12/24/21 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Ailey’s 2021 Opening Night Gala

As special holiday gift from the Ailey company to you, watch the Opening Night Gala now through Dec 28. The performance honors you, our audience, our inspiration. Happy Holidays! Featuring: Robert Battle’s ‘Ella’(performed to live music by Jazzmeia Horne) and the finale of Love Stories,’ plus Bird’ Lives!, an excerpt from Alvin Ailey’s For Bird’ – With Love featuring Company member Clifton Brown with students from The Ailey School, and Mr. Ailey’s beloved Revelations. Continue reading

11/26/21 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Misty Copeland- Black Ballerinas Work Harder

In 2015, Dancer Misty Copeland made history by becoming the first African American female principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Fast forward to 2021, and she has been on Time magazine’s 100 list and one Glamour magazine’s “Women of the Year.” Now, the New York Times bestselling author and trailblazer is releasing a new book, “Black Ballerinas.” The illustrated nonfiction collection celebrates dancers of color who have influenced her on and off the stage. Continue reading

10/22/21 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: A Conversation With Lloyd Knight

By Walter Rutledge

Martha Graham Dance Company begins it’s fall season on Tuesday, October 26 through October 31 at the Joyce Theater. Principal dancer Lloyd Knight discussed the upcoming season, working through the pandemic, and all things Graham with O&A NYC Editor-in-Chief Walter Rutledge Continue reading

7/2/21 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Champion Tears Autumn/Winter 2021 CRY/REVELATIONS Collection

On March 15th, 2021 Samantha Figgins and Yannick Lebrun of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater transformed an empty Queens Museum through movement. Continue reading

5/7/21 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: The Harlem Sandman (1943) Count Basie and Dorothy Dandridge,

Count Basie and his Orchestra play Harlem Sandman, an extended number in Hit Parade of 1943. It features Dorothy Dandridge and Jack Williams singing plus dance act Pops and Louis (Albert Whitman & Louis Williams) along with dancers Dorothea Durham, Neva Peoples & Ruth Scott.
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4/16/21 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Night Creature- An Ailey/Ellington Masterwork

Ailey All Access presents the online encore of Alvin Ailey’s Night Creature. This classic work is a perfect fusion of Ailey’s buoyant choreography and Duke Ellington’s sparkling music. Continue reading

3/19/21 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: DTH On Demand Presents: Firebird- (Last Day to Watch it !)



Dance Theatre of Harlem’s iconic Firebird places the Russian folk tale about a magical bird that triumphs over evil in an exotic Caribbean setting. John Taras’ choreography to Stravinsky’s familiar score was further enlivened by sets and costumes by Geoffrey Holder. The 1982 DTH production was a tremendous worldwide success.

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8/28/20 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Creative Outlet Offers Free Outdoor Classes

By Walter Rutledge

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.  

8/21/20 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s Shelter

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s Shelter is a passionate statement about the physical and emotional deprivation of homeless people.  Continue reading