8/19/19 O&A NYC HOLLYWOOD MONDAY: Rufus Jones For President (1933) Featuring Sammy Davis, Jr and Ethel Waters

Rufus Jones For President (1933) starring Ethel Waters, Hamtree Harrington, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dusty Fletcher, Edgar Connor, The Will Vodery Girls, The Russell Wooding Jubilee Singers.  Continue reading

8/14/19 O&A NYC WHATS HAPPENING THIS WEEK: August 13 through August 20, 2019

August is here. In New York that means lazy afternoon and warm humid nights- the perfect NYC formula for a good time.  We have great events indoors and out and many are free!  Here are a few of the many events happening in the city that never sleeps, guaranteed to keep you Out and About. Continue reading

8/12/19 O&A NYC REVIEW: Maze At The Shed

By Walter Rutledge and Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

Maze made its world premiere at The Shed’s Griffin Theater, 545 West 30th Street on July 24.  The production explores “the puzzles and poetry of human existence” taking on issues including the school to prison pipeline and systemic racism in the justice system. This new street dance presentation, commissioned by The Shed for its inaugural season, features sixteen dancers from The D.R.E.A.M. Ring and two performers from The Shed’s FlexNYC program. Continue reading

8/7/19 O&A NYC WILDIN OUT WEDNESDAY: Todrick- I Like Boys

I Like Boys starring Todrick Hall and featuring comedian/actor Luenell Campbell the track is from the HAUS PARTY album. Continue reading

8/3/19 O&A NYC ITS SATURDAY- ANYTHING GOES: Dashaun Wesley King Of Vogue

Dashaun Wesley, the King of Vogue, performs an improv vogue dance in collaboration with YOPOOSH.
Continue reading

8/2/19 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Boogaloo Shrimp- An Urban Dance Legend

Michael “Boogaloo Shrimp” Chambers a dancer and actor known for his role as Turbo in the 1984 film Breakin and the sequel Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. Continue reading

7/30/19 O&A NYC DANCE: Stanzas: A dance performance by Du’Bois A’Keen

Stanzas, A revolutionary change occurs inside the mind and soul of one man. A dance performance by Du’Bois A’Keen based on a poem by Aldous Huxley. Produced by Max Rothman and Du’Bois A’Keen with music by Leo Caruso. Continue reading

7/29/19 O&A NYC GOING BACK TO AFRICA WITH WaleStylez: Choreographer and Dancer Nneka Irobunda performs Adekunle Gold- Kelegbe Megbe |

Nneka Irobunda, Nigerian choreographer and dancer, based in New York City, began training in heels with movement director Danielle Polano, seen in Step Up 2: The Streets. Continue reading

7/27/19 O&A NYC SATURDAY MORNING CONCERT: Chris Brown And Drake Have A Dance Battle In “No Guidance” Video

Chris Brown dropped the video with his former foe turned friend Drake for their celebrated collaboration “No Guidance,” on Friday (July 26). Continue reading

7/24/19 O&A NYC DANCE: Dance Of The Village Elders At R.A.I.N. Nereid Senior Center

By Adewale Adekanbi

The Dance Of The Village Elders, a dance and fitness project for seniors, concluded a five-month residency with a finale performance on Thursday June 27, 2019. The project, part of the SuCasa arts for seniors program, sponsored by the Bronx Council On The Arts in conjunction with the NYC Cultural Affairs and  the NYC Department of the Aging. Choreographer/teacher Walter Rutledge conducted the project, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at the R.A.I.N. Nereid Senior Center, 720 Nereid Avenue in the Northeast Bronx.

This was the second consecutive SuCasa residency for Rutledge at the Nereid Avenue center. “I really was elated to be working with at the Nereid Senior Center again. I had built a rapport with the seniors and they had become part of my extended dance family. So, I was overjoyed to return to Nereid”, explained Rutledge.

Each 60- minute session included an opening stretch, warm up, movement/dance and warm down. The 10 minutes stretch combined relaxing simple movements to stretch to spine, neck, shoulders and upper torso. The warm-up contained exercises designed to prepare the body for movement, and to address additional physical concerns of the seniors. This section was very flexible, and exercises were added and deleted based on the weather/season and personal issues of the participants. An emphasis was placed on hands/fingers, rotator cuff, abdominals and obliques, hip flexors, and ankles.

Movement/choreography was interspersed throughout the warm-up to give the seniors rest breaks between dances. In addition to the benefits of movement for increasing muscle density and providing joint friendly cardio, fun remained paramount throughout the entire session. The movement component introduced movement that ranged from two-step, modified salsa and merengue, Caribbean and West African inspired movement, and social dances including the twist, cool jerk, and the Electric Slide.

Dance Of The Village Elders at R.A.I.N. Nereid Senior Center- Photo Essay

The sessions culminated with a brief warm- down. Soon pre and post “fellowship” time (about 10 minutes each)  became part of a continuing evaluation process. This gave us more opportunity to access what worked for the seniors and what needed to change.

Due to the diverse ethnic make-up of the participates the biggest unifying factor became the music. The Northeast Bronx is a combination of old neighborhoods with great ethnic diversity. The center included Latin, Afro- Caribbean, West African, East Indian, African- American, Italian, Asian- American and Jews of Eastern European decent. And through the music we were able to create a “cultural gumbo”.

The “audio” ranged from fifties Do-Wop, 60’s Rock and Roll, 70’s and 80’s R&B; with artists including Pavarotti, Celia Cruz, Bob Marley, Kirk Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Dion and The Belmonts and Feli Kuti. The participants in many instances knew the words to the songs and were encouraged to sing along.

Dance Of The Village Elders At R.A.I.N. Nereid Senior Center (Video)

The final event/public program entitled The Many Flavors Of Dance took place on Thursday, June 27, at 11am. The room was completely transformed by the staff into a festive “confectionary” representing The Many Flavors of Dance; the name was a metaphor honoring the center’s diversity. Over fifty seniors participated in the one-hour presentation; which included group participation from invited guests. The post-fellowship included lunch open to the seniors and their guests.

Usually the final performance is bittersweet, because it signals the end of the project. Fortunately, the Nereid Senior Center has decided to continue the classes as part of their in-house arts programming. “I was delighted when the classes were offered, this place has become very special to me. And I really didn’t want it to end”, said Rutledge. Rutledge will teach two weekly classes on Tuesday and Thursday from 11am to 12noon. For more information about Rutledge’s dance/fitness class and all of the activities offered at R.A.I.N. Nereid Senior Center call (718) 994-0132.

Photographs and video by Adewale Adekanbi Jr.