6/15/17 O&A NYC THROWBACK THURSDAY PRIDE MONTH: Sylvester

Throwback Thursday logo 2

Redo-Slyvester

Sylvester James, Jr., better known as disco and soul singer-songwriter Sylvester, was often described by the mainstream media as a drag queen, but he repeatedly rejected such a description. His flamboyant and androgynous appearance exemplified  the late 1970s. Sylvester became known in the United States under the moniker of the “Queen of Disco.” Continue reading

1/8/17 O&A NYC (REPOST WITH NEW INTRODUCTION): Gospel Artist Makes Medical Discovery

By Walter Rutledge

Once again a Bible Bigot, this time Kim Burrell, has misused scripture to preach hate and exclusion. The article below originally appeared in Harlem World Magazine in the summer of 2010 shortly after the Deitrick Haddon/Tonex twitter scandal broke. For years the gospel industry had made subtle references and caddy “humorous” comments  about Tonex’s flamboyant gospel stage show. But there was nothing subtle about their reaction when Tonex decided to live in his own truth. Continue reading

6/1/16 0&A NYC CELEBRATES LGBT HISTORY MONTH: Sylvester

Redo-Slyvester

Sylvester James, Jr. better known as Sylvester, was a disco and soul singer-songwriter. Known for his flamboyant and androgynous appearance that exemplified the era. Sylvester was often described by the mainstream media as a drag queen, but he repeatedly rejected such a description. Responsible for a string of hit singles in the late 1970s, Sylvester became known in the United States under the moniker of the “Queen of Disco.” Continue reading

7/28/15 O&A REVIEW: The 2015 Fire Island Dance Festival

By Walter Rutledge

Fire-Island-Dance-Festival-2015-cast-photo-by-Daniel-Roberts

The Fire Island Dance Festival 2015 took place July 17- 19 in Fire Island Pines. The three-day dance event has become Fire Island’s premiere summer dance showcase; spotlighting the talents of new, emerging and established choreographers, dancers and dance companies. This year the festival presented ten works by nine choreographers, and featuring forty-three performing artists.

Due to the high level of artistry and the picturesque setting (overlooking the bay) the entertainment element is the festival’s focal point; but the purpose and mission should always be reinforced and reiterated at every opportunity. The Fire Island Dance Festival is the successful result of two communities that have been greatly impacted by HIV/AIDS coming together to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable. Dancer Responding To AIDS (DRA) was founded in 1991 during the bleakest days for the AIDS pandemic.

The Fire Island Dance Festival achieves its goal through the very essence of the art form- by sharing. The response and generosity of the dance and Fire Island communities has allowed DRA to surpass the previous year’s financial accomplishments. This year the festival raised $544,555 that will assist in their year round support for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Due to the freelance nature of the “no business like show business”, many artists living with HIV/AIDS lack adequate health services, emergency financial assistance and contingency funds, lifesaving medications, counseling, healthy meals, and vital support systems. Through various programs including The Actors Fund, the HIV/AIDS Initiative and The Dancers’ Resource, artists and the community at large receive assistance.

 Desmond-Richardson-Fire-Island-Dance-Festival-2015-photo-by-Daniel-Roberts

Festival host Desmond Richardson is quickly becoming dance’s eloquent elder statesmen. Richardson (who participated in the very first festival) is also co-founder of Complexions Contemporary Ballet; and along with Artistic Director Dwight Rhoden remain a staple throughout the festival’s 21-year history. This year Rhoden offered a solo set two Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, and performed by his present muse Clifford Williams. Williams gave an articulate and impassioned performance.

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The ten works ranged from lighthearted dance theatre to ballet bravura, which epitomized the range, scope and inclusiveness of the event and the mission. Choreographers: Joshua Beamish, Al Blackstone, Pontus Lidberg, Duncan Lyle, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Stephen Petronio, Jules Perrot, Dwight Rhoden, Manuel Vignoulle, and Charlie Williams.

Dance Companies: Ailey II, Ballet Hispanico, Intermezzo Dance Company, Joshua Beamish/Move: the company, Manuel Vignoulle Dance– M/motions, and Pontus Lidberg Dance.

And dancers: Paulo Arrais, Alex Biegelson, Biscuit, Shay Bland, Christopher Bloom, Mary Carmen Catoya, Chloe Cambelll, Marc Cardarelli, Mario Ismael Espinoza, Mark Gieringer, Jacob Guzman, Christopher Hernandez, Jakob Karr, Justin Keats, Dimitri Kleioris, Lindsay Janisse, Adrian Lee, Pontus Lidberg, Kourtni Lind, Reed Luplau, Chase Madigan, Raymond Matasamura, Johan Rivera Mendez, Adam Perry, Karine Plantadit, Kleber Rebello, Isaies Santamaria, Logan Schyvynck, Nicholas Sciscione, Corey Snide, Terrell Spence, Manuel Vignoulle Clifford Williams, Stephanie Williams, and Joshua Winzeler should all be commended for donating their time and sharing their artistry.  

The Fire Island Dance Festival is a once a year event that take place on the third Saturday of July, but the services provided by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS are year round. DRA supports more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states.To find out more about the programs and service provide or to make a donation visit dradance.org.

1) 2015 Fire Island Dance Festival 2) Desmond Richardson

Daniel Roberts Photographer

On Carousel  1) Pontus Lidberg Dance 2) Mary Carmen Catoya and Kleber Rebello 3) Manuel  Vignoulle Dance M/motions 4) Joshua Beamish/Move: the company 5) Charlie Williams 6) Ballet Hispanico 7) Al Blackstone 8) Ailey II 9) 10 Hairy Legs

Whitney Browne Photographer

 

9/25/14 O&A Throwback Thursday: Sylvester

Throwback Thursday logo 2

Redo-Slyvester

Sylvester James, Jr. better known as Sylvester, was a disco and soul singer-songwriter. Known for his flamboyant and androgynous appearance that exemplified the era. Sylvester was often described by the mainstream media as a drag queen, but he repeatedly rejected such a description. Responsible for a string of hit singles in the late 1970s, Sylvester became known in the United States under the moniker of the “Queen of Disco.” Continue reading

1/8/17 O&A NYC: Gospel Artist Makes Medical Discovery (reprint)

By Walter Rutledge

Once again a Bible Bigot, this time Kim Burrell, has misused scripture to preach hate and exclusion. The article below originally appeared in Harlem World Magazine in the summer of 2010 shortly after the Deitrick Haddon/Tonex twitter scandal broke. For years the gospel industry had made subtle references and caddy “humorous” comments  about Tonex’s flamboyant gospel stage show. But there was nothing subtle about their reaction when Tonex decided to live in his own truth. Continue reading