life”. Gaye responded by going on strike from recording anything else for the label unless Gordy relented. Gordy also felt the song was too political for a  radio hit and too unusual compared for popular music, or commercially successful. Read More »

7/7/15 O&A Art/Photography: ESPN 2015 Body Issue Covers Unveiled

i

ESPN unveiled the cover stars of ESPN The Magazine’s seventh annual Body Issue Monday. New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Olympian Heptathlete Chantae McMillan, Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love, 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin,Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper and Olympian Amanda Bingson are on the six different Body Issue covers. Read More »

7/6/15 O&A Hollywood Monday: Halle Berry- Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (excerpts)

Hollywood Mondays

introducing-dorothy

Introducing Dorothy Dandridge is the 1999 biography of Dorothy Dandridge follows her career through early days on the club circuit with her sister to her turn in movies, including becoming the first black actress to win a Best Actress Nomination in 1954 for “Carmen Jones”, to her death from prescription drugs, which remains debated whether it was suicide or accidental. In 2000 production won five Emmy Awards including Outstanding Art Direction, Cinematography, Costumes, Hairstyling and Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie—Halle Berry.  Read More »

7/5/15 O&A Gospel Sunday: Jason Nelson – I Am

GOSPEL SUNDAY
timthumb.php

Bishop Jason Nelson pastors the Greater Bethlehem Temple Church in Randallstown, Maryland.  Nelson established his vocal status in 2005 with the release of his first solo project, “I Shall Live”. A gifted voice, and song writer, he composed Marvin Sapp’s title track to the platinum recording Thirsty. He has also received a Stellar Award for Praise and Worship CD of the year in 2013.  Read More »

O&A July 4th Tribute: Whitney Houston- Star Spangle Banner

whitney-houston

Whitney Houston’s Super Bowl XXV rendition of the Star Spangle Banner in the annals of national anthems remains the standard. Her incredible voice and the bare minimum of extraneous notes came at a particularly patriotic time, just after the onset of the Persian Gulf War. Re-released as a single after the September 11th terrorist attacks, Houston donated all proceeds to charity. She ranks among the best of all-time because of the circumstances and … that voice..  Read More »

7/4/15 Its Saturday Anything Goes: Sam Cooke

It is Saturday

Samuel “Sam” Cooke  was a recording artist and singer-songwriter, generally considered among the greatest of all time. Influential as both a singer and composer, he is commonly known as the King of Soul for his distinctive vocals and importance within popular music. His pioneering contributions to soul music contributed to the rise of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Billy Preston and popularized the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown. Read More »

7/2/15 O&A Out and About at Mighty Real’s Viewing Party for TV One’s Unsung Revisited

By Walter Rutledge

IMG_4883 (1)

Mighty Real’s Viewing Party for TV One’s Unsung Revisited took place on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at Cove Lounge (325 Lenox Ave. btw 126th and 127th).  Co-producers and life partners Anthony Wayne and Kendrell Bowman were inspired to create Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical after seeing the Unsung documentary about disco diva/recording artist Sylvester on TV One in 2010. After Mighty Real’s successful Off-Broadway debut last Fall, the producers of Unsung reached out to Wayne and Bowman, and conducted interviews for a special episode on the creation of the musical.

The episode began airing on TV One Wednesday July 1 at 8pm and documents the journey from concept to stage. The production developed from a series of concerts at le poisson rouge in New York City in 2012. In 2013 the musical enjoyed sold out performances at the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C. and in Miami. Their efforts culminated in an Off-Broadway one-month limited engagement at Theatre at St. Clement’s (423 W. 46th Street) in September 2014. Mighty Realreturned to NYC for a sold-out one-night-only event at The Gramercy Theater on January 18, 2015, followed by performances at Brava Theater Center in San Francisco (February 11- March 1, 2015), the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia (April 2015), and returning to The Howard Theatre in D.C. for a special performance for Black Pride (May 2015).

The musical will play a special one-night-only performance in New York City at The  Gramercy Theatre (127 East 23rd Street) on Friday, July 31st at 8 PM (doors open at 7PM). Tickets are priced $79.50, $89.50, and $99.50 (limited VIP – priority seating, post-show Meet & Greet and photo with the cast) and are now on sale at TicketMaster by calling (800) 745- 3000, or online at ticketmaster.com or FabulousSylvester.com

Adewale Adekanbi Jr. photographer

To see O&A Interview with Anthony Wayne and Kendrell Bowman Click Below:

BGR-2014-08-06-Anthony-Wayne-Kendrell-Bowman

http://outandaboutnycmag.com/10214-oa-interview-with-anthony-wayne-and-kendrell-bowman-mighty-real-a-fabulous-sylvester-musical/

To read O&A review of Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical Click Below:

10258085_858986384127388_3299946600128557896_o1

http://outandaboutnycmag.com/93014-oa-review-mighty-real-a-fabulous-sylvester-musical/

 

 

7/2/15 O&A Throwback Thursday: Aretha Franklin- Chain Of Fools Live (1968)

Throwback Thursday logo 2

hqdefault

Chain of Fools is a song written by Don Covay. Aretha Franklin first released the song as a single in 1967 and it appeared on many of her albums. It reached number one on the U.S. R&B chart, staying there for four weeks, and went to number two on the pop chart in January 1968. It won the Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and later a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.  Read More »

6/29/15 O&A Dance: Souls Of Our Feet Dance Festival Continues Tonight

By Walter Rutledge

thelma logo

The Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center concludes their 2015 Souls Of Our Feet Dance Festival with two events Monday, June 29 and Tuesday, June 30 at the Actors Fund Arts Center 160 Schermerhorn Street in downtown Brooklyn, 7:30 pm. On Monday the third dance presentation will featured three New York based Hip Hop companies, Full Circle Souljah, Jendog/YalinDream and Special Ops/Flatbush Bullies. Tickets for this event are $20 and can be purchased online at wwwthelmahill.com and at the box office prior to the performance.

special ops 2

Each group brings a different favor of this American art form that was born in urban NYC. Full Circle Souljahs, under the direction of Bronx native Rokafella, blends Hip-Hop with traditional dance styles and compositional forms to produce dances ranging from pure street dance to concert style urban dance narratives. Jendog/YalinDream are a music with a message duet that combines rap, spoken word and hip hop imagery. Special Ops/Flatbush Bullies mixes flexing, bone breaking, and break dance in a street battle format , this high-energy “in your face” style will make you want to bust a sag and pull your hoodie over your head. In Lieu of a formal post performance Q&A, each company director will provide brief statements detailing their organization’s mission and aesthetic philosophy.

Loretta Abbott 2011 THPAC

On Tuesday June 30 at 7pm the series will conclude with A Dancer’s Life, a conversation with dancer Loretta Abbott. Abbott, whose career spans over six decades. Abbott holds the distinction of dancing the Wade In The Water section of Alvin Ailey’s masterwork Revelations with Ailey himself (she was Ailey’s last partner). In addition to concert dance she was in the original Broadway cast of Purlie, Raisin and Liza With A Z. Abbott will discuss her career and artistry with Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center Artistic Advisor, and Out and About NYC Magazine Editor in Chief Walter Rutledge.

20f8fc010d5944be81b099893a618783

Abbott and Rutledge will open the evening with a duet entitled Sentimental Reasons. The work choreographed by Rutledge and commissioned by Dancers For A Variable Population 10027 Project is a tribute to the partnership of Abbott and the late Al Perryman. Named the Dynamic Duo they had special onstage chemistry, and impeccable comedic timing. This free event will include a closing night reception. For more information visit thelmahill@msn.com or call (718) 875- 9710. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5/28/15 O&A Gospel Sunday: Vickie Winans

GOSPEL SUNDAY

VICKIE WINANS LO RES

Vickie Winans’ solo album, Be Encouraged was released in 1987 and became a major gospel hit. The LP included a cover of Dottie Rambo’s, We Shall Behold Him. Be Encouraged netted a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album, a Stellar Award for Album of the Year, and an Excellence Award for Best Female Contemporary Artist. Read More »

6/26/15 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Monotones II- Frederick Ashton

Shall We Dance

slide-image

In Monotones II Frederick Ashton distilled the exquisite tranquility of Erik Satie’s Trois Gymnopédies. Ashton displayed some of his most modernist choreography danced by the Royal Ballet. Monotones II was created first and given its premiere at the Royal Opera House on March 24, 1965 with Vyvyan Lorraine, Anthony Dowell, and Robert Mead. Satie’s delicate music, coupled with Ashton’s beautiful choreography, is wonderfully haunting.
Read More »