Posts

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Artist Profile: Mark W.

Mark “Mark W.” Whitlock III, one of Inglewood’s finest emcees, is a man with many

layers. The son of a pastor, an artist, a dancer, and a self-taught pianist, he grew up

an introvert. A student of Hip-Hop at an early age, Mark W. struggled with anger

issues and eventually began writing as a means of anger management. Over the

years, he has grown to use rap and Hip-Hop as a means of expression and his main

vehicle to connect with others. No longer the introverted preacher’s kid, Mark W.

transformed into a playful and outgoing cypher emcee. Charismatic and sarcastic,

his suave and complex delivery instantly captures an audience. Driven by success

and his deep-seeded love of family, Mark W. persistently chases his dreams and

hopes of inspiring others. Highly educated and fun loving, Mark W. is inspired by

extremely passionate individuals who are fiercely devoted to their crafts. His keen

work ethic and multifaceted nature solidify his future place among the highly

regarded and widely recognized emcees of all time.

Obsessive, and at times over-analytical, Mark W. motivates himself and fellow group

members (J.Qwest and Mistah Redd) to employ greatness as their standard for each

verse. Since 2007, Lost Dialect has entertained audiences nationwide with their

thought-provoking and exciting lyrical accounts of self-development and emotional

struggles. Reminiscent of musical pioneers such as Run DMC and The Roots, who

refused to be confined to stereotypical categories of music, Lost Dialect hope to

inspire others to a more communal view of Hip-Hop than current mainstream songs

suggest.

Follow Mark W. on Instagram @MarkWLive and get more on The Tribe at

www.lostdialect.com.

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Artist Profile: Jannet Galdamez

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Jannet Galdamez was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She started dancing at the age of 5 years old with ballet and at the age of 15 fell in love with Salsa and Hip Hop. It was at this age she realized that dance was her passion, her career interest. She attended the University of California Irvine, receiving her Bachelors of Arts in Dance and a minor in Education June of 2012… Jannet will be instructing the Beginning Adult Salsa-Jazz Class! Learn more about Jannet at JamXchange on April 30th!

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Baseball’s Most Valuable Dancers

“We need some extra movers at a packing house in Anaheim.”

 

Packing house? Movers?? That was exactly how UCI Dance Professor Sheron Wray described March 26th to me as well as several other dancers while asking for our help. It’s relevance to dance was quite beyond my knowledge at the time and I wasn’t the only person to have doubts. Little did I know that this day would be filled with plot twists.

 

At the time, I didn’t realize that this was an event produced by JazzXchange, a non-profit performing arts organization, to expose to the public and give a taste of the Citrus Festival that is to occur in April 9th in honor of Jazz Appreciation month.

 

And, contrary to my initial thoughts, the alleged “packing house” is actually the Anaheim Packing District where the interior is lavishly decorated by artsy furniture, garnished with touches of history and full of a  multitude of unique restaurants that serve food from around the globe in different styles.

 

Well . . . I thought I would be hauling around boxes of potatoes.

While my day consisted of taking photos and documenting the event under the supervision and mentorship of Annalisa Carrillo-Fulk, one of JazzXchange’s administrative volunteers, Artistic Director Sheron Wray and guest choreographer and UCI alumni Leann Alduenda led the young dance majors around the area to teach them various pieces and perform said pieces in front of the unsuspecting crowd. One of the pieces that certainly turned a lot of heads was Sheron’s tap piece that was taught in the center of the Packing House on the wood floor. Meanwhile, the dancers have also utilized the furniture within the building such as one of Leann’s pieces on one of the tables. Several other dancers choreographed a modern dance on a patio outside of the House and mimicked the same choreography on the different stairways throughout the building.

 

Instead of the masses attending a dance show, our job today was to bring the show to them.

 

For the dancers, it’s not a surprise that they’ve performed site-specific work around the UC Irvine campus; however for some such as Jazmine Curie, they’ve never had experience in performing in areas as public as the Packing House.

“It was wonderful to hear the inquiries of passersby and see those intrigued enough to stop and watch.  There were a few times I felt bad to be in someone’s way or making them feel they couldn’t interrupt.  Looking at it now I think it’s a very interesting social situation.” said Jazmine as she recounted her experience on Saturday.

 

Of course, there would be more to occur on that Saturday. After the number of surprise performances, one of UCI’s dance majors, Irishia Hubbard, arrived with the intention of conducting three impromptu workshops for the youths at the Packing House.

 

When I first gave out the announcement that the workshops were going to happen, I expected small groups of girls to approach us with the eagerness to move. We didn’t predict that the turnout would actually be a large group of rambunctious young boys! When Irishia started to warm them up by doing basic dance moves to hit songs, it became obvious that the boys weren’t interested in learning a small hip hop combo but rather kept urging Irisha to host an intense dance battle instead! When Irisha complied with their wishes, March 26th became the funniest and cutest day in my life.

 

When the event came to an end, everybody was able to leave the Packing House with a story to tell. For me, this mysterious event transformed into a pleasured memory. I learned that nothing is what it seems and that perhaps the result would be pleasantly surprising

 

Instead of the masses attending a dance show, our job today was to bring the show to them.

 

Instead of bringing the show to the masses, we brought to ourselves a renewed cognizance of our extraordinary world.

 

Written by Shannon O’Connor

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UK Choreographer: Irven Lewis

Featured Choreographer and Dance Photographer:

Irven Lewis

A United Kingdom dancer, choreographer, and dance photographer, Irven Lewis has an unique ability to bridge gaps and fuse urban dance styles with classical forms in an enjoyable way. Irven’s first experience of dance was through the local community center in Leeds. There was no formal dance training but he observed and experimented with the improvisational street jazz styles being developed.

After Dancing and performing in local shows in Leeds, Irven auditioned for the Urdang Academy in Covent Garden winning a three-year scholarship. Upon leaving his training at the Academy, Irven Lewis created the company, Brothers in Jazz. The company uniquely combined British Street Jazz with classical techniques, giving the company’s style an edge.  It was the foundation of Be-bopdance, a mixture of Nicholas Brother style Jazz combined with Ballet, Contemporary and the dancers’ own quick and precise footwork with expansive mambo movement.

After touring extensively with Brothers in Jazz, Irven broke away from the company to found his new company, Irven Lewis Dance Theatre. Irven then started exploring the traditions of Jamaican culture passed on to the new generations in the UK from a different perspective. Instead of representing tradition through existing dance forms, he is now exploring a dance language that emerges from the communications of young Britons with Jamaican heritage. The rhythms of conversation along with dynamics and spatials form of body expressions inform the dancer, which merges into physical theater and text. Irven Dance Theatre has performed and toured nationally and internationally.

His work’s include a residency with Bucks dance Step Afrika UK, a 6 week community project as part of the Sadler’s Wells Community Dance Showcase, and Rhythm Blast residency for Free Summer on the South Bank. Irven is also engaged in a 3-year relationship with Derby Dance in collaboration with Punch Records.  Irven also received an Arts Council England Continuing Professional Development Award under Pro-Motion and a Trailblazer Fellowship from Dance UK and ADAD.

 

 

https://youtu.be/9QIG181SIxc