4/8/18 O&A NYC IN MEMORARIUM: Donald McKayle (July 6, 1930 – April 7, 2018)- Rainbow Round My Shoulder with Mary Hinkson

Dancer, choreographer, educator and author Donald McKayle passed on April 7, 2018 at age 87.  In honor of this dance icon O&A NYC posts his 1959 masterwork, Rainbow Round My Shoulder. Continue reading

9/27/15 O&A NYC Dance : From The Horse’s Mouth- Celebrating New York’s Clark Center for the Performing Arts

By Walter Rutledge

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Clark Center NYC will present a week of dance and related activities Monday September 28 through Friday October 2 at City College Center for the Arts, Aaron Davis Hall. The event is part of the “rebirth” of the Clark Center for the Performing Arts; the venerable New York City dance institution that closed 26 years ago. The new Clark Center NYC returns as a virtual dance center instead of a brick and mortar facility. Its mission is to not just honor past accomplishments but to offer opportunities to the next generation of dancers and dance makers. Continue reading

8/29/14 O&A Shall We Dance Friday (repost): Rainbow Round My Shoulder- Donald McKayle with Mary Hinkson

Shall We Dance

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Donald McKayle’s 1959 masterwork, Rainbow Round My Shoulder, is acclaimed as a modern dance classic. A searing dramatic narrative, it is set on a chain gang in the American south where prisoners work, breaking rock from “can see to can’t see.” Their aspirations for freedom come in the guise of a woman, first as a vision then as a remembered sweetheart, mother, and wife. The songs that accompany their arduous labor are rich in polyphony and tell a bitter, sardonic, and tragic story. It was created for the Donald McKayle Dance Company, and has been in the repertoire of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Batsheva Dance Company and Dayton Contemporary Dance, among others. The cast in the video excerpt includes Donald McKayle and Mary Hinkson. Continue reading

1/9/16 O&A NYC (REPOST) Bambi and Thumper – Diamonds Are Forever featuring Trina Parks- The First African American Bond Girl

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Trina Parks was born on December 26, 1946 in Brooklyn, New York. Her father Charles Frazier, was a renowned tenor saxophonist with Cab Calloway’s orchestra. Parks majored in modern dance at the New York High School of Performing Arts. She also studied with Katherine Dunham and subsequently joined Dunham’s professional dance company in 1964. Additional concert dance credits include Donald McKayle, Anna Sokolow, Talley Beatty, Geoffrey Holder, Eleo Pomare and Rod Rodgers. Parks performed in numerous Broadway productions as a vocalist and dancer, including a lead role in the 10th anniversary touring production of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies. She was the first African- American Bond girl Thumper in the 1971 James Bond classic Diamonds are Forever. Continue reading