4/29/22 O&A NYC MAGAZINE SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Fikshun Vs King Havoc-BattleFest TV Series (Ep4)

Battle Fest started in the basements in the heart of Bedstuy and Flatbush Brooklyn. Like most of underground Black culture the Hip Hop Dance artform has exploded worldwide.  Continue reading

3/6/22 O&A NYC MUSIC: Staten Island Jazz Festival 33- Her Legacy Continues

By Walter Rutledge

In August Universal Temple of The Arts founder Sadja Musawwir Ladner joined the ancestors. A fixture in Staten Island arts scene for over fifty years Ladner provided arts education, performance opportunities and outreach to the underserved communities of her beloved borough- Staten Island. Her untimely passing shocked and saddened all who encountered this “community spirit”, fortunately her legacy lives on. On Saturday March 12, at 5pm the Universal Temple of the Arts will present the Staten Island Jazz Festival 33 at the historic St. George Theatre located at 35 Hyatt St, downtown Staten Island.

The festival will feature jazz music seven artists/groups including Nikara Presents…Black Wall Street (Nikara Warren), Bria Skonberg, Winard Harper & Jeli Posse, The Leopoldo F. Fleming Afro Caribbean Ensemble, Danny Mixon Quartet featuring vocalist Antoinette Montague, Dal Segno Trio featuring Darrell Smith, Michael Morreale and Houston Person and The Universal Temple of the Arts Jazz Ensemble. The evening will honor Women’s History Month as it celebrates the life and legacy of Ladner. There will also be a spoken word presentation featuring Professor Charles Thomas, Jordan Bracy and dancer Nubia Briathwaite, and a dance tribute choreographed by Walter Rutledge featuring Roumel Reaux, Briathwaite and Rutledge.

Musician Darrell Smith will make his debut in the role as the festival’s Music Director. Smith first met Ladner as a sixteen-year-old jazz enthusiast, now his many credits include imbuing and inspiring the next generation of young jazz aficionados at Jazz at Lincoln Center. O&A Editor-in-Chief sat down with Musical Director Smith to discuss the upcoming festival and all things jazz.

Staten Island Jazz Festival 33

Tickets can also be purchased at the St. George Theatre Box Office.

3/1/22 O&A NYC INSPIRATIONAL TUESDAY: Halle Berry Wins Best Actress: 74th Oscars (2002)

“I wanted to believe it was so much bigger than me,” said actress Halle Berry of becoming the first (and still the only) Black performer to win a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Monster’s Ball at the 2002 74th Academy Awards. Continue reading

1/16/22 O&A NYC GOSPEL SUNDAY: Yolanda Adams & Le’Andria Johnson- The Battle Is The Lord’s

Le’Andria Johnson joins gospel superstar Yolanda Adams for a powerful performance of The Battle Is The Lord’s at the 2020 Super Bowl Gospel Celebration. Continue reading

12/21/21 O&A NYC MILESTONES: Happy Birthday George Faison

By Walter Rutledge

There is only one George Faison! Dancer, choreographer, teacher, director, playwright, social activist, entrepreneur and friend. George has been one of my inspirations and artistic standard bearers for most of my career. In 2017 the Ailey American Dance Theater presented an excerpt of Suite Otis, his iconic tribute to Otis Redding. Faison sat down to talk about this masterwork,  experiences in the Ailey Company and his arts aesthetic. Happy Birthday George.

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will present an excerpt of George Faison’s masterwork Suite Otis at their New York City Center season opening night gala, Wednesday, November 29 2017. Choreographed in 1971 for the George Faison Universal Dance Experience the work joined the Ailey repertoire in 1977. 40 years after it’s Ailey debut Suite Otis continues to excite and entertain audiences with verve, aplomb, fleet footed technique and imaginative Euclidean storytelling.

The company will perform the finale section set to Otis Redding’s Tenderness. The full cast section reintroduces the dancers creating a visually exciting yet compelling epilog. Throughout the work Faison (the imperial storyteller) does what every choreographer should do- invites us into his vision and delivers with clarity, focus and impeccable choreographic timing.

Balletomanes still long for the return of old fashion honest storytelling- the hallmark of Ailey’s original company. In Suite Otis Faison’s articulate use of the dance narrative genre captures the majesty and universal humanity of both Otis Redding’s music and the black dance experience. This gave him a voice in an era when Black American dance and culture had started to becoming a global  force.

Suite Otis- George Faison

What Faison did (and continues to do) is to keep the dance/theatre aesthetic in the forefront of the arts conversation. Tenderness will be performed for one performance only on Wednesday, November 29 for tickets and a complete schedule of the five-week New York City season visit ailey.org.

11/11/21 O&A NYC THROWBACK TUESDAY: The Temptations and Diana Ross & The Supremes- Ed Sullivan Show

On November 19th 1967, a special Ed Sullivan Show took place featuring newly formed Diana Ross and The Supremes and The Temptations.
Continue reading

9/21/21 O&A NYC INSPIRATIONAL TUESDAY: Debbie Allen Receives Governors Award At The 73rd Emmys

Debbie Allen the legendary actress, choreographer, and producer was honored at the 73rd Annual Emmy Awards Ceremony with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ prestigious Governors Award during the Sunday 19th 2021 telecast.  Continue reading

6/19/21 O&A NYC GOING BACK TO AFRICA WITH WaleStylez: Mr Tourism Nigeria Swimwear 2021

Here are a few of the Mr Tourism Nigeria 2021 contestants in their swimwear. Continue reading

6/18/21 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Ailey Juneteenth Celebration

Ailey Celebrates Juneteenth is an uplifting program that features performance highlights from Alvin Ailey’s Cry and Revelations, as well as Rennie Harris’ Lazarus. Continue reading

6/3/21 O&A NYC THROWBACK THURSDAY: The Jackson 5 – Dancing Machine

The Jackson 5 perform Dancing Machine on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (1974) Continue reading