5/6/16 O&A NYC WITH WaleStylez- SONG OF THE DAY: Dem No Worry We Super Cat

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

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Super Cat (born William Anthony Maragh in Kingston, Jamaica, 25 June 1963) is a deejay who achieved widespread popularity during the late 1980s and early 1990s dancehall movement. His nickname Wild Apache, was given to him by his mentor Early B. He is the elder brother of reggae artist Junior Cat and is considered one of the greatest deejays within the Jamaican dance-hall scene to date.

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5/6/16 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: La Valse (1951) Featuring Tanaquil LeClercq and Nicholas Magallanes

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George Balanchine choreographed Maurice Ravel’s La valse in 1951. Ravel wrote La valse, poème chorégraphique pour orchestre (a choreographic poem for orchestra), between February 1919 and 1920. The music premiered in Paris on 12 December 1920. It was conceived as a ballet but is now more often heard as a concert work. The work has been described as a tribute to the waltz, and the composer George Benjamin. Read More »

5/5/16 O&A NYC WITH WaleStylez FASHION: Phil Knight Presents Stephen Colbert With a Pair of Bespoke Nike Air Prestos

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

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Following the successful release of his highly anticipated memoir Shoe Dog, Nike co-founder and current chairman Phil Knight took to The Late Show to present Stephen Colbert with an exclusive, one-of-a-kind pair of Air Presto sneakers. Covered in a plethora of illustrations significant to The Late Show host, the shoe’s duo-tone, white/purple upper featured, amongst other images, a South Carolina flag, the eagle from Colbert’s old Comedy Central show and an accompanying salt shaker related to his mother. Read More »

5/4/16 O&A NYC DANCE: Storm Troopers Dance On Star Wars Day- May the 4th be with you

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Star Wars has become so popular the public has created a Sci-fi holiday. On May 4, people around the globe celebrate Star Wars Day. Recognizing Star Wars on May 4 reportedly dates back to 1979 when Margaret Thatcher took office as U.K. prime minister and was congratulated with an ad in the London Evening News which read, “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.” as a play on “May the force be with you, Luke.” So, now May the 4th is celebrated as Star Wars Day annually. Read More »

5/4/16 O&A NYC WILDIN OUT WEDNESDAY: Clubber – A Sequel to Creed Starring Tracy Morgan and Jimmy Kimmel

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One of the most critically acclaimed movies of the year that was not nominated for Best Picture was Creed- the story of Rocky Balboa training the son of one of his great rivals. It wouldn’t be a Rocky movie without a sequel, so we are pleased to debut the world premiere trailer for the much-anticipated follow-up to Clubber- A Sequel to Creed starring Tracy Morgan, J.K. Simmons, Mike Tyson, Al Michaels, Sugar Ray Leonard and Jimmy Kimmel. 

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5/2/16 O&A NYC REVIEW DANCE: Dallas Black Dance Theatre

By Walter Rutledge

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The Dallas Black Dance Theatre presented their annual New York City season entitled Masterworks Redefined on April 22 and 23, 2016 at the Ailey Citigroup Theater. The extremely audience friendly concert offered five works by five dance makers. The works, which included two world premieres, one company premiere and two revivals, showcased the talents of emerging African- American choreographers and early works by more established artists of color.

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Every dancer dreams of flying and in the company premiere of Jamal Story’s duet What to Say? Notes on Echo and Narcissus (2015) the dancers got to defy gravity. The work served as a visually satisfying opener with dancer Claude Alexander lll suspended centerstage in a cocoon of white fabric over the plaint Alyssa Harrington. As the ballet developed the dancers utilized the natural momentum of the hanging fabric to produce a pleasant, yet sensual feeling of motion and weightlessness.

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Alexander’s partnering remained self-assured while suspended and a’ terre providing a good balance to Harrington’s abandon. The novel concept (novel for concert dance) is derived from the choreographer’s extensive aerial work with such pop music legends as Cher and Madonna. Although impressive the aerial choreography alone could not sustain the integrity of the work. In fact the work faired far better airborne than earthbound, but this can be resolve with more development on the already existing movement theme.

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Unearthed (World Premiere 2016), an ensemble work by Bridget L. Moore used a collage of music featuring various renditions of the iconic protest song Strange Fruit. A true abstract narrative, the work challenged the performers to convey more than steps. Moore created strong visual imagery coupled with good choreographic form.

Hana Delong as the grief-stricken mourner, who collapses downstage set the tone for the focused images that would follow. The upstage diagonal crossing into the darkness completed the feeling of sorrow and powerlessness. The imagery continued in a series of linear movement passages that included a militarized marching pattern set upstage and a defiant mid-stage line that went from a raised fist to pointing skyward to the martyred body.

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The second world premiere, Furtherance (2016) by Kirven Douthit- Boyd, took us from sorrow to celebration. The pastel colored costumes of tunics and shorts by Beth Thomason added a youthful light feeling to the ensemble work. Often athletic and high-energy, the ballet had ritual overtones, which assisted in conveying the transformation.

The second half of the performance presented two early works by Francesca Harper and Christopher Huggins. Instinct 11.1 is an abstract ensemble work by Harper opened Act II. The 2010 ballet was dedicated to her mother Denise Jefferson who lost battle with cancer that same year. The sextet (for four men Claude Alexander lll, Keon K. Nickie, Sean Smith, De’Anthony Vaughan and two woman Michelle Hebert and Kimara Wood) opened in silence, presenting snippets of movement that retreated back to darkness.

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The “teasers” eventually incorporated verbal sounds produced by the dancers, before the percussive score by Les Tambours du Bronx and the main body of the work began. Rhythmic and earthy the dancers exuded a hyper-masculine persona, poising with wide second position stances with clinched fists and working in visceral unison through circular patterns. The work returned to the opening theme ending in silence again accompanied vocally by the performers.

The program closed with Night Run by Christopher L. Huggins. Set in three movements the uptempo group work for the entire company had a Latin flavor inspired by Rene’ Aubry’s score. The 2003 work revealed elements of Huggins’ then emerging choreographic signature.

With a strong sense of design, good use of dynamics and theatrical undertones Huggins moved the ensemble with an ease and proficiency. Exploding movement and steadfast partnering buoyed the work making it a good program closer. Unfortunately the predictable use of ballet steps including pas de couru, pas de chat, and Brisé detracted from the overall strength of the work by breaking the stylistic continuity. Despite this inconsistency Huggins’ then budding talent was still apparent.

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The Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Masterworks Redefined performance series turned out to be an artistic leap forward for the company. This well curated program provided the company with a fresh, clear direction/message. We surmise the artistic cohesiveness has a lot to do with the return of Founder and former Artistic Director Ann M. Williams as Artistic Advisor. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4/29/16 O&A NYC SONG OF THE DAY- REMEMBERING PRINCE: Kiss

 

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“Kiss” is a 1986 single by Prince and The Revolution, from the album Parade. The music video is directed by Rebecca Blake. In the plot of the video, Prince appears in a half shirt and leather jacket and then all shirtless and performs dance choreography in a hall. He is accompanied by the veiled dancer Monique Manning wearing black lingerie and aviator sunglasses while Revolution member Wendy Melvoin sits playing guitar. Read More »

4/28/16 O&A NYC THROWBACK THURSDAY- REMEMBERING PRINCE: 1999

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1999 is the title track from Prince’s 1982 album of the same name. The song is one of Prince’s best-known, and a defining moment in his rise to superstar status. On New Year’s Eve 1999, Prince (his stage name at that time still being an unpronounceable symbol) held a concert titled Rave Un2 the Year 2000 at his Paisley Park Studios Soundstage, and he later vowed never to play it again. However, in August 2007, as part of his Earth Tour, he reintroduced the song to his set after an absence of almost eight years. Read More »

4/27/16 O&A NYC WITH WaleStylez FASHION: Supreme x Nike Air Max 98 Spring 2016 Collection

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr. supreme-nike-air-max-98-0

As previewed by Nike, the Supreme x Nike Air Max 98 is set to release for the Spring 2016 season. Utilizing the classic Air Max 98 runner silhouette, the shoe mixes cushioned midsoles, metallic mesh uppers and reflective details all over. Four colorways include classic Supreme red, navy, an all-black model, and a snakeskin version, while an accessory running hat featuring Dri-FIT technology will also drop to coincide with the release.

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The sneaker and hat will drop exclusively online April 28 and in Japan on April 29; the Supreme NY, LA, London and Paris shops WILL NOT receive this collection in-stores.

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4/27/16 O&A NYC WILDIN OUT WEDNESDAY- REMEMBERING PRINCE: Prince -Gett Off (MTV Video Music Awards)

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Prince’s  jaw-dropping 1991 MTV Video Music Awards performance of Gett Off, with the Purple One covered in yellow -that is, except for his butt. The show was like a 1990s version of Caligula, with Roman columns aflame in the background while an orgy of dancers writhed sensually in every direction around the creative genius.  Read More »

4/27/16 O&A NYC ART: Street Art Unveiled At The Faison Firehouse Theater

By Adewale Adekanbi

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Bertolt Brecht remarked, “Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.” Not A Crime, a campaign begun six months ago, uses the hammer of art to raise awareness to Iranian human rights abuses. On Monday, April 25 the first two of fifteen Harlem wall murals began to that shape at 2288 Frederick Douglass Blvd at 123rd Street and the Faison Firehouse Theater, 6 Hancock Place. 

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The murals created by both local and global street artists are designed to provoke conversation about human rights violations. The installation precedes Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani attendance at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly. In true Faison Firehouse Theater style the event was marked with a catered reception.

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Guests got to experience street artists Ricky Lee Gordon transform the bare brick walk into a monument to social change. Not A Crime Founder Maziar Bahari partnered with Street Art Anarchy, who will curate the Harlem mural campaign. Bahari knows the oppressive human right conditions firsthand; the former Newsweek journalist became the subject of Jon Stewart’s film Rosewater after being jailed in Iran.