Dancing While Black May 3-5

Mark your calendars (how many of you are still using paper calendars?) tomorrow through Saturday for the fifth anniversary of Dancing While Black. See below for more info:

Celebrate the voices of Black dance artists at Dancing While Black’s fifth anniversary festival. Presented by Angela’s Pulse and BAAD!, the three-day event will  feature performances led by guest artists, Dancing While Black Fellows and BAAD!’s youth dance program, AATT Academy along with post-performance conversations, a special screening of Gabri Christa’s Another Building dance narrative series, long table discussion and dance party.

Guest master artists for this year’s celebration include ArthurAviles, co-founder/artistic director of BAAD!; Chanel DaSilva, co-founder/artistic director of MOVE (NYC); Jason Samuels Smith, Emmy award-winning tap dance master and Donna Clark, associate director of Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company. Alethea Pace, J. Bouey, Jasmine Hearn, Kayla Hamilton, NIC Kay and Shelby Felton are featured as the 2017-18 Dancing While Black Fellows.

Dancing While Black’s Fifith Anniversary Festival takes place hursday-Saturday, May 3-5 at the Bronx Academy Of Arts and Dance, located at 2474 Westchester Ave, Bronx, NY. Tickets range in price from free and pay what you can to $15-20 for the dance performances on days two and three. For more information, visit http://www.baadbronx.org/boogie-down-dance-2018.html.

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Bronx SummerStage Schedule

I think one of the main reasons I look forward to summer in NYC is to take advantage of all of the awesome free things going on throughout the city. Case and point: SummerStage concerts! Check out the July 27-30 schedule below!

Thursday, July 27th from 7PM –9PM – Made in the Bronx presented by BAAD!

  • Modern, folk, flamenco and house dance from Bronx artists. Dance workshop 7pm for all ages and levels with Sekou McMiller, popular New York-based dancer and choreographer heating up the stage with his Contemporary Latin Fusion class that he has taught to students around the world.

Friday July 28th from 7PM – 9PM – La India

  • Legendary South Bronx Princess of Salsa, is a Puerto Rican singer and songwriter of salsa and house music. There will also be a all ages and levels salsa workshop at 6PM in St Mary’s Park / performance at 7PM

Saturday July 29th from 5PM – 7PM – Frankie Negrón

  • Salsa’s next definitive voice effortlessly blends tradition with pop, rock and reggaetón. There will also be percussion and dance workshops at 4PM in St Mary’s Park / performance at 5PM

Sunday, July 30th from 5PM –7PM – Lisa Lisa

  • 80s superstar who brought freestyle to the mainstream with hits like I Wonder if I Take You Home. 

BAAD is So Good

Last night kicked off the start of the 2012 BAAD! Ass Women’s Festival with a screening of the films B.D. Women and Standing on my Sisters’ Shoulders. Located just across the street from The Point in the Banknote building, BAAD (Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance) is an arts and performance space dedicated to the work of people of color and the LGBT community. I’ve been wanting to go to BAAD for a while now, so I was glad to finally be able to make it out there. Artistic Director and choreographer Arthur Aviles set the tone for the night with a brief history of the space and a striptease sales pitch for BAAD merchandise (so I definitely knew that this was a cool spot).

The films took a look on the Black lesbian community and the role women played in the civil rights movement. I was particularly moved by Standing on my Sisters’ Shoulders. I’m really interested in sociology and the film ties in with a lot of ideas I’ve currently got floating around in my head. The film really pissed me off, but made me proud at the same time. I was angry at the level of racism, which as more time goes on younger generations can easily forget the struggle and obstacle faced by our ancestors, so I think seeing the protests and rallies unabashedly was great for instilling and reigniting the appreciation within me. (SIDENOTE: I just finished reading Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness by Toure, which I highly recommend. It focuses a lot on what modern racism looks like compared to the more blatant form it took in the 50s and 60s.) The film is an important reminder of where we come from. We being every American. Especially given recent racial situations at Fordham, the Southern Mississippi  band green card chant, and those ‘Don’t Re-Nig in 2012’ bumperstickers. It’s all just one big WTF moment.

It’s obvious that more supportive places like BAAD are needed around the country. The BAAD!Ass Women’s Festival continues until the end of the month with a variety of different programs. Be sure to check out their site for full details.

‘Bronx Stories’ Showcases Borough’s Best

Friday marked the last Bronx Stories event of the year and it being my first time, I wasn’t sure what to expect. To fill you in, Bronx Stories is a storytelling event (including various mediums like music, poetry, fiction, spoken word, etc.) that’s run by the Bronx Museum of the Arts.  It features artists with ties to Bronx in some way, shape, or form and opens the floor up to any brave soul willing to share their work at the end. This Friday’s line up included author and executive director of BAAD!, Charles Rice-Gonzalez, poets Skye Cabrera and Latanya DeVaughn, and musician Craig Tindal.

Each storyteller chose a piece or exhibit in the museum to reflect upon and performed their interpretation of it. As corny as it sounds, I was moved by each performance. They each had something unique and poignant to offer and you should definitely look them up and show some love to these awesome Bronxites.

Oh, did I mention that all of this was free? Yep. The next Bronx Stories event will be in February, I’ll be sure to upload a remider post. I consider the Bronx Museum to be one of the borough’s best hidden gems and though I wish I could keep it to myself, I think it’d be better if even more people knew about it, especially in the Bronx.

Of course, I forgot my camera so I had to use my my Lackberry, but here is one that came out somewhat decent, featuring Charles-Rice Gonzalez.