August 16, 2005 |
What makes a great hip-hop dancer? Rennie Harris knows, and he's not keeping it a secret. At the end of a long day of dancing he tells his students: "Hip-hop dance is not about the moves, it's about the spirit. You're reaching for the next spiritual plane on the dance floor. " You know he means it because each time he erupts into movement, with dreadlocks flying and feet swiveling impossibly fast, he burns so bright you can't peel your eyes off him. Harris' class was one of a dozen on offer Aug. 8, the first day of the weeklong Illadelph Legends of Hip-Hop Festival.
May 8, 2014
FIT AND FINE at 44, Ron Wood has seemingly accomplished the impossible. The Philadelphia native is a master of capoeira contra, a third-degree black belt, a choreographer, entrepreneur and hip-hop artist. But all that accomplishment hasn't gone to his head. "I'm never the best, there's always something to work on, and I still feel like I'm just learning my body," he told me. Born and raised in West Philadelphia, the humble Wood overcame poverty and escaped the street's many traps.
February 17, 2005 |
The vibrant culture of the state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil was celebrated in a dynamic evening of modern dance, capoeira and candombl? by DanceBrazil Tuesday at the Annenberg Center. The company's new piece, Retratos de Bahia, presented by Dance Celebration, was inspired by anthropologist and photographer Pierre Verge's work in Bahia, home to Brazil's greatest concentration of people of African descent. The eight highly energized sections show Carnaval scenes, rituals (including those of the African-based religion candombl?)
July 21, 2006 |
The Zen One Dance Collective will ride the heat wave when it performs with the Caribbean Youth Panoramics Steel Pan Orchestra at the Mann Center next week. As the third event in the Young People's Concert Series, the Caribbean Rhythms show hopes to connect the cultures of South America and the Caribbean to the local community. The three-year-old, Philadelphia-based Zen One will perform capoeira, a Brazilian dance tradition that appears theatrical but began as a way for slaves to master fighting techniques.
August 27, 1993 |
Solved: the problem of impoverished, understaffed, crime-ridden, drug- infested inner city schools. The solution: bongo music and a new Brazilian brand of martial arts that transforms incorrigible students into zealous anti-crime mercenaries determined to clean up neighborhoods and graduate on time. This is the innovative idea advanced in "Only the Strong," the story of fictitious Lincoln High in midtown Miami, a neighborhood dominated by Jamaican drug posses and Hispanic auto theft gangs.
March 27, 1991 |
No doubt many people who bought tickets to see DanceBrazil at the Annenberg Center Monday came to see the samba and the capoeira, the two most popular dance forms of Brazil. And those who didn't know what they were in for could chalk up the evening to an enthralling surprise - just the kind of experience that one wants from the theater. The samba and the capoeira, a martial-arts dance form, naturally came at the end of the show. But it was the long first act that best revealed why DanceBrazil is a stellar example of how to present an indigenous dance form to a mainstream U.S. audience.
March 4, 2003 |
When the world dance and music company Urban Tap performed Full Cycle this weekend at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater, it looked neither urban nor tap - at least not American inner-city tap. Urban Tap has been thinking and touring globally for seven years, tapping into a polyglot mix of cultures sprung more from hip-hop and the Brazilian martial art capoeira. The company creates a softer, more organic version of city and tap, not of mean streets, but clean streets. Group founder and artistic director Herbin Van Cayseele moved to New York via Paris and Riverdance, but was born in Cayenne, French Guiana, where his given name is Tamango.
January 23, 2006 |
Ron Wood is one of those star dancers you simply don't want to miss. A silky mover with unfathomable control, he is a featured performer with the famed hip-hop company Rennie Harris Puremovement. In his own Zen One Dance Collective production, Breakin' vs. Capoeira, seen Friday at the Harold Prince Theatre, Wood explodes onstage with 10 highly individual male dancers. And the effect is electric. After scenes evoking cycles of unending poverty and boys without committed fathers, the piece moves into audacious dance-offs between two rival groups: a bunch of capoeiristas wearing all white, and a parallel crew of "B-boys" in black.
February 6, 2007 |
Audience members were in for a treat Thursday night, when DanceBrazil brought its unusual mix of modern, samba, Afro-Brazilian dance, gymnastics and the Brazilian martial art capoeira to the Zellerbach Theater at the Annenberg Center as part of Dance Celebration's 25th-anniversary tribute to world dance. The company, based in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia, opened with Desafio, an exploration of how society forces people to conform or be left behind. The dancers, in strappy slave uniforms, began with slow group movement at one side of the stage, forming a beaten-down human wave.
February 15, 1995 |
The performing arts of Brazil - birthplace of Carmen Miranda, Joao Gilberto, and the notorious lambada - have a reputation for theatricality and sensuality. Both qualities were evident in Monday evening's performance by the troupe Roots of Brazil at the Zellerbach Theatre, as part of Dance Celebration's New Dance Series. Originally allocated to Grupo Corpo Brazilian Dance Theatre, the slot became available to the New York-based Roots when Brazil's new government suspended cultural funding.