4/16/15 O&A Dance: PHILADANCO Launches 45th Anniversary Celebration with Having Our Say…The Voices of Women Choreographers

By Walter Rutledge
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Fresh off the heels of the acclaimed winter European tour of the James Brown Project Get on the Good Foot, Philadanco launches their 45th Anniversary Celebration with Having Our Say… The Voices of Women Choreographers April 17- 19 at Philadelphia’s Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center located at Broad & Spruce Streets. The program honors four generations of female choreographers, with four works by four female choreographers. The works presented include world premiere ballets by Philadanco alumna Dawn Marie Bazemore master choreographer Dianne McIntyre and audience favorites, My Science by Bebe Miller, and Jawola Willa Jo Zollar’s Hands Singing Song.

Philadanco- Joan Myers Brown and “Having Our Say… “

The production’s title is derived from the 1993 book, of the same title, written by the Sarah Louise “Sadie” Delaney and Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” Delaney affectionately called The Delaney Sisters. Their eloquent story of living with dignity through the racism and sexism of the Jim Crow Era and The Great Depression catapulted the 90 year-old African-American women to literary and social notoriety. For the Philadanco production the title really functions as a metaphor for the struggle of minority female artists.

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“Philadanco’s program similarly shares the stories by four African-American women, who despite the odds were able to make strides through dance, with opportunities for these choreographers to showcase their works on stage” explains Philadanco Founder and Artistic Director Joan Myers Brown. Brown is no stranger to struggle of female artist of color. The recipient of the  2012 National Medal of the Arts award, presented by President Obama, will be honored with an Honorary Doctor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania at the upcoming 2015 29th Commencement ceremony on May 18, 2015.

4/15/15 O&A REVIEW: Dance Theatre Of Harlem

By Walter Rutledge

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The Dance Theatre Of Harlem presented their New York City season April 8 through 11 at New York City Center. This is the third season since the much heralded return of the company in 2012, and for the 2015 season Artistic Director Virginia Johnson curated two programs, a total of seven works, presented over four performances. Aside from the two neoclassical Balanchine works the repertoire reflected a new direction for the company.

Many have anticipated the return of the barrier breaking dance institution that literally evolved, under the direction of founder Arthur Mitchell, from Afros to ballet buns. The 2015 New York City season introduced a svelte company of eighteen young dancers that has evolved into a formidable contemporary ballet company. Johnson tapped an eclectic array of choreographers to challenge the dancers showcasing the strengths of each young artist.

The three highlights of the season were Nacho Duato’s Coming Together, Ulysses Dove’s On The Front Porch Of Heaven and The Mirror In Her Mind by Christopher Huggins. These works provided the dancers the opportunity to transcend the physical limitation of the stage. The dancers reached beyond the footlights to touch the audience.

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Nacho Duato’s Coming Together kept us on a suspense filled movement roller coaster from beginning to end. This master craftsman skillfully heightened the work’s intensity through strong choreographic structure. His reliance on design produced a kinesthetically stimulating ensemble dance.

Virtuoso dancing performed at a breakneck pace enhanced the choreographic design and brought the company’s technical prowess to the forefront. Here the company was at its best! They performed with verve, vigor, and a strong assured attack- “balls forward”. They were not just dancing; instead the company was in the moment- living through the movement.

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Da’Von Doane’s solo courageously “throw caution to the wind”. His risk taking paid off, at one point creating a catalyst effect that seemed to draw the dancers back to the stage. Dylan Santos also distinguished himself with clean execution; his firecracker attack revealed an exciting inner fire.

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Christopher Huggins’ The Mirror In Her Mind was a visually satisfying quartet also danced with great aplomb by Ashley Murphy, Da’Von Doane, Anthony Savoy and Samuel Wilson. The dance was filled with sumptuous partnering executed with daring and precision. Leaping, turning and yearning with great abandon, Murphy’s male trio moved her effortlessly around the stage. Her compelling interpretation combined the right amount of strength and vulnerability.

If Huggins had designed a pure movement/abstract work the quartet would have been truly dazzling. As a narrative it lacked the needed character development to create a complete scenario. This dance felt like an excerpt, possibly the middle section from a larger work.

We never knew who the three men really were and what led Murphy on her path. To equate it in more visceral terms it was like sex without foreplay or afterglow- definitely satisfying just not totally fulfilling. A work with this much potential deserves a beginning section to establish the relationships and an ending section for a real resolution.

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Ulysses Dove’s haunting allergy Dancing On The Front Porch Of Heaven made its Dance Theatre of Harlem premiered in 2014. The acquisition of this work helped set the tone for the company’s present and welcomed aestheticism. The work set to Arvo Part (Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten) featured dancers in white unitards designed by Jorge Gallardo.

DANCESTL, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Anthony Savoy and Fredrick Davis, Photo by Sharen Bradford

The centerpiece of the work is a male duet performed by Anthony Savoy and Frederick Davis. The ethereal nature of the duet created a noble sojourn. Davis’ stoicism balanced Savoy’s brave journey into the unknown. The ensuing performance became a profound conversation between brethren. The final upstage ascent into the darkness was not an ending, but a peaceful walk into “the next”.

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Throughout the season there were additional performers and performances that should be mentioned. In the opening section of Robert Garland’s Return, and the pas de quartre in Duato’s Coming Together Jenelle Figgins danced with the appropriate command and temperament. Chryrstyn Fentroy was a beacon of hope in Agon. Her performance in the second pas de trios section displayed technical proficiency, and a sense of confidence and élan. And Keenan English’s clean line and inmate style allowed him to standout in the corps. English has that God-given quality that makes you want to look at him.

As Dance Theatre of Harlem moves forward they will have to decide whether to recreate the Company of old or to move into a new future. Presently it seems they are trying to do both with a modicum of success. It would be a brave and bold move to honor the Company’s 45 year legacy by pursuing a direction more in tune with the present.

This new company could have a bright future if it redefines as oppose to confine itself to a past image and standards. The great response from the large and enthusiastic audience at New York City Center shows the public supports the new direction and has embraced this Dance Theatre Of Harlem. Hopefully they will get the proverbial “800 pound Neo-classic Gorilla” out of the room.

4/15/15 O&A Wildin Out Wednesday: Family Guy- Baby Got Black

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Baby Got Black is the eighteenth episode of the twelfth season of the animated comedy series Family Guy and the 228th episode overall. It aired on Fox in the United States on April 27, 2014, and is written by Kevin Biggins and Travis Bowe and directed by Brian Iles. In the episode, Chris falls in love with Jerome’s daughter, Pam, much to her father’s chagrin. When the two kids run away, Peter and Jerome team up to look for them. Read More »

4/14/15 O&A With WaleStylez Fashion: NikeLab x Dover Street Market Air Jordan 1

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Nike’s experimental branch Nike Lab teams up with premium retailer Dover Street Market on the classic Air Jordan 1. Using the iconic silhouette as the base, the sneaker has been given a patent leather upper in navy, featuring a slight iridescent treatment. Additional details include screw-on aglets bearing the Jumpman, while the insole shows off DSM’s monochromatic logo. Read More »

4/14/15 O&A Dance: Ballet Hispanico Begins Joyce Season

By Walter Rutledge

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Ballet Hispanico begins a two-week New York City season Tuesday April 14 at the Joyce Theatre. The season will an eclectic mix ranging from a modern remake of an opera inspired classic, to a eighties showgirl tease. The season continues Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro vision of celebrating the Latino culture. O&A NYC Magazine Editor-in-Chief Walter Rutledge sat down with Vilaro to discuss the upcoming season and more. Read More »

4/14/15 O&A With WaleStylez- Fashion: Nike Huarache NM “Red”

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Nike continues to release new colorways of their recently introduced Huarache NM silhouette. This time around we get the sneaker in all-red, a trend spearheaded by the unreasonably popular Nike Air Yeezy 2 among the Swoosh’s most interesting designs as of late, the familiar Huarache heel cage and neoprene upper is offset by thick rope laces for a decidedly contemporary aesthetic. Look for the Nike Huarache NM “Red” to hit select retailers on May 30.

 

 

 

 

It’s Saturday Anything Goes: Legend Of Extraordinary Dancers Episode 7 and 8

It is Saturday

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O&A NYC Magazine continues to present the Legend of Extraordinary Dancers series, commonly called The LXD, the web series from 2010- 2011. The good versus evil dance series features two groups of rival dancers: The Alliance of the Dark the villains and The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, the heroes, who discover they have superpowers referred to as “the Ra” through their dance abilities. Read More »

4/10/15 O&A With WaleStylez- Fashion: Aimé Leon Dore “NY NAVY” Concept Shop

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

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To celebrate the release of their latest collection, entitled NY NAVY, Aimé Leon Dore has opened a concept shop at 179 Mott Street in New York City. All items  exclusively sold at the concept shop from April 9th through 13th, store hours are 10 a.m. until 8pm. On April 13th the collection will go on sale online.

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The 22-piece collection consists of flight jackets, bomber jackets, waffle T-shirts, graphic T-shirts, popovers, crewnecks, hoodies, cargo pants, twill pants, twill shorts, sweat shorts, and beanies. Made in New York City, the collection demonstrates the brand’s emphasis on quality, comfort and functionality, while introducing new designs, like the ribbed cargo pant. Colors used include navy, heather grey, olive and cream, while materials used include Canadian milled French terry and waffle, along with an array of Japanese fabrics including nylon, canvas, cotton twill, and satin.

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The shop itself is heavily aligned with the overall aesthetic of the collection, featuring a weathered and worn couch, military-inspired fan, typewriter and desk, and a selection of Nike Air Max shoes that compliment the NY NAVY color palette. 

4/10/15 O&A With WaleStylez- Song Of The Day: The Roots – You Got Me featuring Erykah Badu

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 You Got Me is a song by the hip hop band The Roots, featuring vocals by Erykah Badu (who sings the chorus) and Eve, then known as Eve of Destruction, who raps the second verse but does not appear in the music video. You Got Me was co-written by musician Jill Scott, who recorded vocals for the song’s chorus and bridge. Her part was subsequently re-recorded by Badu at the insistence of MCA Records, who wanted a higher-profile collaboration for the album’s official lead single. Read More »

4/9/15 O&A DIVA ALERT!!!: Madonna – Ghosttown featuring Terrence Howard

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Madonna appears to have survived a global nuclear disaster in the music video for Ghosttown. There appear to be no other signs of life. But then, wait, there is a boy, a rat, a dog and … Terrence Howard. At first, things are a little scary as the two adults go on the defense: She is ready to beat him with a golf club as he points a rifle to her head. After a few tense moments, things calm down. Madonna and the actor who plays Lucious Lyon on Fox’s Empire do a sexy dance. Read More »

4/8/15 O&A Profiles: Da’Von Doane and Ashley Murphy- Partners

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Partners form one of the most rewarding and lasting bonds between dancers.  Partnerships such as Rudolf Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn, Richard Cragun and Marcia Haydee and Ivan Nagy and Natalia Makarova thrilled audiences with their cooperative commitment to excellence. This season Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Da’Von Doane and Ashley Murphy continues the tradition.

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Far But Close (excerpt)

In partnering the man is usually subservient, he becomes the platinum setting that invisibly reveals the ballerina’s “diamond” brilliance. Doane and Murphy first danced together in the 2009- 2010 season production of Billie Wilson’s Concerto In F. Doane explained their onstage relationship,”I guess the saying is true, that iron sharpens iron. To work with someone who never sacrifices the quality of their work for not even a second is truly inspiring. Working with Ashley makes me want to be a better dancer and partner because I know she is doing the same.”

Da’Von Doane and Ashley Murphy

For the 2015 Dance Theatre Of Harlem New York City season Doane and Murphy will dance together in Balachine’s Agon, Robert Garland’s Return, Coming Together by Nacho Duato, Vessels by Darrell Moultrie and Christopher Huggin’s In The Mirror Of Her Mind. For more information about the 2015 Dance Theatre of Harlem New York season, April 8-11 at New York City Center, or to buy tickets visit dancetheatreofharlem.org. 

4/6/15 O&A Profile: Anthony Savoy- Accentuating The Positive

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Anthony Savoy has learned how to “accentuate the positive”, to build on his strengths as a performer. His tall lithe frame, pliant physique and impeccable line have become his trademarks. In 2010, Savoy joined Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble and a year later became an original member of the new Dance Theatre of Harlem.

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During the 2014 season Savoy and Frederick Davis performed the duet centerpiece of Ulysses Dove’s Dancing On Front Porch of Heaven. This became a breakout role for Savoy; showcasing his artistic talents, and his technical and physical prowess. Out and About NYC Magazine founder Walter Rutledge sat down with Savoy to discuss his preparation for the role and the upcoming 2015 Dance Theatre of Harlem New York season.

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Dance Theatre of Harlem returns to New York City Center April 8- 11 for four performances. Dancing On Front Porch of Heaven will be performed on Wednesday, April 8, 7pm and Saturday April 11, 2pm. For more information including a complete list of performances and/or to buy tickets visit dancetheatreofharlem.org. 

Gospel Easter Sunday: Richard Smallwood- Calvary

GOSPEL SUNDAY

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Richard Smallwood is a living testament to an artist working at the height of his craft. If the phrase, “knowledge is power” needed a metaphor it would be Richard  Smallwood. He graduated cum laude from Howard University with degrees in both vocal performance and piano, in addition to graduate work in the field of ethnomusicology.  Read More »

Shall We Dance Friday: Bad Blood by Ulysses Dove

Shall We Dance

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Bad Blood received its World Premiere, in 1984 on Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal. Featuring music by Laurie Anderson (Gravity’s Angel and Walking and Falling) and Peter Gabriel (Excellent Birds) the work in an erotic tour de force battle of the sexes. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre premiered the work in 1986. It is one of seven Dove ballets in the Ailey Company repertoire.  Read More »

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50 Cent, is a rapper, singer, entrepreneur investor and actor from New York City.  After Jackson released the compilation album Guess Who’s Back? in 2002, he was discovered by Eminem and signed by Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records. Read More »

3/31/15 O&A DIVA ALERT: Say Yes- Michelle Williams featuring Beyonce & Kelly At The 2015 Stellar Awards

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It took an act of God to bring Destiny’s Child back together again. The three women made a surprise appearance during the gospel-centric Stellar Awards at Las Vegas’ Orleans Arena on Saturday night. Beyonce and Kelly Rowland came out to sing with their multiple, Stellar Award nominee sister Michelle Williams on the song Say Yes. The piece, which was up for three awards on Saturday, originally appeared on Williams’ religious album from 2014 Journey To Freedom. Read More »

3/28/15 O&A Its Saturday Anything Goes: The League Of Extraordinary Dancers -Episode One – The Tale Of Trevor Drift

It is Saturday

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The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, commonly called The LXD, was a 2010–2011 web series about two groups of rival dancers: The Alliance of the Dark who are the villains and The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, the heroes, who discover they have superpowers referred to as “the Ra” through their dance abilities. The entire story takes place over hundreds of years, beginning in the 1920s up to the year 3000. Read More »

3/27/15 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Serenade

Shall We Dance

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Serenade is a ballet by George Balanchine to Tschaikovsky’s 1880 Serenade for Strings in C, Op. 48. Students of the School of American Ballet gave the first performance on Sunday, 10 June 1934 on the Felix M. Warburg estate in White Plains, N.Y., where Mozartiana had been danced the previous day. This was the first ballet Balanchine choreographed in the United States.  Read More »

3/26/15 O&A Throwback Thursday: Missy Elliott

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Melissa Arnette “Missy” Elliott is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, and record producer with childhood friend and producer Timbaland. In the late 1990s, Elliott expanded her career as a solo artist and rapper, eventually winning five Grammy Awards and selling over 30 million records in the United States. Elliott is the only female rapper to have six albums certified platinum by the RIAA, including one double platinum for her 2002 album Under Construction. Elliott is also known for a series of hits and diverse music videos, including The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly), Hot Boyz, Get Ur Freak On, Work It, and the Grammy award-winning video for Lose Control.  Read More »

3/24/15 O&A: Only In The Darkness Can You See The Stars- Dance Of The Village Elders Perform Friday

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The Harlem Hospital Auxiliary, in partnership with the Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs, presents The Dance Of The Village Elders in Only In The Darkness Can You See The Stars on Friday, March 27; 6pm in the Herbert Cave Auditorium located on the 2nd floor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Pavilion at Harlem Hospital Center, 560 Lenox Avenue at 135 Street. The program title Only In The Darkness Can You See The Stars was a statement made by Martin Luther King Jr. during the bleakest days of the civil rights struggle. Read More »

3/25/15 Wildin Out Wednesday: Three Looks At Richard Pryor

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Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor was a comedian, actor, film director, social critic, satirist, writer, and MC. Pryor was known for uncompromising examinations of racism and topical contemporary issues, which employed colorful vulgarities and profanity, as well as racial epithets. O&A NYC Magazine takes a look at three different points in Pryor’s groundbreaking career. Read More »

3/21/15 O&A Gospel Sunday: Yolanda Adams

GOSPEL SUNDAY

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Yolanda Yvette Adams is a gospel singer, record producer, actress, and radio host on WBLS. Adams has won four Grammy Awards, sixteen Stellar Gospel Music Awards, four of the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards, one American Music Award, seven NAACP Image Awards, one Soul Train Music Award, and five BET Awards. On December 11, 2009, Billboard Magazine named her the No. 1 Gospel Artist of the last decade. Read More »

O&A Dance: Gierre Godley/Project 44 Performs Gandy Dancer In Metropolis

By Walter Rutledge
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Gierre J Godley, choreographer and founder of Project 44, will present his latest project Gandy Dancer, in Metropolis, a choreography showcase, Saturday, March 22 and Sunday, March 23 at 248 West 60th Street; 7:30 pm. The inaugural choreography showcase celebrates the innovative movement of three contemporary dance companies from Miami and New York. The two performances are part of an initiative  by Jessica DiMauro and Ana Miranda to bring together artists with the common goal of sharing artistic expression through movement. Read More »

3/16/15 O&A Ailey II Presents The World Premiere Of Breakthrough

By Walter Rutledge

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Ailey II will begin their New York City season with the world premiere of Breakthrough by French-born choreographer Manuel Vignoulle. The full company modern dance based work, set to the music of Swedish composer Mikael Karlsson, takes place in a world where emotion and personal interaction is forbidden. O&A NYC Magazine had the opportunity to speak to Vignoulle and performer Shay Bland following a rehearsal.

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A conversation with choreographer Manuel Vignoulle and Ailey II dancer Shay Bland

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Breakthrough  (excerpt)  Manuel Vignoulle choreographer

The season runs from Tuesday, March 17 through Sunday 22 at the Joyce Theater. For the complete schedule and tickets visit joyce.org.

 

In Photo: 1) Ailey II 2) Shay Bland and Nathaniel Hunt 3) Chalvar Monteiro and company

Photo Credit: 1) Eduardo Patino 2&3) Adewale Adekanbi

3/16/15 Hollywood Monday: The Hire: Star- A BMW short film starring Madonna

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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.

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3/13/15 O&A Dance: Ailey II Begins New York Season at the Joyce Season March 17

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If you had planned on seeing the annual New York City season of Ailey II, March 17  through 22 at the Joyce Theater don’t walk to get your tickets- run! The company’s  first  independent season at the Joyce has caught fire and the season could be sold out prior to opening night. “We couldn’t be more excited to present our first full season at The Joyce Theater,” says Ailey II Artistic Director Troy Powell. Read More »

3/13/15 Shall We Dance Friday: Excerpts From The Ballerinas (1987) – Starring Carla Fracci

Shall We Dance

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In The Ballerinas, a sumptuously produced two-part ballet drama, Fracci places her rare artistry in the service of dance history as she recreates roles first premiered by such luminous ballerinas as Marie Taglioni, Emma Livry, Carlotta Grisi, Fanny Elssler, Giuseppina Bozzacchi, Carlotta Brianza, Matilde Kschessinska, Anna Pavlova, Tamara Karsavina and Olga Spessitzeva. Read More »

3/12/15 O&A Throwback Thursday: Xscape

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Xscape was a female American R&B quartet which began as a quintet. The original lineup of the group consisted of sisters LaTocha and Tamika Scott, Kandi Burruss, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, and Tamera Coggins, though Coggins departed the group before their debut album was released. The group had 6 top 10 hit songs on the Billboard Hot 100 during the 1990s including Just Kicking it, Understanding, Who Can I Run To, Keep On, Keepin’ On, The Arms of the One Who Loves You, and My Little Secret. 
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3/10/15 O&A Dance: Paul Taylor Dance Company Begins New York City Season

 By Walter Rutledge

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Paul Taylor brings his renowned dance company back to the David H. Kock Theater at Lincoln Center, March 10 through March 29, 2015. The company will present 17 Taylor classics plus a New York Premiere of Sea Lark, with set and costumes by his long-time design collaborator Alex Katz and a vibrant score by Francis Poulenc, and the World Premiere of Death and the Damsel. Read More »

3/9/15 O&A Hollywood Monday: The Dig: You and I and You

Hollywood Mondays

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The Dig: You and I and You is Terence Nance magical realist film for the NYC group. The film subsequently won a prime spot at Sundance and a co-producer in Jay Z, but the self-deprecating Nance refuses to get wrapped up in hype or categorization. After The Dig contributed to the soundtrack of Oversimplification, the director repaid the favor with an impulsive, balletic film for the band’s 2013 EP You & I. Read More »

3/7/15 O&A REVIEW: Ronald K Brown and Evidence, A Dance Company 2015 New York City Season

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Ronald K Brown and Evidence, A Dance Company presented their 2015 New York City season February 24 through March 1 at the Joyce Theater. To celebrate the 30th anniversary the company offered two programs, a total of seven works. The season was a joyous retrospective of Brown’s artistry.

Brown’s signature choreographic style is a combination of West African, urban vernacular, and contemporary modern dance. The one thing that became quickly apparent is Brown’s finite movement vocabulary. Almost every work featured stag jumps en tourant, passé in parallel, turned out or ouvert, petite allegro that consolidated all the styles, walking that varied from pedestrian crossings to spirited struts and open West African inspired port de bras.

The collection of dances reminded me of a Jackson Pollack exhibition. At first glance the similarities outweighed the differences, but the longer you experienced the work the more the textural nuances began to emerge. The vocabulary allowed Brown to communicate to the audience through his own dance language, but more important the movement became secondary to his choreographic structure.

The works presented ranged from 1995 when his style became salient to 2014. Instead of producing a new work(s) Brown wisely chose to concentrate on material that had been properly developed. This provided the audience with a clean and concise overview of the evolution of both Brown and the company.

The season opened with The Subtle One (2014) featuring live accompaniment by composer Jason Moran and the Bandwagon. The works amalgam of styles captured the feeling of Moran’s jazz composition. Brown created a visual rendering of the music, which also was a western art form with African roots.

Excerpts from Lessons: Exotica & March (1995) were two excerpts- a duet and ensemble section. The first movement was set to a speech by Martin Luther King Jr. and performed by Annique Roberts and Coral Dolphin. The duet was the most theatrical of all the works presented during the season. Roberts circled a more stationary and centered Dolphin in a protective orbit. The partnering developed into supportive solidarity, and empowerment.

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Dolphin has a quality that transcends technique. Her presence and attack was a combination of amazon power and female fatale attraction. Throughout the entire evening she was able to make you look at her.

The transition from the inviting abstract narrative first section to the pure movement second excerpt was a little jarring. The second section was an early rendering of Brown’s pairing of house infused music with movement. It is amazing how well his vocabulary works at 130 plus beat per minute. The ensemble section contained small groups moving simultaneously and overlapping. This allowed Brown to create a rich tapestry with a focused multiplicity of rhythms.

Grace and Gateway were both choreographed in 1999 for other companies. Gateway choreographed for Philadanco, took the audience on an impassioned excursion. Set on the road to heaven; if this is any indication of what to expect from eternality don’t worry about hot sauce, the “here after” will be a very soulful place.

Grace, designed for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, also has an ethereal feeling. The reconstruction of this work was not as successful as Gateway and was probably the weakest link of all the works presented. Clarice Young carried the lead well, this role has become synonymous with two dance Goddesses Renee Robinson (Hera) and Linda Celeste Sims (Aphrodite). The individual performances were all good and the female ensemble delivered an impressive interpretation. The male ensemble, however, lacked the verve and unison required to do this work justice.

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The two solos presented Through Time and Culture (2014) and One Shot (2007, excerpt from Bellows) were both engaging works with different prospective. In Through Time and Culture Brown danced with a ceremonial spirit, as if he was giving thanks. With arms reaching upward and tight yet light footwork we followed Brown until he disappeared into the wings.

Shayla Caldwell entered the space walking backwards around the parameter of the space. First from stage left to right, then from upstage to downstage, she turns and continues stage right to left. When she walked upstage her body and face were finally revealed. Her movement was introverted and contained. Eventually she moves to  center stage; and throughout the solo Caldwell remained regal but vulnerable. Drawing the audience to her until she is finally covered in darkness.

Why You Follow/Por Que Signes, created in 2014 for MalPaso Dance Company, is a testament to Brown’s choreographic and structural prowess. The work is imagery and texturally rich. The subtle transitions, group development, and musicality created true visual excitement. The most commendable quality was the ease Brown was able to build the work into a movement crescendo through the choreographic structure instead of relying on the performer’s bravura.

The Ronald K. Brown and Evidence, A Dance Company 2015 New York City season was a fitting celebration. The company continues to do what it has done for 30 years, to share the gift of dance. This milestone is just one more in a long line of accomplishments; and one thing we do know that the future holds for Brown and the Company is that they will keep making dances.

3/8/15 O&A Gospel Sunday: Dottie Peoples

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Dottie Peoples has been a star in the gospel music industry for more than 30 years, since she was nine years old. Called the Songbird of the South by Atlanta WAOK radio announcer Brother Esmond Patterson, Peoples won the top four honors at the 1995 Stellar Awards with her album, On Time God.

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On Time God

 Peoples’s 1995 album, On Time God, would change her role in gospel music. At the Stellar Awards, she won Female Vocalist of the Year for traditional music, Choir of the Year for traditional music, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year for On Time God. That same year, Peoples would receive a Vision Award by Bobby Jones Gospel of Black Entertainment Television (BET) and Gospel Today Magazine. On Time God would also win the Atlanta Gospel Choice Award for Song of the Year.

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In 1999, God Can and God Will: Live In Atlanta became her ninth album. She sang songs from the new release to an audience of 4,500 at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia. An inspiring 225-member choir backed her performance.

Oh What A Time

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3/7/15 O&A Its Saturday- Anything Goes: Music From Empire

It is Saturday

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Empire, the fox musical drama television series, is breaking records every week. The hour-long family drama created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong and starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, centers around a Hip hop music and Entertainment company, Empire Enterprises. One undeniable aspect of the show’s success is the music. Fox’s senior VP of TV Music Geoff Bywayer said to expect the fictional musical world to collide with the real musical world; “We want to make the world of ‘Empire’ almost feel like a real music-breathing entity.”  Read More »

3/5/15 O&A Throwback Tuesday: Marian Anderson

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Marian Anderson Singing at the Lincoln Memorial.

Marian Anderson was an African-American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century. Anderson became an important figure in the struggle for black artists to overcome racial prejudice in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Anderson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963, the Kennedy Center Honors in 1978, the National Medal of Arts in 1986, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991. Read More »

3/4/15 O&A Happy Birthday Swan Lake! : Excerpts from Bolshoi Ballet

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Swan Lake premiered by the Bolshoi Ballet on 4 March 1877 at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. The scenario, initially in two acts, was fashioned from Russian folk tales and tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse. The choreographer of the original production was Julius Reisinger and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed the music in 1875–76.  

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The première was not well-received, with near unanimous criticism concerning the dancers, orchestra, and stage sets. Unfortunately Tchaikovsky’s masterful score was lost in the debacle of the poor production, and though there were a few critics who recognised its virtues, most considered it to be far too complicated for ballet. Most of the critics were not themselves familiar with ballet or music but rather with spoken melodrama. Critics considered Tchaikovsky’s music “too noisy, too ‘Wagnerian’ and too symphonic.” The critics also found fault with Reisinger’s choreography which they thought was “unimaginative and altogether unmemorable.

Svetlana Zakharova and Denis Rodkin in Act II Grand Pas-de-Deux

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During the late 1880s and early 1890s, Petipa and Vsevolozhsky considered reviving Swan Lake and were in talks with Tchaikovsky about doing so.  Tchaikovsky died on 6 November 1893, just when plans to revive Swan Lake were beginning to come to fruition. Italian composer Riccardo Eugenio Drigo was forced to revise the score himself, but not before receiving approval from Tchaikovsky’s younger brother, Modest.

Svetlana Zakharova and Denis Rodkin in Black Pas de Deux

 The revival premièred Friday, 27 January 1895. Although the Petipa/Ivanov/Drigo version was a success, it was given only sixteen performances between the première and the 1895–1896 season and no performances in the 1897 season.

2/4/15 O&A Music Question Of The Day: Precious Lord Beyonce or Ledisi You Decide?

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Let’s put an end to the controversy over Beyoncé eclipsing Ledisi with her performance of Precious Lord at the 57th Grammy Awards. O&A NYC Magazine has Queen Bey’s Grammy production number and Ledisi’s rendition at the recent opening night of her Intimate Truth Tour at Nokia Club in Los Angeles… You decide.

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Beyoncé  at the 57th Grammy Awards

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Ledisi at Nokia Club in Los Angeles Opening Night of her Intimate Truth Tour!

If you missed our Gospel Sunday feature on Ledisi click below:

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http://outandaboutnycmag.com/3115-oa-gospel-sunday-ledisi-be-grateful-tell-the-world-i-love-them-thank-you-lord-and-precious-lord/

3/4/15 Wildin Out Wednesday: The Little Rascals (Readin and Writin)

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Our Gang (also known as The Little Rascals or Hal Roach’s Rascals) is a series of comedy short films about a group of poor neighborhood children and their adventures. Created by comedy producer Hal Roach, the series is noted for showing children behaving in a relatively natural way.  In addition, Our Gang notably put boys, girls, whites and blacks together as equals. That had never been done before in cinema, and the series broke new ground.  Read More »

3/2/15 O&A Hollywood Monday: Deus Ex| Human Revolution (Short Film)

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The short film’s clean look and amazingly directed action sequences keep viewers very well engaged, and there’s never a dull moment. It’s a very brisk-moving 12 minute video that takes a snippet of some of the most iconic imagery from Eidos’ latest home console title and translates it into something equally iconic as far as live-action visuals go.  Read More »

3/1/15 O&A Gospel Sunday: Ledisi- Be Grateful, Tell The World I Love Them, Thank You Lord and Precious Lord

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Ledisi has shared her gift at Walter Hawkins Tribute Concert (Be Grateful), Andrea Crouch Final Funeral Service (Tell The World I Love Them) The Potter’s House (Thank You Lord) and Selma (Precious Lord).Ledisi has shared her gift at Walter Hawkins Tribute Concert (Be Grateful), Andrea Crouch Final Funeral Service (Tell The World I Love Them) The Potter’s House (Thank You Lord) and Selma (Precious Lord). This talented recording artist, songwriter and actress played Mahalia Jackson in the historical drama film, Selma. First name means “to bring forth” or “to come here” in Yoruba.   Read More »

2/28/15 O&A Its Saturday Anything Goes: Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic at the Brooklyn Museum

By Walter Rutledge
It is Saturday

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Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn,is an overview of the artist’s prolific fourteen-year career featuring sixty paintings and sculptures. The works represent Wiley’s signature portraits of everyday men and women of color set in the style of the Old Masters. Wiley has replaced the European aristocrats depicted in those paintings with contemporary black subjects, drawing attention to the absence of African-Americans from historical and cultural narratives. Read More »

2/27/15 O&A Dance Theatre of Harlem Honors Jessye Norman

By Walter Rutledge

Jessye Norman and DTH Students Photo Joseph Rodman

The Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) held their 4th annual Vision Gala on Tuesday, February 24 at Cipriani, 110 East 42nd Street. The fundraiser honored opera diva Jessye Norman with the Arthur Mitchell Vision Award. Theodore Bartwink was honored posthumously with the Carl & Lily Pforzheimer Family Foundation Medal. For over three decades Bartwink was the Director of the Harness Center for Dance. The Virtuoso Award Honorees were Mario Baeza and Under Armour, Inc. Read More »

2/27/15 Shall We Dance Friday: Diana Vishneva in Moses Pendleton’s F.L.O.W. I, II and III

Shall We Dance

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Diana Vishneva is a Russian ballet dancer who performs as a principal dancer with both the Mariinsky Ballet (formerly the Kirov Ballet) and the American Ballet Theatre. Vishneva’s repertoire includes Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, La Bayadère, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Firebird and Giselle. She also performs the works of modern choreographers, especially those of George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Martha Graham, Roland Petit and Moses Pendleton. Read More »

2/26/15 O&A Throwback Thursday: L.L. Cool J.

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James Todd Smith, better known as LL Cool J (short for Ladies Love Cool James),[ is a rapper, entrepreneur, and actor. He is known for pioneering hip-hop tracks such as I Can’t Live Without My Radio, I’m Bad, The Boomin’ System, Rock The Bells, and Mama Said Knock You Out as well as romantic ballads such as I Need Love, Around the Way Girl, and Hey Lover.
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2/24/15 O&A Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center Begins Spring 2015 Season (revised)

By Walter Rutledge 

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Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center (THPAC) begins their 2015 performance /presenting season with its on-the-edge PEEKS-Works in progress choreographers showcase February 26, 7:30pm at The Actors Fund Arts Center, 160 Schermerhorn Street in downtown Brooklyn. This on-going, year-round program presents works-in-progress by emerging New York City-based choreographers and dance companies, with a special emphasis on artists of color, women and the LGBT community. The performance is free to the public; of course donations at the door are always welcomed. Read More »

2/24/15 O&A Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center Begin Spring 2015 Season

By Walter Rutledge 

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Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center (THPAC) begins their 2015 performance /presenting season with its on-the-edge PEEKS-Works in progress choreographers showcase February 26, 7:30pm at The Actors Fund Arts Center, 160 Schermerhorn Street in downtown Brooklyn. This on-going, year-round program presents works-in-progress by emerging New York City-based choreographers and dance companies, with a special emphasis on artists of color, women and the LGBT community. The performance is free to the public; of course donations at the door are always welcomed. Read More »

2/22/15 O&A Gospel Sunday: The Canton Spirituals

GOSPEL SUNDAY

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The Canton Spirituals are regarded as pioneers in the genre of traditional gospel music. Founded in Canton, Mississippi in 1943, the original Canton Spirituals were Reverend I.S. Watkins, Claude “Bubba” Nichols, Warren G. Ward, Isaac Bolton, Eddie Jackson, Theo Thompson, Roscoe Lucious and founder Harvey Watkins, Sr. (December 5, 1929 – November 16, 1994). The present group is fronted by Watkins’ son, Harvey Watkins Jr., and consists of Cornelius Dwayne Watkins, Billy Voss, David Curry, Merlin Lucious, Shannon Lee, and Rodrick Jones.

Read More »

2/21/15 O&A Its Saturday: Pat Cleveland

It is Saturday

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Pat Cleveland is a trailblazing international model.  One of the first black supermodels she rose to prominence in the 1970′s. Cleveland was a muse to the designers Halston and regularly opened his fashion shows. She also regularly appeared in the shows of Yves Saint Laurent and Stephen Burrows. Read More »

2/20/15 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Dances From The Cotton Club

Shall We Dance

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Out and About NYC Magazine is proud to present three dance and music clips from the legendary Cotton Club. Opened in 1923, the Cotton Club on 142nd St & Lenox Ave in the heart of Harlem, New York. The Cotton Club was operated by white New York gangster Owney Madden who used the club as an outlet to sell his alcohol to the prohibition crowd. 

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The Cotton Club at first excluded all but white patrons although the entertainers and most of staff were African-American.  Dancers at the Cotton Club were held to strict standards; they had to be at least 5’6” tall, light-skinned with only a slight tan, and under twenty-one years of age.

The Apollo Dancer sat the Cotton Club Revue in 1938.

Shows at the Cotton Club were musical reviews that featured dancers, singers, comedians, and variety acts, as well as a house band. Duke Ellington led that band from 1927 to 1930, and sporadically throughout the next eight years. The Cotton Club and Ellington’s Orchestra gained national notoriety through weekly broadcasts on radio station WHN some of which were recorded and released on albums. In this clip Duke Ellington and his orchestra perform  Rockin in Rhythm & Bugle Call Rag with dancers Bessie Dudley and Florence Hill from 1933.

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Cotton Club Dancers Bessie Dudley and Florence Hill

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The entertainers who played at the Cotton Club were some of the most widely known blues and jazz performers of their time including Cab Calloway. This is one of Cab’s broadcasts from The Cotton Club in the 30′s after Duke Ellington took to touring on the road. They later became co- house bands at the club.

Cab ( Cotton Club) Calloway 1934 Zaz Zuh Zaz

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Elegant black show girls ditch Opera for Jazz as they get seduced by a hot jazz tune in Red Hot. You’ve never seen this kind of action from the 1930s main stream Hollywood before, it was cut by the Hays Code. Red Hot stars Dorothy Salter and Maurice Rocco.

Red Hot 1930s Cotton Club Show

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The Silver Belles of Harlem are dancers who performed at the Cotton Club during its heyday era. Group members include Marion Coles, Elaine Ellis, Cleo Ellis, Fay Ray, and Bertye Lou Wood were featured in the 2006 documentary directed by Heather Lyn MacDonald, entitled Been Rich All My Life.

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2/19/15 O&A Ronald K. Brown and Evidence, A Dance Company- 30 Years In The Making (Part One)

By Walter Rutledge

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Ronald K. Brown and Evidence, A Dance Company will celebrate the 30 anniversary of the company February 24 through March 1 at the Joyce Theater. Brown realized his gift as a choreographer and his desire to express him by making dances at the  beginning of his dance career. At age 19, when most dance artists are concentrating on performing, Brown formed Evidence Read More »

2/19/15 O&A Throwback Thursday: TLC

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TLC was a girl group whose repertoire spanned R&B, hip hop, soul, funk and new jack swing. TLC originally comprised singer Tionne T-Boz Watkins, rapper Lisa Left Eye Lopes and singer Rozonda Chilli Thomas. The group was very successful in the 1990s and early 2000s in spite of numerous spats with the law, each other, and the group’s record label and management. Read More »

2/16/15 O&A Hollywood Monday: Cotton Comes To Harlem- Iris, Officer Jerema and the Paper Bag

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Cotton Comes to Harlem was the beginning of short period in American film that featured black actors in leading roles and the themes dealt with issues from the African-American microcosm. With a screenplay by Arnold Perl and Ossie Davis, and  directed by Davis this action drama represents the black prospective. Much of the film’s humor is urban black comedy, which was groundbreaking in 1970.

Read More »

2/15/15 O&A Gospel Sunday: BeBe and CeCe Winans

GOSPEL SUNDAY

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BeBe (Benjamin) and CeCe (Priscilla) Winans are the seventh and eighth of “Mom” and “Pop” Winans’ ten children, most of whom have had gospel music careers. Together, they have received several awards, including three Grammys. While BeBe and CeCe were in high school, four of their elder brothers formed the successful Gospel music group The Winans. Read More »

2/13/15 O&A Shall We Dance: Lloyd Knight – A Dancer’s World

Shall We Dance

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One of Martha Graham’s most memorable quotes, “It takes ten years, usually, to make a dancer. It takes ten years of handling the instrument, handling the material with which you are dealing, for you to know it completely.” This year marks Lloyd Knight’s tenth year with the Martha Graham Dance Company. His ascent through the ranks of the company culminated with Knight becoming a principal dancer prior to the 2015 New York City season. Read More »

2/12/15 O&A Reposted: Clive Thompson- The Graham Years

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By Walter Rutledge

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The life of a bank clerk at the Government Savings Bank in Kingston, Jamaica was not going be Clive Thompson’s fate; he had been a performer for most of his life. Clive and his sister Norma had been childhood favorites in the local talent shows and were part of the “opening act” in Children’s Corner Club at the Saturday matinees. After seeing the Katherine Dunham Dance Company perform and a chance encounter with modern dance teacher Ivy Baxter he began formal dance classes. Read More »

2/11/15 O&A 2015 Harlem Fine Arts Show Opening Night Benefit- A Conversation With Michele March and Robin Bell Stevens (Video)

 

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Michele March (Harlem Fine Arts Show) and Jazzmobile President Robin Bell Stevens discuss the coloration between the Art Show and Jazzmobile. The Harlem Fine Arts Show returns to Riverside Church on Thursday, February 12th with an Opening Night Reception from 6:00 pm -10:00 pm at 91 Claremont Avenue. The evening kicks off 4 days of art, and arts education. This year a portion of the  opening night proceeds will assist Jazzmobile during its fifth year of public service.   Read More »

2/9/15 O&A Hollywood Monday: Caldera

Hollywood Mondays

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Caldera is a beautiful Award-Winning CGI animated short film by talented Animation filmmaker and composer, Evan Viera. Through the eyes of a young girl suffering from mental illness, CALDERA glimpses into a world of psychosis and explores a world of ambiguous reality and the nature of life and death. It has received the Prix Ars Electronica Award of Distinction, Award of Innovation – Seattle International Film Festival, Best Animated Film – Rome Independent Film Festival and Rockport Film Festival and Best Short – View Social Awards. Read More »

2/8/15 O&A With WaleStylez: Harlem Fine Arts Show Announces Jazzmobile Sponsorship

By Adewale Adekanbi

photo copy 2 In Photo: Sidra Smith and Adewale Adekanbi     Walter Rutledge photographer

On Thursday January 29th the Harlem Fine Arts Show held a press event and reception at the New York Times headquarters in Times Square. The event was the official preview of the upcoming art show take will run Thursday, February 12 through Sunday February 15 at Riverside Church.

IMG_1792  In Photo: Robin Bell Steven and photographer Chuck Stewart    Adewale Adekanbi photographer

The event announced Jazzmobile as the recipient of the Harlem Fine Arts Show 2015 fundraising initiative. Jazzmobile President Robin Bell Stevens was joined by art and music lovers to share in the good news that comes during the 50th year celebration of Jazzmobile. Founded in 1964 by National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, composer, pianist, educator, jazz legend Dr. Billy Taylor and arts administrator Ms. Daphne Arnstein, Jazzmobile’s mission is to present, preserve, promote and propagate America’s classical music Jazz. Jazzmobile is the oldest not-for-profit organization founded with this as it sole mission.

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The Harlem Fine Arts Show (HFAS) is the largest traveling African Diasporic art show in the United States. Inspired by the Harlem Renaissance; HFAS is a platform for artists and galleries to exhibit their work. The arts show provides unparalleled access to thousands of artists, craftsmen, tastemakers, art aficionados and high-level executives bringing art back to Harlem- the Mecca of Black culture.

 

 

 

 

 

2/6/15 O&A Martha Graham Dance Company Returns To The Joyce

By Walter Rutledge
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Martha Graham had a fondness for Greek literature and mythology, and utilized these larger than life characters and themes as a source for inspiration. If we were to describe the present Martha Graham Dance Company using a figure from antiquity it would definitely be the Phoenix. The death of Graham, a nasty legal battle for control of work and the changing public attitude toward “how modern was modern dance” seemed to predict the final curtain call for the venerable dance company.

So many institutions struggled to survive after the death of the company’s name sake and major artistic voice, unfortunately many were not able to redefine their mission and are now just a memory. The Graham Company has found a way to not only redefine, and like the Phoenix, to rise with a renewed vigor. Through innovative programming, thoughtful reconstructions and exciting new commissions the Martha Graham Dance Company is once again making a bold artistic statement.

After what can only be described as a triumphant return to New York City Center last year, the company will begin their 2015 New York Season Tuesday, February 10 at the Joyce Theater. The company pays tribute to Graham’s defining influence as an American Modernist with Shape&Design, a program highlighting the sculptural and architectural aspects of choreography by Graham and others. The expanded season, which runs through February 22, will offer 14 performances over twelve days. 

A Conversation With Janet Eilber- Artistic Director Martha Graham Dance Company

Panorama and Chronicle, Graham classics that set the standard for geometric force, are featured, along with Embattled Garden and Errand into the Maze, masterworks with evocative sets by Isamu Noguchi. Shape&Design includes recent works by renowned choreographers Nacho Duato, Andonis Foniadakis, and Annie-B Parson. The company celebrates the 85th anniversary of Graham’s iconic solo Lamentation with the world premiere of four new Lamentation Variations, choreographed by Kyle Abraham, Michelle Dorrance, Liz Gerring, and Sonya Tayeh.

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The performance schedule:

Program A: Feb 11, 15 at 7:30pm; Feb 12, 20-21 at 8pm; Feb 22 at 2pm – Satyric Festival Song, Embattled Garden, Lamentation Variations (including pieces by Kyle Abraham and Sonya Tayeh), Rust, Chronicle

Program B: Feb 17, 22 at 7:30pm; Feb 13-14, 19 at 8pm – Lamentation Variations (including pieces by Michelle Dorrance and Liz Gerring), Errand Into the Maze, The Snow Falls in the Winter, Echo.
Each B Program will open with Essential Shape&Design:
Feb 13 – Deep Song and Panorama
Feb 14, 17 – Frontier and “Steps in the Street”
Feb 19, 22 – Deep Song and Primitive Mysteries (Excerpt)

Program C: Feb 15, 21 at 2pm; Feb 18 at 7:30pm – Lamentation, Embattled Garden, At Summer’s Full, Errand Into the Maze, Diversion of Angels

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The Gala performance honoring Frank Gehry and Peter Arnell will take place on Tuesday February 10. The program will include Steps in the Street with stage design by Frank Gehry, Shape&Design- a film by Peter Arnell, Misty Copeland in At Summer’s Full and the World Premiere of all four Lamentation Variations by Kyle Abraham, Michelle Dorrance, Liz Gerring, and Sonya Tayeh. A Gala dinner will follow at IAC HQ, featuring Diane von Furstenberg’s Dress The Kick. For Gala tickets contact the Martha Graham Dance Company for tickets to the Gala Performance on Tuesday, February 10. For more information, email info@marthagraham.org or call 212-229-9200.

In Photo: 1)  PeiJu Chien-Pott in Lamentation 2) Xiaochuan Xie in Annie-B Parson’s The Snow Falls in the Winter 3) PeiJu Chien-Pott in Martha Graham’s Errand into the Maze

Photo Credit:  1&3) Hibbard Nash  2)Brigid Pierce

To view Graham’s masterwork Appalachian Spring click below:

Graham Letter to World 1

http://outandaboutnycmag.com/2615-shall-we-dance-friday-appalachian-spring/

 

 

2/6/15 Shall We Dance Friday: Appalachian Spring

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Appalachian Spring premiered on October 30th, 1944, at the Library of Congress, Coolidge Auditorium in Washington DC, with Martha Graham dancing the lead role. Created during the darkest days of War World II Graham wanted to create inspiring art that came out of the American experience.  Graham spoke of the work, “To be great art… it must belong to the country in which it flourishes, not be a pale copy of some art form perfected by another culture and another people”. Read More »

O&A Throwback Thursday: Issac Hayes- Shaft

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Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. was an singer-songwriter, actor, and producer. Hayes was one of the creative forces behind the southern soul music label Stax Records, where he served both as an in-house songwriter and as a record producer, teaming with his partner David Porter during the mid-1960s. Hayes, Porter, Bill Withers, the Sherman Brothers, Steve Cropper, and John Fogerty were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 in recognition of writing scores of notable songs for themselves, the duo Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, and others. Hayes is also a 2002 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Read More »

2/4/15 O&A Wildin Out Wednesday: Bernie Mack

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Bernard Jeffrey “Bernie” McCullough better known by his stage name Bernie Mac, was a stand-up comedian, actor and voice artist. After briefly hosting the HBO show Midnight Mac, Mac appeared in several films in smaller roles. His most noted film role was as Frank Catton in the remake Ocean’s Eleven and the titular character of Mr. 3000. Read More »

2/3/15 O&A- A Conversation With Dudley Williams (Part Two)

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In this finale installment of A Conversation with Dudley Williams, Dudley continues to share anecdotes about working with Alvin Ailey, discusses training the next generation and takes questions from the audience. The evening hosted by Clack Center NYC and moderated by dance critic and author Jennifer Dunning, took place on Thursday October 23, 2014. at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Bruno Walter Auditorium. 

Read More »

2/2/15 O&A Hollywood Monday: Devils, Angels & Dating

Hollywood Mondays

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Devils, Angels & Dating is an award winning animated short film directed by Michael Cawood. The Devil wants Cupid’s job, but a battle for Death’s affections has cosmic ramifications below the Heavens. Winner of Burbank Film Festival (Best Short Film), Indiefest (Best Animation) and the winner of the Orson Welles Award at the California Film Awards.   Read More »

1/30/15 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: A Conversation With Dudley Williams Moderated By Jennifer Dunning (Part One)

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On Thursday October 23, Clack Center NYC hosted A Conversation with Dudley Williams at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Bruno Walter Auditorium, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza at 6pm. Dance critic and author Jennifer Dunning talked with Williams about his career that spans almost six decades. Williams was frank, funny and informative, discussing a wide range of his experiences with some of the world’s most renowned choreographers.  Read More »

1/28/15 O&A In My Father’s Footsteps

By Walter Rutledge

Walter and Barry in Snow

Every time we have a real snowstorm (or in this case, the expectation of a snowstorm) it brings back one the most lasting and endearing early memories I have of my father. I was six years old; we lived in a quiet residential Northeast Bronx neighborhood. (Yes there are quiet neighborhoods in New York City.) Back then we didn’t have a formal sidewalk the grassy front lawn meandered into a roughly paved street that seemed to be more dirt than asphalt.

The weatherman had predicted a blizzard for the tri-state area. That meant two things; first the grocery stores would be in short supply of staple items, and second school would be closed. (Snow and no school, that’s like a second Christmas!)

My mother informed my father we should get some extra milk just in case. The streets were already impassable, so driving was not going to be an option. At a little after seven o’clock in the evening my father said, “Come on Walt lets go to the store.”

I was so happy to be included on this important mission- it was a man thing. Although the store was only three block away to me this was an epic sojourn of Lewis and Clark proportion. More importantly this was an adventure with my Dad.

We (my brother, sister and I) were the children of a second marriage. My standing joke was my father worked hard to get it right this time. He was a good father and a great friend- I miss him. My most memorable adventures were always with my Dad.

My mother prepared me to “go forth”. She dressed me in a stylish red, tan and brown-checkered jacket and dark brown insolated snow pants. Wool mittens and red galoshes completed the ensemble; then a wide wool scarf almost surgically wrapped around my neck. When the hood was tied it pushed my cheeks literally into my eyes. After a quick, but thorough inspection Mom determined I was now ready.

I hugged my Mom goodbye (as if this adventure was going to last days) Once outside my Dad and I paused at the front gate to take in the awesome beauty. The beams from the streetlights carved into the falling snow refracting it like diamond dust glistening in the pools of artificial light. Despite the swirling snow and violate wind the snowflakes seemed to rest gently one on top of the other.

The snow kept getting in my eyes and at first it was hard to keep up. My father was testing me allowing me to find my own way, but it was hard because the snow was already waist deep (remember I was six). It was important for me to keep up, after all I was a big boy and we had to bring the milk home.

Then I realized if I walked in my father’s footsteps, the path he was making for me I could keep up. I immediately changed my course to walk in his footsteps, because I know by following him I would arrive at my destination. We eventually arrived home triumphantly with milk and more important with a lifelong memory.

My father passed in 1998. He was an excellent role model, a good provider, but what he truly gave us was the time he spent with us- a priceless gift. He was at every baseball game, took us fishing, or to the movies and most of all he listened to us. He made our dreams as monumental to him as they were for us.

The story and the significance of the memory was the ability to trust the path my father made for me. For this reason my father is always with me and I am still walking in the safety of his footsteps today. In many ways it has given me the faith to trust the path the Everlasting Father provides for us all. To have the courage and strength to walk in His footsteps knowing that the path will always take us where we need to go- even in the midst of a storm.

 

 

 

 

 

1/27/15 O&A Inspirational Tuesday: My Beautiful Woman- Three Stories of Unconditional Love

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My Beautiful Woman is a collection of three short films of unconditional love sponsored by Wacoal, a Thai lingerie company. The Beauty Inside campaign that consists of three short 7-minute videos tell stories, based on actual events, of women whose quiet sacrifices — including for an unborn child — win the admiration of men who tell the stories.  Read More »

1/25/15 O&A Gospel Sunday: Gospel Mime

GOSPEL SUNDAY

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Mime has developed into another mainstream form of religious expression for members of the black church. In recent years, the black church has taken up the art form, reinterpreting pantomime and combining it with a Christian message. The gospel mime trend ignited in the 1990s as K&K Mime, twin brothers Keith and Karl Edmonds from Pittsburgh, began to popularize the art form. Read More »

1/24/15 O&A Its Saturday- Anything Goes: “Earned It” From Fifty Shades of Grey

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Earned It music video shows singer Abel Tesfaye enjoying quite an eyeful of Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson)  and several other scantily clad ladies. Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Wood directed the music video, and if it’s any bit indicative of what the movie will be like, fans can expect to see some serious skin. There are ladies with taped-up bums, X’s on their boobs and a multitude of other BDSM-style constraints sure to please the one and only Christian Grey. Read More »

1/23/15 O&A DIVA ALERT: The Fountain of Bakhchisarai Starring Galina Ulanova and Maya Plisetskaya

DIVA ALERT

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The Fountain of Bakhchisarai (Russian: Бахчисарайский фонтан) is a Russian ballet inspired by the 1823 poem by Alexander Pushkin of the same title. With music by Boris Asafyev and choreography by Rostislav Zakharov, the ballet premiered in Saint Petersburg, (then Leningrad) in 1934 at the Kirov Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet (now the Mariinsky Theatre).The Fountain of Bakhchisarai  Read More »

1/22/15 O&A Throwback Thursday: Anita Baker

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Anita Denise Baker started her career in the late-1970s with the funk band Chapter 8.  In 1986, she rose to stardom following the release of her platinum-selling second album, Rapture, which included the Grammy-winning single Sweet Love. To date, Baker has won eight Grammy Awards and has five platinum albums and one gold album to her credit. Baker’s vocal range is contralto. 

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Sweet Love

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1/19/14 O&A Inspirational Tuesday: Kevin Doe- Persistent Experimentation

Inspirational-Tuesday

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Kelvin Doe was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone in 1996 as the youngest of five children. His creative instincts have been with him as a child and he would often dream of solutions to problems in his community. At the age of 10, he started scavenging for scrap electronics parts from dump sites after school for his inventions.

Kevin Doe- Persistent Experimentation

Kelvin, together with his team, was a winner of Global Minimum’s Innovate Salone 2012 — the inaugural high school innovation challenge in Sierra Leone. He had built a radio station for his community out of recycled materials, in addition to homemade batteries and a generator. Kelvin was selected to travel to the U.S. in 2012, where he was invited to speak at the “Meet the Young Makers” panel at the World Maker Faire 2012 in New York.

Kelvin officially became the youngest ever “visiting practitioner” with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) International Development Initiative. At MIT, he presented his inventions to students in two D-Lab classes, engaged with community members at MIT, and participated in hands-on research at the MIT Media Lab. He has also lectured to undergraduate engineering students at Harvard College.

Kelvin’s experience captured on a YouTube video has been viewed over 4 million times and continues to inspire other young people in his country and around the world. Kelvin is presently continuing his high school education at Prince of Wales secondary school in Sierra Leone.

 

1/19/15 O&A Martin Luther King, Jr. on Income Inequality and Redistribution of Wealth + James Baldwin

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Excerpts from Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches dealing with income inequality and wealth redistribution. In a time when these very issues are at the levels of the 1930′s his words still ring with a clarity and truth. Plus an excerpt from an interview with James Baldwin who poses a chilling question for America.  Read More »

1/19/15 O&A Hollywood Monday: Yearbook

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Yearbook by Director Bernardo Britto is the winner of the short film Jury Prize for Animation at Sundance 2014.With the end of the world imminent, a man is hired to write the history of human existence. Britto’s film is insular, the script a narrated monologue (by Britto himself) detailing a single character’s evolving process of cataloguing the history of humanity. O&A NYC Magazine continues to feature short films by innovative artists for the month of January. Read More »

1/17/15 O&A Its Saturday- Anything Goes: Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show

It is Saturday
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Janet Jackson performed a medley of hits at the 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show. Jackson began with All for You, Rhythm Nation, and a brief excerpt of The Knowledge before surprise guest Timberlake appeared to perform a duet version of Justin Timberlake’s song Rock Your Body. The incident, sometimes referred to as Nipplegate was widely discussed, it also broke the record for Most Searched Event Over One Day. Read More »

1/16/14 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Lil Buck- Encore

Shall We Dance

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Charles “Lil Buck” Riley, was born May 25, 1988, in Chicago, while growing up in Memphis he was introduced to an urban street dance style called Memphis Jookin. In 2013 Buck just wrapped up a 9 month contract in the Cirque du Soleil show Michael Jackson: One, in Las Vegas. And in 2014, he presented his skills globally for the world to see. Read More »

1/15/15 O&A Throwback Thursday: Amy Winehouse

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Amy Jade Winehouse was an English singer and songwriter known for her deep vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres, including soul, rhythm and blues, jazz and reggae. Winehouse’s 2003 debut album, Frank, was a critical success in the UK and was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Her 2006 follow-up album, Back to Black, led to five 2008 Grammy Awards, tying the then record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night, and made her the first British female to win five Grammys, including three of the general field “Big Four” awards: Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year.  Read More »

1/14/15 O&A Auto: Mercedes F015 Autonomous Self-Driving Hydrogen Car

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The F 015 Luxury in Motion is a huge electric car that drives itself around, with passengers being connected at all times to the outside of the car with help of six high-resolution touchscreen display panels placed on the doors. Passengers can use touch, gestures and eye movements to see outside the car. Powering the car are an electric motor and hydrogen fuel cell, Reuters reports. The F 015 has a lightweight impact-resistant structure of carbon-fiber, aluminum and steel. Read More »

1/13/15 O&A WITH WALESTYLEZ: Parra Art Exhibit

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

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Parra an Amsterdam-based Dutch artist, is presenting Yer So Bad- his series of new works at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery January 8 through February 7, 2015. Yer So Bad showcases a continuation of Parra’s witty and salacious post-pop imagery. Titled after the Tom Petty song, Yer So Bad, which tells the story of a girl who marries a “yuppie” and takes him for all he’s worth, this exhibition features the artist’s signature hybrid figures and freeform typography in works on canvas and paper. Read More »

1/12/14 O&A Hollywood Monday: Super Zero: Badass Journey Into Zombie Awesomeness

Hollywood Mondays

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Super Zero: Badass Journey Into Zombie Awesomeness is a 2014 short comedy film directed by Mitch Cohen and stars Umberto Celisano, Giselle Gilbert, Al Bernstein, and Tyler White. Aside from having an amazing title, this short film is great fun and the plot follows a loser called Josh Hershberg, who has nothing left to live for suddenly finding himself in the center of a zombie apocalypse….where he finds out that he has something of value.

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1/10/14 O&A Its Saturday- Anything Goes: Gaga By Gaultier- A Documentary

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Gaga by Gaultier is an interview between Lady Gaga and fashion designer, Jean Paul Gaultier, that was filmed at the House of Gaultier in Paris, France, on May 10, 2011. Before the night, Gaga traveled to France from the UK. She went to the House of Gaultier where Jean Paul Gaultier and his team work on his design. He did a visit of the building before doing the interview. Later on, the two did a photoshoot with Slam. It was produced by Dak Tirak Productions and delves into Gaga’s fashion choices, music, and personal life. The interview was released on June 13, 2011. Read More »

1/9/15 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Black and Blue- The Musical

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Black and Blue is a musical revue celebrating the black culture of dance and music in Paris between World War I and World War II.  Choreographed by Henry LeTang, Cholly Atkins, Frankie Manning, and Fayard Nicholas the cast of forty-one singers, dancers, and musicians included Ruth Brown, Linda Hopkins, Carrie Smith, Savion Glover, Claude Williams, Roland Hanna, Grady Tate, Jimmy Slyde, Bill Easley, Jimmy “Preacher” Robins, Lon Chaney (the jazz tap dancer, not the actor) Bunny Briggs and  Dianne Walker. The Broadway production opened on January 26, 1989.  Read More »

1/6/15 O&A Inspirational Tuesday: Oprah Winfrey on Career, Life and Leadership

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Oprah Winfrey visited the Stanford Graduate School of Business and sat down for a candid interview on the lessons she’s learned about life and business throughout her 40 year career. During a student-led interview Winfrey shares seminal moments of her career journey and the importance of listening to your instincts. Winfrey also offers advice to students on how to find their calling, “Align your personality with your purpose, and no one can touch you.” Read More »

1/4/14 O&A Gospel Sunday: Donald Lawrence and The Tri-City Singers

GOSPEL SUNDAY

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Donald Lawrence took on The Tri-City Singers after a friend vacated his position as musical director. They derived the name from the three cities that The Tri-City Singers come from are Spartanburg, SC, Gastonia, NC, and Charlotte, NC. In 1993 the group debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top Gospel Charts with A Songwriter’s Point Of View on a then-brand-new independent record label called GospoCentric Records. Read More »

1/3/14 O&A Reposted: Herb Ritts – Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood, 1989 (a video tribute)

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An exhibition of rare, vintage photographs by celebrated American photographer Herb Ritts entitled Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood, 1989 was presented last year at the The Edwynn Houk Gallery,745 Fifth Avenue. The exhibition focused exclusively on the five models in his iconic work that came to define the era of the Supermodel. Out and About NYC Magazine has taken many of these images creating a  choreographed montage set to music. We are reposting the video with was first published on March 10, 2014 (the one month anniversary of the publication) in response to the interest in our new article on Supermodel Naomi Campbell.  Read More »

1/3/14 O&A Its Saturday- Anything Goes: NAOMI CAMPBELL – Supermodel

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Naomi Elaine Campbell, an English-born model, of African Jamaican descent and Chinese Jamaican ancestry through her paternal grandmother, who carried the family name Ming. Recruited at the age of 15, she established herself among the top three most recognizable and in-demand models of the late 1980s and the 1990s, and she was one of six models of her generation declared “supermodels” by the fashion world. Read More »

1/2/15 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Storyboard P- An Urban Storyteller

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Storyboard P has pushed street dancing in a darker, more mature direction of urban storytelling he calls Mutant. The twenty-three year old Brooklyn dancer  combines jarring feats of contortion, pantomime, floating footwork and simulated levitation. His choreography, most of it improvised, has a wide range of influences: Jerome Robbins, especially his work in West Side Story; the Nicholas Brothers, whose acrobatic tap-dancing routines amazed Fred Astaire in the nineteen-forties; and, above all, Michael Jackson.  Read More »

1/1/15 O&A Throwback Thursday: Herbie Hancock

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Herbert Jeffrey “Herbie” Hancock is a pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer. As part of Miles Davis’s Second Great Quintet, Hancock helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary architects of the “post-bop” sound. He was one of the first jazz musicians to embrace synthesizers and funk music. Hancock received fourteen Grammy Awards, five MTV Awards, and is the recipient of the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors.  Read More »

12/31/14 O&A Wildin Out Wednesday: We Say Goodbye To Three Comics Legends

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On the last day of the 2014 Out and About NYC Magazine would like to say goodbye to three comedy legends. Joan Rivers whose sudden accidental death shocked us all. Robin Williams; his suicide made him a real life Pagliacci- the clown whose happy face masked his deep sadness. And Bill Cosby who managed to murder his own reputation. O&A presents a glimpse at these “laugh makers” with The Roast Of Joan Rivers UNCENSORED, Mrs Doubtfire final scene, and Bill Cosby’s Fat Albert & the Cosby Kids in Diabetic Spanish Fly The Lost Episode.

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1/5/14 O&A Hollywood Monday: Late Bloomer

Hollywood Mondays

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Official selection at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, Late Bloomer is a compelling and humorous short film about 7th grade sex ed class gone horribly wrong. Directed by Craig Macneill and written by Clay McLeod Chapman, Late Bloomer is loosely based on the dark tales of H.P. Lovecraft. Late Bloomer received the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the Lake Placid Film Festival,

 and Best Short Film at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
. Read More »

12/28/14 O&A Gospel Sunday: Richard Smallwood

GOSPEL SUNDAY

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Richard Smallwood is the Black Brahms of Gospel music. His lush orchestrations and choral arrangements are the hallmarks of his signature sound. An accomplished pianist, composer, arranger, vocalist and choral conductor Smallwood graduated cum laude from Howard University with degrees in both vocal performance and piano, and  graduate work in the field of ethnomusicology. He finished his Masters degree in Divinity from Howard University in 2004 and was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2006. 
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12/27/14 O&A : Bugatti Chiron Coming in 2016 with 1500HP

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When will the world see a new Bugatti? That’s a question journalists and enthusiasts alike have been asking forever. After all, the Veyron has been on the market for almost 10 years already (since 2005). But there may be an answer to that question in 2016, when Bugatti is allegedly set to release the Veyron-replacing Chiron. It’s a car that will have 1500 horsepower and a 0-60 mph time of 2.5 seconds. Read More »

“Reincarnation,” film by Karl Lagerfeld ft. Pharrell Williams, Cara Delevingne & Géraldine Chaplin PLUS- The 2015 Chanel Collection

It is Saturday

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Reincarnation is the new short film created and directed by Karl Lagerfeld to accompany the CHANEL Paris-Salzburg 2014/15 Métiers d’art collection. This new short film was the perfect opportunity for Karl Lagerfeld to develop an artistic collaboration with Pharrell Williams, a close friend of the House and personal friend of the designer.  American-born British actress Géraldine Chaplin, (and the daughter of Charlie Chaplin) also stars in the film- her character channels the spirit of fashion designer CoCo Chanel. Read More »

12/26/14 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Alvin Ailey- Cry

Shall We Dance

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In 1971, Alvin Ailey created Cry, one of his signature dance works, as a birthday present for his mother Lula Elizabeth Ailey. Ailey dedicated the ballet to “all black women everywhere — especially our mothers.” The three-part ballet, set to popular and gospel music by Alice Coltrane, Laura Nyro and Chuck Griffin, depicts a woman’s journey through the agonies of slavery to an ecstatic state of grace. Cry premiered at New York City Center on May 4, 1971. Read More »

12/25/14 O&A Throwback Thursday MERRY CHRISTMAS!: Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song (1961)

THROWBACK HOLIDAY

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The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You) is a holiday classic and the most popular Christmas song of all times. The Christmas song written by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells in 1944 and was first recorded by The King Cole Trio in 1946. The song was recorded again in stereophonic version with a full orchestra conducted by Ralph Carmichael using the same arrangement for Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song album in 1961. Read More »