6/21/16 O&ANYC WITH WaleStylez-Song Of The Day:Bryson Tiller Don’t

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

 

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Don’t is the debut single by American singer Bryson Tiller. It was released on May 20, 2015, as the first single for his debut studio album Trapsoul. The song was produced by Dope Boi Beatz. Lyrically, at the start of the second verse, the song samples Shake It Off by Mariah Carey. This song peaked at number 13 on the US Billboard 100, where it became Tiller’s first top 40 hit and his highest charting single to date.

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6/22/16 O&A NYC REVIEW DANCE: Thelma Hill 40th Anniversary Season Continues

By Walter Rutledge

IMG_0050The Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center’s 40th Anniversary season at the Actor Fund Center, 160 Schermerhorn Street, is in high gear. The third evening presented new, emerging and mid-level choreographers with works ranging from ballet to hip-hop. The performance expressed the founding credo of the organization by presenting the diverse and innovative choreography of artists of color.

The evening opened with a series of solo works. Francesca Harper’s Deconstructing Flack consisted of two solo works echoing the theme of love and loss. Both works, set to the music of Roberta Flack, took the audience from prologue to epilogue.

Erika Lisaku danced the opening solo with a poignant despair. Harper captured the haunting quality of Flack’s First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. In the second solo dancer Amanda Sachs conveyed the acceptance of her situation. More reflective and introspective Ballad of the Sad Young Men had a feeling of resolve.

Toro (pool in a river) by Takeshi Ohashi moved with an elegant quiet control. Danced by Ohashi, with live trumpet accompaniment by Justin Osouna Chance, the impressive movement quality combined tight, isolated movement with sweeping floor work. The works fluidity and grounded quality evoked both the purposeful nature Tai Chi and the explosive excitement of break dance.

The last solo, William Isaac’s charming No Banana Skirt, offered an upbeat and fun variation. Amanda Smith danced the lively and energetic pointe piece with technical proficiency and an effervescent deportment. Both the performance and choreography encapsulated the fun spirit of the Josephine Baker’s rendition of Bye Bye Blackbird.

Purelements: An Evolution in Dance closed the first act with The Call by Men Ca. Danced by the junior company the work effectively blended West African and modern dance. The level of professionalism and commitment endeared this group of young performers to the audience, and became one of the most satisfying aspects of the performance.

The Hip-Hop dance crew Special Ops five-man dance crew consisting of Ptah, Floats, Twist, Press, Rachett and Ej wowed the audience. The crew exemplified the evolution of the urban art form synonymous with 80’s street culture to 21st century inner city storytelling through a codified movement style. Using Flexing (isolated movement and contortions, Gliding (floating across the floor) and Shotta Dance (derived from Reggae dancehall) Special Ops shared a gritty reality ripped from today’s headlines.

Nijawwon Matthew’s XY Dance Project transported us from rap to Bach with his ensemble dance Work Forty. The work blended modern, ballet, gymnastics and “Matthews” to create a visual and kinesthetic excitement. Costumed in white bras, and briefs the dancers donned olive-green ski mask type headgear by Project Runaway’s Mondo Guerra, which
 reminiscence Robert Rauschenberg work in Paul Taylor’s Three Epitaphs. Matthew continues to find his own voice, and we commend and encourage him to keep exploring.

Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance closed with Wild and Free! (Draft 5). The jazz infused modern dance ensemble work featured a cast of 23 dancers, and quickly evolved into a witty high-energy pure dance crescendo. Mosley’s ability to bring out the best in every member of the ensemble has become one of his true strengths.

Alexander Diaz distinguished himself with abandoned risk taking and a focused attack, which made it hard not to watch him. The duet between Christine Caimares and Riccardo Bataglia had a strong yet sensual combativeness attack that (thankfully) avoided violence.

The 40th Anniversary Season continues tonight with a new line up diverse choreographers. The roster includes Jamal Story, Jean Emile, HSA Dance Ensemble, Charles Moore Dance Theater, Ronald K. Alexander, Abdiel Jacobsen and Bones The Machine. The evening will open with a special tribute to Loretta Abbott presented by Tony and Emmy Award winner George Faison.

For more information and tickets visit www.thelmahill.com tickets can also be purchased at the box office 30 minutes prior to the performance.

6/20/16 O&A NYC WITH WaleStylez SONG OF THE DAY: Bounty Killer Featuring Barrington Levy – Living Dangerously

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

Bounty Killer Live

Bounty Killer (born Rodney Price; 12 June 1972; Kingston, Jamaica) is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall deejay. Allmusic describes him as having been “one of the most aggressive dancehall stars of the ’90s, a street-tough rude boy with an unrepentant flair for gun talk.” He is the founder of a dancehall collective known as The Alliance with deejay Mavado.

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6/20/16 O&A NYC WITH Walestylez FASHION RECAP:Barrington Levy & Jah Life x Supreme 2016 Spring/Summer Collection

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

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The legend Barrington Levy just did a collaboration with Supreme. Its an honor within the culture of reggae. Levy was born in Clarendon, Jamaica. He formed a band called the Mighty Multitude, with his cousin, Everton Dacres; the pair released My Black Girl in 1977. Levy established his solo career the next year with A Long Time Since We Don’t Have No Love; though the single was a failure, the fourteen-year-old was a popular performer at Jamaican dancehalls. Read More »

(REPOST) 6/15/16 O&A NYC DANCE: 5 Incredible Argentine Tango Performances

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Lots can be said about performance tango but I am a lot more of a milonga kind-of-guy. Milongas are social dance parties at the dance halls that are less formal, less rigid, and much more nuanced by the small dance floors and relationships that form. Milongas are a place to find “under the radar” performance gems. Here are my top 5 picks of the best Argentine Tango performances at milongas in 2014 (new rankings based on viewers’ choice): Read More »

6/14/16 Inspirational Tuesday: Comedian Billy Crystal Delivers Funny And Touching Eulogy For Muhammad Ali

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Comedian Billy Crystal looked back on his fondest memories of his time with Muhammad Ali during a funny and heartfelt eulogy for the former boxing champion. Thousands paid tribute to Muhammad Ali on Friday during an interfaith service that concluded with eulogies by his dear friends Billy Crystal, Bryant Gumbel and President Bill Clinton. Read More »

6/14/16 O&A NYC IN MEMORARIUM: Honoring Orlando- Don’t Cry

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Don”t Cry, an excerpt from On The Block (After Bearden) a full evenings one act dance work choreographed by Walter Rutledge and based on the six panel mural The Block by Romare Bearden. In the section a man, who deeply loved his wife, visits her grave. Her spirit returns one last time. The images were derived from the second panel of the Bearden rural. Read More »

6/13/16 O&A NYC WITH WaleStylez SONG OF THE DAY: Vic Mensa- There’s Alot Going On

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

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Victor Kwesi Mensah better known by his stage name Vic Mensa, is a hip hop recording artist & Grammy nominated songwriter from Chicago, Illinois. He is currently signed to Roc Nation and was a member of the group Kids These Days which broke up in May 2013. Following their breakup, he released his first major mixtape INNANETAPE. Vic Mensa is also the founder of a hip-hop collective Savemoney which includes frequent collaborator Chance the Rapper.

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6/13/16 O&A NYC HOLLYWOOD MONDAY: Kicks

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Kicks deals with the growing problem of kids getting your kicks (sneakers) stolen. is  Director Justin Tipping, along with a fresh-faced and veteran-filled cast, brings this epidemic to life.  The film is about a fifteen-year-old who discovers that a fresh pair of kicks can have life-changing effects in positive and negative ways. 

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6/11/16 O&A NYC WITH WaleStylez FASHION: Jason Markk New York City Special Pop-Up

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

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Jason Markk, who has the world’s first drop-off cleaning service for footwear in Los Angeles, will offer his service at a pop up service starting June 18 at the Footaction in Union Square. The pop-up will run through June 26 and the price for services start at $10. If you prefer working on your sneaker you can purchase the cleaning solution at KITH, Opening Ceremony, and J. Crew. 

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6/11/16 O&A NYC ITS SATURDAY ANYTHING GOES- DANCE: Stranger In Sweden: Storyboard P

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.
It is Saturday
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Storyboard P, a stranger in Sweden, a documentary film about Storyboard P, the Bessie Award winning dancer that New Yorker Magazine described as “the Basquiat of street dance will have it’s world premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest in the United Kingdom on Saturday June 11th. To celebrate the occasion Storyboard P will perform live accompanied on piano by composer Douglas Dare.  Read More »

6/10/16 O&A NYC WITH WaleStylez SONG OF THE DAY: Bryson Tiller – Don’t

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

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Bryson Tiller received massive internet attention from music industry insiders with his breakout single Don’t. These early co-signs from a high-profile record producer Timbaland and the Canadian rapper Drake, led into a major-label attention for Tiller.  On October 2, 2015, Tiller released his debut studio album T R A P S O U L, which debuted at number 11 on the US Billboard.

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6/10/16 O&A NYC DANCE: Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center Announce 2016 Artist Roster

Shall We Dance

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The Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center (THPAC) announced the roster of artists they will present for their 40th Anniversary season June 19 through 22 and June 28 at the Actors Fund Center, 160 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn. The Brooklyn based THPAC has presented companies and choreographers of color for 40 consecutive years making it the oldest continuous presenting organization in the country. The list of artists reaches back to the past with established artists while remaining true to its credo offering performance opportunity to the new and emerging.

“When you put it in prospective back in 1976 there were very few presenters programming artists of color,” states THPAC Executive Chairman Alex Smith Jr. “Dance Theatre of Harlem had made their premiere only five years earlier in 1971, The Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble (Ailey II) was two years old, and the George Faison Universal Dance Experience was one of the hottest emerging companies in town. We presented the controversial Eleo Pomare and female powerhouse Dianne McIntyre when mainstream presenters were looking elsewhere. We have planned an exciting season for 2016, look for some surprise appearances from our dance family.”

Over the last forty years THPAC has made it a mission to seek out the new and cutting edge. The organization has helped introduce many of today dance notables including Complexions, Ronald K. Brown Evidence, Kyle Abraham, Camille A. Brown and Sidra Bell. This year promises to be more than a retrospective; it remains a referendum on dance programming for artists of color.

 The 2016 40th Anniversary Season:

Sunday June 19
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Darrel Grand Moultrie                                                                                                                                                                               George Faison
Germaul Barnes
Gierre Godley
Johnnie Mercer
Philadanco
Rodger C. Jeffery
Tiffany Rea-Fisher

Monday June 20
Alpha Omega
Andre’ Zachery
Bloodline Dance Theater
Creative Outlet
DaVon Doane
Harambee
Judah International Dance Theatre
Patricia Carby
Rod Rodgers Dance Company
Sidra Bell

Tuesday June 21
AREA
Charles Moore Dance Theater
Earl Mosley
Francesca Harper
Nehemiah Spencer
Nijawwon Matthews
Special Ops
Takeshi Ohashi
William Isaac

Wednesday June 22
Abdiel Jacobsen
Bones The Machine
HSA Dance Ensemble
Jamal Story
Jean Emile
Orlando Hunter
Ronald K. Alexander
Walter Rutledge

Tuesday June 28
Marshall Swiney with Beauty For Ashes Contemporary School of Dance

Tickets are on sale for the 2016 Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center 40th Anniversary season. The tickets are $20/$15 (students and seniors) due to the exciting roster and limited seating advanced ticket sales is advised. Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.thelmahill.com. or in the lobby 30 minutes prior to the performance.

 

6/8/16 O&A NYC WILDIN OUT WEDNESDAY: Jimpire (Empire Parody)

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The Tonight Show introduced a parody called — what else? — Jimpire.  The pitch-perfect spoof reimagining Empire’s premise within the world of The Tonight Show. With a badly damaged finger and newly heightened awareness of his mortality, Fallon decides he must “entrust his legacy” at Tonight to one of three heirs: his bandleader Questlove, his MC Tariq or his business manager, Andre.  Read More »

6/8/16 O&A NYC DANCE: Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center Dedicates 40th Anniversary Season To Loretta Abbott

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The Thelma Hill Performing Art Center (THPAC) will dedicate their 40th Anniversary season to dancer icon and longtime THPAC supporter Loretta Abbott. The 4 day season, which runs from June 19 through June 22 at the Actor Fund Center 160 Schermerhorn Strret in downtown Brooklyn, will showcase 40 choreographers, and dance companies during the milestone 40th season. The artists presented range from early THPAC contributors including such dance luminaries as Emmy and Tony Award winner George Faison, Philadanco, Charles Moore Dance Theatre, and Rod Rodgers Dance Company. Mid-career choreographers Marshall Swiney, Ronald K Alexander, Germaul Barnes and Rodger C. Jeffery; and emerging artists Nijawwon Matthews, DaVon Doane, and Sidra Bell. Read More »

6/6/17 O&A NYC WITH WaleStylez RECAP: Pharrell, Nigel Sylvester and Their BMX Crew Take Over NYC

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

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Pharrell Williams, BMX pro Nigel Sylvester and hip-hop artist Joey Bada$$ have teamed up on Wednesday June 1 for an epic bike tour through the streets of New York City. The event coincided with the G-Star RAW grand opening on Fifth Avenue. The mogul, cyclist and rapper accompanied by a BMX posse made their way from Brooklyn through Soho to the new store cheered on by fans who lined the streets. As the night unfurled, the group celebrated the opening with a much-needed cocktail hour, to usher in a new era of denim provided by the experts at G-Star RAW

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