The Masaka Kids Africanais composed of Uganda-based children’s group, from the age of 2 and up. Many have lost one or both parents through the devastation of war, famine and disease. They represent all the children of a continent and they demonstrate the potential of African children to become strong leaders for a better future in their land. Continue reading
The bright late morning sun was still drying the dew off the grass, but Fort Green Park was already bustling with energy. As I climbed the white marble stairs the sound of music greeted me halfway up. Patiently waiting at the base of the Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument was Jamel Gaines, a tall man sporting a retro curly “fro”.
Soon the large plaza in front of the monument begin to fill with dancers of all ages, shapes and sizes. Gaines, the founder of Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn, has spent the more than 25 years building and cultivating the performing arts in Brooklyn. Long before Starbucks, trendy bars and little ugly dogs found Brooklyn’s urban landscape; Gaines had established an artistic foothold in the Fort Green section at 138 S Oxford Street.
If you have ever visited the Creative Outlet school, it has a feeling of a community/village. Parents monitor classes and assist with moving younger students between classrooms, there is a lunch concession that offers affordable hot meals and healthy snacks to the participants and family members. The focused classes resembled the most disciplined arts academy; the biggest difference of was the amount of melanin.
The pandemic put an end to the communal learning approach, and the use of traditional performing venues. Creative Outlet was forced to close its studios, but not suspend activities. Staying true to form Gaines began teaching free classes outdoors at Fort Green Park three days a week.
Creative Outlet Free Dance Class
On Thursday and Friday at 6pm and on Saturday at 11am Creative Outlet offers free classes dubbed as, “Culturally Healing and Movement Classes”. There are classes for all ages including a fun jazz-based movement class for children on Saturday morning. One of the most reassuring elements about these classes is that Gaines has brought Creative Outlet’s feeling of community with him. The first outdoor class had only six attendees; now there are over forty artists of all ages.
In addition to dance classes the Creative Outlet Queens, an interdisciplinary and multi-generational performing ensemble that also rehearses at Fort Green Park. The “Queens” will perform at Peace One Love a Black Lives Matter celebration on Saturday August 29th from 2-5pm at the Black Lives Matter Mural at Restoration Plaza (Fulton Street between New York Ave. and Brooklyn Ave). Although this is an outdoor event please practice social distancing whenever possible and please wear a mask.
Dance has always been a catalyst for change. In 1936 Martha Graham created her masterwork Chronicles as a weapon against the rising menace of fascism in Germany. In 1959 Donald McKayle’s Rainbow Round My Shoulder evoked the hopelessness and inequality of Black men on a southern prison chain gang. On Saturday August 29 Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn (also known as Creative Outlet or just C.O.) will also use the power of dance to heal a community with Peace One Love, an afternoon of the arts celebrating the spirit of the now internationally recognized Black Lives Matter movement. Continue reading
The 2018 return of Geoffrey Holder’s masterwork Dougla to the repertoire Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) was a resounding success. The work is a sensorially sumptuous movement fest; and it is no wonder Dougla has remained an audience favorite since its premiere on April 16, 1974.
African traditional Dances refers mainly to the dances performed by the cultural communities found in continent. Communities use these dances to teach, to socialize, ceremonies and for celebrating festivals and moaning funerals while Some dances are exclusively used for spiritual or religious practices. Continue reading
28MONDAY MEDITATIONS WITH KARINE PLANTADIT from 12:00 am to 12:30 pm
29@CookingWithKu- Vegan Dining With Akua Noni Parker from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm
September 24, 2020
Dance Of The Village Elders- Zoom with WalterDance Of The Village Elders- Zoom with WalterTime: 11:00 am The Dance of the Village Elders are back ! This time we exercise, dance and just have fun through the zoom platform
MONDAY MEDITATIONS WITH KARINE PLANTADITMONDAY MEDITATIONS WITH KARINE PLANTADITTime: 12:00 am - 12:30 pm Monday Meditations will take over the SummerStage Instagram channel live every Monday at 12:00PM EST for a 30 minute workshop focused on keeping your mind and body happy, healthy and active with guest host Karine Plantadit, former Alvin Ailey and Broadway Tony Award nominated dancer (Come Fly Away, The Lion King), instructor, choreographer, certified yoga teacher and life coach.
September 29, 2020
@CookingWithKu- Vegan Dining With Akua Noni Parker@CookingWithKu- Vegan Dining With Akua Noni ParkerTime: 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Learn how to prepare healthy Vegan meals with Ailey principal dancer Akua Noni Parker. Akua invites us into her kitchen every week on Tuesday at 5pm. Ingredients are list prior so we can all enjoy CookingWithKu.