5/26/15 O&A Dance: New Dance Documentary PS DANCE! Premiering on Tri-State Public Television

By Walter Rutledge

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PS Dance!, an inspiring documentary showcasing the profound effects of dance education in NYC public schools, will air on tri-state public television station NJTV on May 26 at 10:00 p.m. The television program has already aired May 15 on WNET (THIRTEEN), and May 17 on WLIW21. The full film will also be available for online streaming at THIRTEEN.org/specials. Read More »

Hollywood Monday: Vin Diesel- Multi-Facial (1995)

Hollywood Mondays

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Multi-Facial is a 1995 short film directed, written, produced, scored by and starring the 22 year old Vin Diesel. The story depicts the professional and emotional issues faced by Mike (Diesel), a multiracial (Italian and African American) actor. The twenty-minute film is semi-autobiographical, drawing on Vin Diesel’s own frustration trying to find work as an actor of mixed ethnicity. The film was noticed by director Steven Spielberg, who would cast Diesel in Saving Private Ryan (1998). 

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Multi Facial

In the early 1990s, Diesel returned from Los Angeles to New York, frustrated with his failures in Hollywood. Diesel’s mother gave him a copy of Feature Films at Used Car Prices, a book about producing low-budget movies. Diesel said that he found the book “truly empowering,” and it motivated him to make his own movies and wrote the script for Multi-Facial in five days. He produced and directed the film, shooting it over the course of three days for three thousand dollars.

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Vin Diesel also wrote and performed music for the film. However, Diesel became disillusioned by the response to the film and stopped work on it. With encouragement from his stepfather, Diesel finished the final edit and screened the film at the Anthology Film Archives in Manhattan. He received a strong response, and the film was accepted for the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. The film was screened to standing-room only crowds.

The closing audition scene in the film is unexpectedly emotional, and effortlessly, it organically concludes the themes built up throughout the film. A great showcase for Diesel, the film works amazingly well cinematically, making it one of the great short films on acting ever made. 

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NEVER GIVE UP YOUR DREAM !

5/24/15 O&A Gospel Sunday: Kim Burrell

GOSPEL SUNDAY

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Kimberly Burrell calls her musical style jazz gospel. Though she is comparatively new to the gospel music industry, having only performed since 1989, she has quickly become one of the most influential voices in the genre, often called “this generation’s Ella Fitzgerald.” In 2010, she founded The Love & Liberty Fellowship Pentecostal Overcoming Holy Church, where she serves as Senior Eldress/Overseer-Bishop. Read More »

5/23/15 Its Saturday- Anything Goes: London Broil – An Ideal Addition To Memorial Day Grilling

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It’s finally here! Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start of the summer season. And it is also the start of the outdoor grilling season. Grilling just doesn’t need to be confined to chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs, London Broil is an ideal addition to your barbeque menu.

What exactly is a London Broil? A London Broil can be defined two ways- one: is a cooking method; two: a specific cut of meat. London Broil is a flank steak or top round steak dish that, when cooked correctly, is filling, flavorful, and nutritious. Though the London Broil can be cooked in several different ways, marinating and slow-grilling the steak is an easy way to give it a great texture and flavor. Here are a few suggestions to grilling a London Broil.

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1. Buy good-quality steak.
There’s no way around it: if you use high-quality meat, it’s much easier to get a good-tasting result than if you use mediocre meat. While good chefs can make a tasty London Broil from a cheap piece of meat, this can be challenging, so opt for a high-grade piece of beef whenever you can. If you’re unsure of which cuts of flank steak are the best, talk to your local butcher.

In the U.S., the United States Department of Agriculture grades most beef as “Select”, “Choice”, or “Prime” (in order of increasing quality). “Prime” cuts are generally the most flavorful and well-marbled, so you’ll want to spring for these if they’re available.

Note that some butchers may label a cut of meat called top round steak as London Broil, rather than flank steak.

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2. Tenderize your Steak.
Flank steak sometimes has an unfair reputation as a tough, chewy, and flavorless cut of meat. However, this is only true if the meat is poorly-prepared. There are a number of ways to make flank steak tender before you even begin to cook it. The easiest way is to hit it with a tenderizing mallet on a clean cutting board. This breaks up the meat’s tough muscle fibers, giving it a softer texture.

Don’t use powdered meat tenderizers or tenderizing compounds containing extracts from papaya or pineapple fruits. These are tricky to use correctly and can sometimes tenderize the meat unevenly, giving it a mushy exterior and a tough interior.

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3. Marinate your Steak.
Banging your flank steak with a hammer isn’t the only way to make it tender. Flank steaks can benefit greatly by soaking them in a marinade before cooking — doing this not only gives the meat a chance to absorb the marinade’s flavor, but also tenderizes it slightly (though this isn’t true 100% of the time).

To help the flank steak absorb its marinade, score your meat before marinating it. Use a sharp knife to make a few X-shaped cuts on the surface of the meat about a half-inch or so deep before applying the marinade. Put the steak in an airtight plastic bag, pour the liquid marinade ingredients over it to cover it and seal the bag. Leave it in the fridge for at least a few hours turning the bag over 2 times.. Usually, about half a day of marinating will allow the meat to absorb as much flavor as possible. 

Tequila Jalapeño Marinade

1 cup tequila

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped

1 cup teriyaki sauce

1 clove garlic

1/4 sesame oil

1/4 sauce Worcestershire sauce


Salt and pepper to taste

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4. Heat your grill.
When your meat has marinaded a sufficient length of time, remove it from the refrigerator and let it start to warm to room temperature. While you wait, start your grill.  First brush the grill with a light coating of Olive Oil, let it reach a medium heat before you start to cook your meat — you want the grill hot enough to give the meat an initial “searing”, but not so hot that it dries out your meat during cooking.

For optimal tenderness, you want to use long, slow cooking after the initial sear. On a gas grill, this is easy — simply set one burner to “medium” and one to “low”. On a charcoal grill, this is a little trickier — you want to make a large pile of charcoals on one side of the grill and a small one on the other side.

For charcoal grills, don’t forget that the charcoals aren’t ready to cook when they’re flaming, but rather, when they’re ashed-over and exuding an orange glow.

 

5/22/15 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux – Patricia McBride and Mikhail Baryshnikov

Shall We Dance

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Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux with Patricia McBride and Mikhail Baryshnikov was recorded in 1979. George Balanchine acquired the rights to the music in 1953 and he used it to devise a party piece for a principal couple, amending the choreography each time to suit each pair of dancers. You have to admire Patricia McBride’s diamond-edged footwork including entrechats skimmed millimetres from the floor, or wonder how Baryshnikov’s twelfth consecutive double cabriole can look as easy and elegant as the first.  Read More »

5/21/15 O&A REVIEW: Newsteps –a choreographers series  

By Walter Rutledge

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The 2015 spring Newsteps held its biannual concert May 7th through May 9th at the Chen Dance Center. The series showcased five choreographers for three performances. Choreographers Jonathan Breton, Hannah Cohen, Bree Nasby, Janice Rosario, and Ashley Carter & Vanessa Martinez de Banos were selected through an open audition format. Each choreographer receive feedback from the panelists, a rehearsal space grant, an honorarium, and one on one mentoring with an adviser, which culminated in three public performances.

Hannah Cohen presented a duet entitled Genesis. The work opened with performers Brianna Dixon and Ricky Wenthen intertwined in a sculpted posed. The duet developed the opening tableau into a series of shared weight balanced movement. Cohen’s use of symmetry became a successful device, which enhanced the overall choreographic design.

It girl choreographed and performed by Bree Nasby begin facing upstagewith an isolated movements. Set to an electronic score by Rex the Dog the work quickly turned the isolations into simulated robotic movement phrases. The introduction of a less controlled middle section became the work saving grace. The undulating declaration subtly reverted back to the opening theme to conclude the work.

Janice Rosario presented Unlea(she)d, a cleanly crafted quartet. Performed by Kara Kaplan, Sofia Kezevadze, Deanne Martinez and Rosario, the work had a lyric quality that was occasionally punctuated with bursts of staccato passages. Rosario’s use of theme and development, canon against unison, level and symmetry/asymmetry helped to create a good architectural work with strong design elements.

Jonathan Breton designed his solo work Memories in two sections. The opening section had an abstract narrative feeling, the story of unrequited moved through a blend of ballet, modern and gestural movement. Breton performed with technical confidence and a free unencumbered port de bra. The work ended with Breton retrograding the choreography, performing the movement in reverse to end in the opening pose.

During the transition a shirt left in a center spotlight anchored the sections. The lights dimmed and Breton reappeared bare-chested sequestered in an expansive orange skirt-like drape. A sense of emotional resolve and introspection, echoed through the contrast in the movement, which was all performed without standing.

The program ended with Rights & Rites choreographed by Ashley Carter and Vanessa Martinez de Banos. Dancers Jaclyn Birkner, Jen Chiang, KP, Sofia Sereno, Mikki Shoji and Katie Sloan performed the physical choreography with the proper attack. The choreography relied heavily on unison, which as the central choreographic device has its pros and cons.

Unison provides a power from the en mass movement, but it also requires precision and structural disciple to create climaxes and anti-climaxes throughout the work. Without a strong structure the work will become “one-note” and will not have that rollercoaster effect needed for sustained unison. In this case the work would have benefited from more structural diversity.

Newsteps continues the tradition of nurturing emerging choreographers with an emphasis on process. The series holds auditions twice the next scheduled for October 7, 2015. Choreographers interested in applying contact Chen Dance Center at (212) 349-0438.

5/21/15 Throwback Thursday: Lisa Fischer- How Can I Ease the Pain

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How Can I Ease the Pain is a song by Lisa Fischer, from her album So Intense. In 1992 the single won a Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Single, Female and it also won a 1992 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. The hit song spent two weeks at number-one on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and is Fischer’s biggest and most well-known hit. Read More »

5/19/15 O&A Dance: In Black and White (Excerpt from Brothers) Commemorating the Birthday of Malcolm X

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In Black and White is an excerpt from Brothers a work about the relationships between men. This section deals with the civil right movement as seen through by Malcolm X. Performed by Hassan Blandford and Christopher Fishburn choreography by Walter Rutledge. Other sections explore the relationship between a Grandfather/Grandson and Jesus Christ and Simon of Cyrene. O&A NYC posts In Black and White to commemorate the Birthday of Malcolm X. 

Read More »

5/19/15 O&A Inspirational Tuesday: Louise L. Hay- Your Thoughts Create Your Future

Inspirational Tuesday

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Louise L. Hay is a bestselling author, speaker and inspirational teacher whose healing techniques, affirmations and positive thinking have inspired millions worldwide. She is the founder of Hay House Publishers. “What are affirmations and how can I use them?” An affirmation is any statement that we make—whether positive or negative. If affirmations are used consistently, they become beliefs and will always produce results, sometimes in ways that we cannot even imagine”. Read More »

5/18/15 O&A Review: The Reinvention of the Martha Graham Dance Company- Part One: Lamentation Variations

By Walter Rutledge

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The Martha Graham Dance Company is demonstrating how America’s oldest continuous modern dance company remains cutting edge. Under the direction of Artistic Director Janet Eilber the company has put into play new initiatives to attract a wider and more diverse dance following. Restaging abbreviated versions of Graham classic such as Clymenestra, seasons based around a central theme, and commissioning new works, including the Lamentation Variations have been part of the Graham Company’s 21st century reinvention. Read More »

5/15/15 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: 5 Incredible Argentine Tango Performances

Shall We Dance

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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):

1. Chicho Frumboli & Juana Sepulveda Performing at Dance Manhattan (NYC)
                                                                                                                                                                                                               

2. Ismael Ludman & Maria Mondino at Timisoara Tango Story (Timisoara, Romania)

3. Michael Nadtochi & Eleanora Kalganova at Prischepov Milonga (Russia,Moscow)

4. Gustavo Naveira & Giselle Anne – The Great Milonga at Goldcoast Ballroom (Coconut Creek, FL)

5. Claudio Gonzalez & Melina Brufman – Milonga Apertura at Rosario Tango Festival (Rosario, Argentina)

Written by Vlad Shifrin for Danceus.org

 

 

5/15/15 O&A With Walestylez- Fashion/Sportswear: Air Jordan Hare 7 Release Saturday May 16, 2015

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

 

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Air Jordan‘s 23rd anniversary is reintroducing one of the most famous colorways in the Jordan Brand archives with the Air Jordan Hare. The release date is May 16th, 2015. Prior to the Space Jam film, Air Jordan Hare was Jordan’s seventh signature shoe. It was the first collaboration with the Warner Brother Studio’s infamous Bugs Bunny, who helped sell the shoe across numerous ad platforms. A subtle white and grey base allow for the vibrant splashes of color on the neoprene mesh tongue to stand out. Rumor has it that the array of green and orange was created to honor Bugs’ carrot addiction while a more traditional Chicago ‘True Red’ stands out on the outsole and Jumpman branding. The White/True Red-Light Silver-Tourmaline Air Jordan 7 Retro Hare is priced at $190.

Read More »

5/14/15 O&A Throwback Thursday: Rick James- Super Freak and Give It to Me Baby

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Rick James was influenced by singers such as Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson, James started singing in doo-wop and R&B groups as a teenager in his hometown of Buffalo, New York. 1981′s Street Songs, launched him into superstardom thanks to the hit singles, Give It to Me Baby and Super Freak, the latter song becoming his signature song for the rest of his life, and the basis of MC Hammer’s biggest hit, U Can’t Touch This.

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His biggest crossover hit, Super Freak, which peaked at number sixteen on the Billboard Hot 100, and sold over a million copies. 

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Give It To Me Baby

 

5/12/15 O&A Dance: Jamel Gaines – Unsung Hero

By Walter Rutledge

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When you check the resumes of performing artists, so many did not begin their training in large renowned institutions. They usually begin at a smaller local school in their hometown or neighborhood. In these nurturing environments teachers taught more than dance.

Often these unsung heroes wore many pairs of dance shoes. They were chauffeurs, loan officers, guidance counselors, math tutors, disciplinarians, landlords and surrogate parents. They provided free classes, that they called scholarship, without the luxury of corporate sponsorships to offset the expense. But for the most part they provided a safe haven, and a solid foundation; not just in dance but in life.  

Whether it was a converted storefront, a church basement, school gymnasium, or after school program, you couldn’t wait to get there because even after a hundred failed attempts eventually you knew you would the words “Yes that’s it” usually followed “Now do it again”. It was that teacher, that hero, who first saw that spark in your eyes, and helped you turn it into the raging fire in your soul. Every dancer has an Aunt Joan, a Madame Cugjet or Nikita Talin whose dedication, conviction and love helped mold their artistry. And even now their voices and wisdom still resounds from deep within. Jamel Gaines is one of these heroes.

Jamel Gaines and Members of Creative Outlet

For twenty years Gaines has given his time, talent and personal resources to develop young people into performing artists and contributing members of society. His tireless energy and ability to show young people how “To be the best you can be” has not diminished. On any given Saturday Gaines conducts his school at Junior High School 113, 300 Adelphi Street in Brooklyn.

The school is a model of the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child”. Parents volunteers escort children to and from classes. They also operate a lunch concession where children and parent can purchase a hot meal with leaving to building. School alumni teach classes, and the company, Jamel Gaines’ Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn, consists of budding talent developed at the school and returning former students who are either between professional gigs or on hiatus.

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On May 15 Jamel Gaines’ Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn will celebrate the 20th anniversary with a three-day season at Kumble Theater at LIU Brooklyn, One University Plaza, Brooklyn. The performance May 15, 16 and 17 will showcase works from the company’s repertoire including the world premiere of Bitter Sweet, set to the music of Roberta Flack, commissioned by 651 ARTS. For more information and tickets call or visit the Kumble box office at (718) 488 – 1624 or online at creativeoutlet.org.

5/13/15 O&A Wildin Out Wednesday: Mulignans

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Brooklyn favorite and budding dramedy maven Shaka King got invited to Park City, Utah’s 2015 Sundance Film Festival with his unruffled humor layered in gutsy slurs. Mulignans borrows from the world of New York gangster flicks to confront unequal portrayals in Hollywood. Director King portrays social roles and race through the comic lens in a shocking, but funny race reversal. Read More »

5/9/15 O&A It’s Saturday- Anything Goes: Mother’s Day Brunch

Sunday Brunch Spread at Peacock Alley

Happy Mother’s Day! It Moms day so why not treat her to brunch? There are great places throughout New York City to share this special day with the special lady in your life. O&A NYC Magazine highlights four restaurants, that exemplify the diversity of  our great city.

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5 and Diamond, 2072 Frederick Douglass Boulevard (112-113th), is an quaint uptown eatery. The brunch menu has quite a few options including classics like French Toast, Harlem inspired Pancakes with Fried Chicken and Maple Syrup, and Low Country South Carolina Shrimp and Grits. There is an unlimited brunch cocktail option with any entree for an additional $16. For Brunch reservations, call or text Malandra at 917 514 6962

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Char No. 4, 196 Smith Street, Brooklyn, is located in a 19th century row house in Cobble Hill Brooklyn. Southern dishes and hospitality are the norm serving biscuits Benedict with smoked ham and sausage gravy, buttermilk pancakes with apples, and BBQ brisket hash to early (and not-so-early) risers. Whiskey is the house specialty, so make sure to try the chipotle-bourbon Bloody Mary or the whiskey milk fizz (Jack Daniel’s, cream, mample syrup, Amaretto and nutmeg). Brunch is served from 10am – 4pm for reservations call (718) 643-2106. 

Char No. 4 Brunch Menu

Blueberry Pancakes Maple Butter /13
Biscuits Benedict Smoked Ham, Poached Eggs & Mornay Sauce / 14
Mushroom, Kale & Cheddar Fritatta Crispy Fingerling Potatoes & Green Salad / 15
Pulled Pork & Cheese Grits Braised Collard Greens & Poached Eggs / 16
Poached Eggs Bacon-Cheddar Grits / 10
Pulled Pork Sandwich Kale Slaw, Jalepeño Mayo & Barbecue Chips / 14
Butter Lettuce Salad Sunflower Seeds, Sheep’s Milk Cheese & Sherry Vinagrette / 10
Smoked Ham, Egg & Cheese Sandwich Pickled Onions, Garlic Mayo & Crispy Potatoes / 14

Two Eggs Sunny Side Up
Crispy Potatoes, Pork Sausage & a Buttermilk Biscuit
includes coffee & a glass of orange juice / 16

Thick Cut Bacon /5
Buttermilk Biscuit Maple Butter / 4
Pork Sausage / 5
Crispy Potatoes / 6
Cheese Grits / 5

Chipotle Bourbon Bloody Mary / 8
Mimosa /7
Hound Dog / 10
Grapefruit juice, lime, mint, honey, bourbon
Louisville Sunset / 10
Pineapple juice, cranberry, lime, bourbon
Whiskey Milk Fizz / 10
Jack Daniel’s, almond, nutmeg

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The Creek and the Cave, 10-93 Jackson Avenue, Queens, is a chill dining experience filled with burritos, tacos and fantastic huevos rancheros, visit this Long Island City restaurant and comedy theater, which houses two stages and a separate dining area. At each table you’ll get unlimited tortilla chips and homemade salsa. Check out the patio or the downstairs bar and performance space, which hosts a variety of acts. The kitchen serves all kinds of savory Tex-Mex standbys, but for a twist, try the “yoga” burrito (avocado and fresh goat cheese) or the seafood burrito (fried shrimp or fish with wasabi sauce).

The Creek and the Cave Brunch Menu

HUEVOS RANCHEROS 9.95
A delicious stack of scrambled eggs, melted cheese, black beans, and guacamole, served on crispy corn tortilla with sour cream and your choice of salsa verde or chipotle

CHILAQUILES 9.95
Two eggs sunny side up with grilled skirt steak served with tortillas soaked in salsa verde with a drizzle of sour cream

BREAKFAST BURRITO 10.95
Eggs, homemade pico de gallo, with cheese and sour cream wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla with your choice of grilled skirt steak or chorizo sausage.

THE CREEK BREAKFAST 8.95
Two scrambled eggs, threes slices of crisp bacon & home fries.

SAUSAGE GRAVY & BISCUITS 6.95
(WEEKENDS ONLY) Two large, flaky biscuits smothered in a down home sawmill gravy with Chorizo made right here at The Creek.

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Peacock Alley at the Waldorf Astoria offer a Sunday Brunch that is truly a dedicant treat. Located in the lobby area (near the famous clock) of the Waldorf Astoria you will find one of the most sumptuous brunches in all of New York City. Sunday brunch at Peacock Alley is legendary offering diners an array of choices from lobster and caviar to mimosas and champagne; and, of course, breakfast favorites such as Eggs Benedict are also available. 

The Brunch at Peacock Alley

The Brunch is $98 per adult, $65 per child (ages 5-12), plus taxes and gratuity, from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm (final seating). Reservations are strongly recommended especially during peak times such as Thanksgiving weekend and Mother’s Day. Reservations can be made via OpenTable.com: http://www.opentable.com/peacock-alley or by calling (212) 872-4895. Jackets are requested for gentlemen but, not required.

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O&A NYC Magazine

Wishes you a Happy Mother’s Day

 Bon Appétit 

5/8/15 O&A Music: Kenya- “Music = Air”…Without It, She Simply Doesn’t Breathe

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Vocalist/Songwriter Kenya delivers smooth soulful vocals. Her jazz influence creates music that embodies a contemporary groove and has charted on the US R&B Billboard Chart as well as the Top 10 UK Soul Chart and other European radio charts. Inspired by American singer/songwriters such as Stevie Wonder & Lalah Hathaway and international groups like Incognito & Brand New Heavies, Kenya admits that “Music = air”…without it, she simply doesn’t breathe. Read More »

5/7/15 O&A Throwback Thursday: Donna Summer- Love To Love You Baby and MacArthur Park

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Donna Summer, a five-time Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter gained prominence during the disco era of the late 1970s. Summer has reportedly sold over 140 million records, making her one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. She hols the distinction as the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach No. 1 on the United States Billboard album chart and four number-one singles in the United States within a 12-month period.

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Love to Love You Baby is a song by American singer and songwriter Donna Summer released in 1975. It became one of the first ever disco hits to also be released in an extended form. The final recording lasted over sixteen minutes, and contained the sexiest “simulated” orgasms ever found on vinyl. According to the BBC, the song contained 23 “orgasms”. In an interview in 1976, Summer responded to a number of questions that she claimed she’d been asked about the process of recording the song: “Everyone’s asking, ‘Were you alone in the studio?’ Yes, I was alone in the studio. ‘Did you touch yourself?’ Yes, well, actually I had my hand on my knee. ‘Did you fantasize on anything?’ Yes, on my handsome boyfriend Peter.

Love To Love You Baby-Soul Train (1976)

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MacArthur Park is a song which Jimmy Webb originally wrote and composed as part of an intended cantata. Webb initially brought the entire cantata to The Association, but the group rejected it. Among the best-known covers are Donna Summer’s disco arrangement from 1978. In the autumn of 1978 Donna Summer released a multi-million selling vinyl single disco version of MacArthur Park. This reached number one on the American pop music sales charts for three weeks during 1978, and it was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Summer was also nominated for Favorite Pop/Rock Female at the American Music Awards.

MacArthur Park- Live (1978)

5/6/15 O&A Dance: Chen Dance Center Presents newsteps

By Walter Rutledge

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Chen Dance Center presents its spring emerging choreographers series newsteps, May 7 through 9, 7:30 pm at the Chen Dance Center, 70 Mulberry Sreet, 2nd floor (corner Mulberry & Bayard in Chinatown). Founded in 1994 the bi-annual showcase, (held in the spring and fall) provides young dance makers the opportunity to present original works at different stages of development. The five choreographers were selected for the spring concerts are: Jonathan Breton, Hannah Cohen,  Bree Nasby, Janice Rosario, and Ashley Carter & Vanessa Martinez de Banos. Read More »

5/6/15 O&A Wildin Out Wednesday: Men On Film- In Living Color

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Men on… (colloquially known as “Men on Film”) is the umbrella title for a series of comedy sketches that appeared in episodes of the Fox sketch comedy series In Living Color. The sketch featured two gay cultural critics, Blaine Edwards (Damon Wayans) and Antoine Merriweather (David Alan Grier), commenting on aspects of popular culture, including movies, art and television.  Read More »

5/5/15 O&A Dance: Jamel Gaines’ Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Retrospective and World Premiere

By Walter Rutledge

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Jamel Gaines’ Creative Outlet will celebrate 20 years of artistic excellence in a retrospective of the Company’s most acclaimed work on Friday, May 15, 7:30pm, Saturday, May 16, 7:30pm, and Sunday, May 17, 3pm at Kumble Theater at LIU Brooklyn, One University Plaza, Brooklyn. Read More »

5/3/15 O&A Hollywood Monday: Johnny Casanova the Unstoppable Sex Machine

Hollywood Mondays

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Johnny Casanova the Unstoppable Sex Machine is a short animation created in 2000. The lead character is Johnny Worms AKA Casanova, who just wants to be a hit with the girls. Despite loads of interest, the series never became a TV series. Simon Pegg played the voice of Johnny, written and directed by Jamie Rix and animation directed by Andy Wyatt. Read More »

5/4/15 O&A Dance: Un Mémoire Maya Plisetskaya (1925- 2015)

 By Walter Rutledge

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Maya Plisetskaya one of the most acclaimed ballerinas of the 20th Century has died of a heart attack in Germany at the age of 89. Known as both a superlative technical and dramatic performer, Plisetskaya was a mainstay in Russian ballet for more than five decades. Mikhail Chvydkoi, a former Russian culture minister, described Plisetskaya as a dancer who “was anchored in the Russian tradition but always tried to explore new horizons”. Read More »

5/3/15 O&A Gospel Sunday: The Clark Sisters

GOSPEL SUNDAY

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The Clark Sisters, Jacky Clark Chisholm, Elbernita “Twinkie” Clark-Terrell, Dorinda Clark-Cole, and Karen Clark Sheard are a gospel vocal group. The sisters are the daughters of legendary gospel musician and choral director Dr. Mattie Moss Clark. They are credited for helping to bring gospel music to the mainstream and are considered as pioneers of contemporary gospel. Read More »

5/1/15 O&A Shall We Dance Friday- Encore Performance: Le jeune homme et la mort by Roland Petit (Zizi Jeanmaire & Rudolf Nureyev)- 1966

ENCORE

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Le Jeune Homme et La Mort was choreographed by Roland Petit  choreographed in 1946 to Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor, BWV 582, with a one-act libretto by Jean Cocteau. It tells the story of a Young Man driven to suicide by his faithless lover. Sets were by George Wakhevitch and costumes variously reported as being by Karinska or Cocteau. Read More »

4/28/15 O&A With WaleStylez- Automobile: Brabus Range Rover Pickup

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

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The 2015 Shanghai Auto Show brings news of a new venture between automotive customizer BRABUS and affiliate company STARTECH. Making its global debut, this converted Range Rover Pickup has been kitted with 100 bespoke body parts made of aluminum, carbon and steel, complete with sizeable forged wheels that dial in at 23 inches. Aside from substantial exterior alterations, the standard engine was replaced with a five-liter, eight-cylinder supercharged variation touting 526 hp, enabling this beast of a vehicle to attain a 100 km/h speed in only 5.3 seconds.

4/28/15 O&A With WaleStylez – Fashion: Maison Kitsuné Opens New Store in New York City

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

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French high-end fashion and music label Maison Kitsuné has opened its second New York City storefront, located on Rivington Street between Bowery and Chrystie Streets.

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Co-founder Masaya Kuroki’s design plans for his new 700-square-foot shop were to offer a contrast to the brand’s first New York boutique at the NoMad Hotel, and the masculinity of the neighborhood itself, by articulating the space with bright tin ceilings, varnished oak floors and off-white walls. The entire men’s and women’s line will be on display, along with limited edition T-shirts and sweatshirts.

4/28/15 O&A Dance: Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center Presents PEEKS-Works In Progress

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Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center (THPAC), continues its on-the-edge PEEKS-Works in progress choreographers showcase April 30 at The Actors Fund Arts Center, 160 Schermerhorn St., Brooklyn, NY 7:30pm. The second installment in the 2015 season will present three accomplished artists who are at different stages of exploring “the art of making dances.” Sidra Bell – Artistic Director of Sidra Bell Dance NYC, Da’Von Doane- original member of the revived Dance Theatre of Harlem and Lloyd Knight- principal dancer, Martha Graham Dance Company. All of these artists are making their choreographic debut with our PEEKS program. The showcase is free to the public, with donation suggested at the door.

Da’Von Doane will present Interconnected. Interdependent, a quartet he describes as the imbalance between man/society and nature. Dance Theatre of Harlem dancers Ashley Murphy, Jorge Villarini, and Jenelle Figgins will join Doane. In the tradition of Martha Graham’s Lamentations Lloyd Knight will choreograph and perform Lost a solo set to Gudrun Gut & Myra Davies, Doug Fullington & The Tudor Choir. rendering directed by Sidra Bell will also featuring four dancers. Dancers Jonathan Campbell, Austin Diaz, Alexandra Johnson, and Rebecca Margolick will perform this new work.

PEEKS-Works in progress is a laboratory environment designed for artists to present concepts and ideas and receive audience feedback. The developed works receive consideration the annual Souls of Our Feet: People of Color Dance Festival. PEEKS is designed to give THPAC a year round presence on the dance scene, and produce and identify an ever-expanding talent base of new artists and new work.

The 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 LGBT. This PEEKS Works in progress program is curated by THPAC artistic advisor Walter Rutledge. For more information about the PEEKS-Works in progress email atthelmahill@msn.com or call 718-875-9710.

 

 

4/24/15 O&A With WaleStylez- Song Of The Day: Craig Mack feat. Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J – Flava In Ya Ear (Remix)

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Flava in Ya Ear is a single by American rapper Craig Mack. The original club mix single was released on 12 inch vinyl in July 1994 on the Bad Boy Entertainment record label, packaged with a series of additional remixes. The song features performances by labelmate The Notorious B.I.G. (the only time they collaborated while he was alive), Rampage, LL Cool J and Busta Rhymes. The song received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 37th Grammy Awards in 1995. Read More »

4/21/15 Shall We Dance Friday: Maya Angelou’s Harlem Hopscotch: Official Music Video

Shall We Dance

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The official music video for Dr. Maya Angelou’s Harlem Hopscotch. Dr. Angelou’s inspiring song is featured on the newly released album Caged Bird Songs, produced RoccStar and Shawn Rivera by of the R&B vocal pop group Az Yet. The song is about encouraging everyone, especially young people to persevere through life despite any obstacles!  Read More »

4/23/15 O&A Dance: Youth America Grand Prix – Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow Gala

By Walter Rutledge

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The 2015 Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) held their culminating gala event on Thursday, April 16, at the Koch Theatre, Lincoln Center. The evening aptly dubbed Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow showcased the talent of aspiring youth and their professional counterparts. The night was an exciting mix of promise, perfection and professionalism. Read More »

4/22/15 O&A Music: The “Hoff” Is Back- David Hasselhoff – True Survivor

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True Survivor is the ultimate homage to the decade of excess, featuring David Hasselhoff belting out a power anthem that would be right at home during a training montage in Rocky, The Karate Kid, or just about any buddy cop movie from the ’80s. Kung Fury is an insane-looking martial arts/comedy movie that’s been generating a fairly large amount of Internet buzz thanks to its plotline involving a renegade cop going back in time to kill Hitler, the Kung Fuhrer Read More »

4/22/15 O&A Wildin Out Wednesday: Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood

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Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (or simply Don’t Be a Menace)  The film spoofs a number of black, coming-of-age, hood films such as Juice, Jungle Fever, South Central, Higher Learning, Do the Right Thing, Poetic Justice, New Jack City, Dead Presidents, Friday, and most prominently Boyz n the Hood and Menace II Society. Read More »

4/21/15 O&A inspirational Tuesday: The Promise

Inspirational-Tuesday

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The Promise is a heartwarming story about a widowed father and his son, whose lives are intertwined with a red umbrella they share. Spanning three decades, from the 1980s to modern-day Singapore, their story culminates in a revelation about the umbrella and how it symbolizes a promise that binds three generations past, present and future. Read More »

4/21/15 O&A REVIEW: Philadanco- Having Our Say…The Voices of Women Choreographers

By Walter Rutledge

PHILADANCO-jpegPhiladanco celebrated the 45th anniversary of the company Friday, April 17 through Sunday, April 19 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The program entitled Having Our Say…The Voices of Women Choreographers was an homage to the talents of female artists. The concert featured the work of four dance makers Diane McIntyre, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Bebe Miller and Dawn Marie Bazemore; and a tribute to performing artist, the late Mary Hinkson Jackson.   Read More »

4/18/15 O&A REVIEW: National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica

By Walter Rutledge

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The National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) of Jamaica returned to the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College for two performances March 21 and 22. The presentation more closely resembled an event, than merely a performance. The large all volunteer touring company is comprised of eighteen dancers, ten singers and seven musicians. Read More »

4/19/15 O&A With WaleStylez- Fashion: New York Fashion Week Will Debut in Two Locations

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

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New York Fashion Week, the biannual fashion extravaganza will be moved to two new locations beginning fall 2015. Moynihan Station (Midtown West) 

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and Skylight Clarkson Square (Tribeca) were chosen by IMG, along with New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio. This is a definite coup for the Skylight Group that runs both locations.

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Lincoln Center was slated to house Fashion Week until 2020. The deal was dissolved when park advocates filed a suit against the event for encroaching on a small park nearby. To reduce chaos IMG suggested that some brands may be omitted from the schedule and that transportation will be provided. The also mentioned in a release that New York Fashion Week will also include a more carefully curated designer schedule that will be complemented by strategic partner alliances. We will have to wait until NWFW Spring 2016, scheduled September 10 through 17, to see how fashion editors, celebrities, designers and the public navigates the multiple locations.

4/19/15 O&A Gospel Sunday: Fred Hammond- I Will Trust

GOSPEL SUNDAY

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I Will Trust is the twelfth solo album from Contemporary Gospel singer Fred Hammond. The album was released on November 17, 2014 through RCA Records. I Will Trust sees Fred Hammond freshly inspired after he underwent double knee replacement. Feelings of gratefulness and unswerving trust fill the album, which is jubilant—often to a full-tilt extent—even at its most reflective.  Read More »

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.

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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.

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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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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 »

3/20/15 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Bones The Machine

 

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Steven Hill, aka Bones The Machine is a Flex dancer, actor and model. He performs jaw-dropping style of dance that originated from Jamaican brukup, and is rooted in the streets of east Brooklyn. The dance, which consists mainly of shapes you form with your arms, is called ‘Bone Breaking’ as it really looks like Steven has traded his skeleton for some sort of elastic gum. Bones has spent several years to develop his unique technique where he mixes contortion and improvisation with other styles from parallel dance movements such as tutting, popping, connecting and waving – and even a bit of ballet. 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