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The Urban Dance Theatre Festival 2014, curated by Executive Director, Junious Brickhouse, in collaboration with Dance Place and Creative Alliance, explores Hip-Hop’s capacity to circumvent the constraints and limiting social conditions of communities worldwide through embracing the diversity. Featuring debut performances from internationally acclaimed artists: Ariston “B-Boy ReMind” Ripoyla from the legendary Style Elements Crew out of Stockton, California; Sara “Lil Flex” Hirn from Helsinki, Finland; G-Force, the Memphis Jookin’ pioneers out of Tennessee; and new works from Urban Artistry.
SOUL Purpose is an interactive urban dance showcase and cypher jam followed by a dance party for the audience and dancers. The three performed dance pieces, showcasing Urban Artistry’s strength in urban dance, particularly house and hip hop, take the audience on a journey through three different stories connected by a shared dream. This journey exposes the challenges and rewards of sustaining a shared vision for artistic clarity, fearlessness, and commitment to embracing change and cultural differences.
SOUL Purpose’s three part performance begins with “One Dream”– a story about the inception of a shared vision of individuals conspiring together to face adversity through embracing their differences. The second piece, “Free From Me” is about the personal struggles to overcome oneself, that the battle for improvement is often within ourselves. Lastly “The Morning After” takes place the morning after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. It is a metaphor for the challenges of putting the MLK’s Dream into action and sustaining the lessons from previous generations. There are always different perspectives about a single event, this piece highlights the importance of experiencing each persons story. Finding a stronger sense of identity and life purpose through art and movement is a cornerstone of Urban Artistry’s mission. This collective show expounds on the real causes and motivations behind the dancing feet of Urban Artistry.
Electronic Movement Urban Artistry and Forward Festival presented the first in a series of shows featuring Electronic Music paired with innovative dance and visuals in the theater setting. This album captures the July 11th & July 12th shows from the performers’ perspective. Take a look as you see the performance behind the movement.
In Origins: One Heart Beat, Capitol Tap, Coyaba Dance Theater, and Urban Artistry explore the parallels and paradoxes among tap dance, West African dances, and urban dances. Through the connection of our heart beats, our internal drum, and the drum beat we find that following the path of the drum throughout our history connects our disparate tap, West African, and urban dance communities. Sponsored in part by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. A reprise of this acclaimed show was produced and performed with students from the DC Arts and Technology Academy.
The Illest Ingredient is a 1 vs 1 open styles urban dance competition in collaboration with various community organizations both local and abroad, particularly our partner, U Street Music Hall.
The ABYSS offers a new perspective on producing house dance experiences in competition, by focusing on and honoring the most essential elements of house dance culture: the human spirit and cypher participation. Qualifiers are conducted in cities around the United States and abroad, culminating in the final ABYSS Cypher Session at the International Soul Society Festival in Washington DC. The cypher session will be a one-hour cypher of uninterrupted exchanges between the chosen dozen from pre-selection. The 12 finalists will choose a winner amongst themselves. Each dancer will have one vote, but cannot vote for himself. The dancer with a majority of the votes will be the winner. Read what one of our past ABYSS contestants and Wild Card dancers had to share about her ABYSS experiences.
The Book of Styles Popping Competition is about celebrating the traditions and many schools of thought of Funk dances from California. From the mid 60’s until date, this Funk Culture has spread globally and taken different shapes, molding it’s self to each cities culture. The spirit of the battle and exchange is the primary focus, in a healthy and educational environment.
Contestants are given a list of styles and moves from different regions to study. These styles and moves will be listed on the Wheel of Funk. In each round the Wheel of Funk is spun and whichever style or move it lands on the dancer will have to incorporate it into their run.
The goal of the Book Of Styles is to encourage the dancers to come outside of their comfort zones, become well versed in popping history, battle and movement, and celebrate the diverse music and dance art forms with the community.