Posts tagged with "dancers"

TT The Artist illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

TT the Artist × Netflix

TT THE ARTIST’S GROUNDBREAKING DOCUMENTARY

“DARK CITY BENEATH THE BEAT “

LANDS AT NETFLIX

Tedra Wilson A.K.A. TT The Artist Directorial Debut Produced by ColorCreative

Netflix has licensed multi-hyphenate director, Tedra Wilson a.k.a. TT The Artist’s, critically acclaimed debut documentary musical, DARK CITY BENEATH THE BEAT.  Winner of the Bushwick Film Festival for Best Feature Documentary 2020, the doc takes you on a journey about the rising Baltimore club music and dance culture.

The film is an audiovisual experience that defines the soundscape of Baltimore city. Inspired by an all-original Baltimore club music soundtrack, the film spotlights local club artists, DJs, dancers, producers, and Baltimore’s budding creative community as they are realizing their life dreams. Rhythmic and raw, these stories illustrate the unique characteristics of the city’s landscape and social climate to its creative LGBTQ community and showcases Baltimore club music as a positive subculture in a city overshadowed by trauma, drugs, and violence. 

The film is a noted love letter to Baltimore that uplifts the narrative of the city and is produced by Issa Rae and Deniese Davis through their management production company ColorCreative. In addition to the Netflix premiere, TT will also be dropping its soundtrack through Issa Rae’s Raedio

The soundtrack, titled, Dark City Beneath The Beat Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is a fusion of Baltimore club music intermixed with poetry, hip hop, house, and soul. Executive produced by TT The Artist and Baltimore club music hero Mighty Mark, the eighteen track project features local artists on the rise from the “Charm City.”  The soundtrack is available on all digital streaming music platforms including Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal among others. The documentary feature will premiere on Netflix April 15, 2021.  

About TT The Artist:

TT The Artist is a multi-hyphenate filmmaker whose work is an intersection of music, art, fashion, and film. Her bold and colorful visual storytelling is influenced by her love for black cinema and narratives that expand the representation of women of color and LGBTQ stories on screen. TT The Artist has worked with influential DJs and producers in the music industry such as Grammy award winning producer Diplo. TT The Artist’s musical success in the television and the film sync world has secured her placements on The Chi, Twenties, Netflix’s Nappily Ever After, HBO’s hit series Insecure, and more. Stepping out of the recording studio and into the director’s chair, TT The Artist was selected as a shadow director for Insecure’ s highly anticipated season 4. TT has directed many of her own videos such as CENTER OF ATTENTIONPAYROLLBLACK HERSTORY, and WOAH. TT The Artist is also a participant in Powderkeg’s 2020 FUSE Program, founded by Paul Feig. Most recently, TT shot WHEW CHILE for Dai Burger, which debuted on Paper Magazine.

TT The Artist is represented by ColorCreative management and the law firm of Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano.

Tedra Wilson a.k.a. TT The Artist
Ballet illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

SF Ballet Performs GEORGE BALANCHINE’S JEWELS 

GEORGE BALANCHINE’S JEWELS SPARKLES ON SCREEN AT SAN FRANCISCO BALLET, APRIL 1–21 

The 2021 Digital Season’s Jewels stream is dedicated
to the memory of Elyse Borne

Newly filmed Emeralds, captured at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco in January 2021, tops Balanchine’s dazzling, abstract triptych

San Francisco Ballet (SF Ballet) streams George Balanchine’s Jewels on Program 04, April 1–21 of the 2021 Digital Season, featuring a newly-captured Emeralds to accompany archival recordings of Rubies and Diamonds. Filmed on stage at the War Memorial Opera House in January of 2021, Emeralds was captured under strict safety protocols in compliance with the San Francisco Department of Public Health guidelines which protect artists, production crews, and the greater public. Tickets to the digital stream of Jewels begin at $29. Casting is available at this link.

SF Ballet Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson dedicates the 2021 Digital Season’s Jewels stream to the memory of Elyse Borne, a leading Balanchine répétiteur who staged dozens of ballets for the Company, beginning in 1996 with Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco. Borne passed away in December of 2019, shortly after rehearsing Jewels with SF Ballet to prepare for live performance in the 2020 Season. “While recording Emeralds on stage this year we all thought fondly of Elyse,” says Tomasson. “She and I met while dancing for New York City Ballet in the 1970s and 80s. We were both aware of how fortunate we were to be a part of that last generation of dancers who worked directly with Balanchine. She joined us as ballet master in 1997 after working with companies all over the world, and over the following six years, she guided and supported the dancers here with expertise, grace, and humor. She will always be a long-remembered colleague and dear friend.” Alongside Borne and the George Balanchine Trust, Tomasson has remained committed to documenting and preserving the choreographer’s work for future generations, programming at least one Balanchine ballet each year of his leadership of SF Ballet.

Called “a perfect introduction to ballet” (The New York Times) and inspired by the designs of jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels, Jewels was last seen in full at SF Ballet in 2009. Jewels premiered in full in 1967 at New York City Ballet and consists of three one-act ballets that span the musical and balletic traditions of France (Emeralds), the United States (Rubies), and Russia (Diamonds), with costumes designed by Barbara Karinska to fit each act. Emeralds alludes to the 19th-century dances of French romantics and is set to excerpts from Gabriel Faure’s Pelléas et Mélisande (1898) and Shylock (1889). Rubies is a feat of athleticism, set to the irregular, modernist, jazz-inspired Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra by Igor Stravinsky. Diamonds invokes memories of Imperial Russia in a grand and formal display of classical ballet and is set to Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3 in D major. SF Ballet Orchestra performs in each ballet, with newly recorded music for Emeralds captured using approved safety protocols at Skywalker Studios and the SF Conservatory of Music, produced and engineered by Leslie Ann Jones.

Tickets to Jewels are available now as single stream tickets for $29, or within the Premium Plus Digital Package, which offers unlimited viewing of the remaining programs in the 2021 Digital Season, in addition to exclusive bonus content, for $289. Tickets and packages may be purchased online. For more information, call Ticket Services at 415-865-2000, Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm. Click here to view digital viewing tips.

Celebrating Jewels

SF Ballet hosts Celebrating Jewels on April 20 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., online via Zoom. The event unites former New York City Ballet principal dancers Kay Mazzo, Mimi Paul, and Edward Villella, alongside Helgi Tomasson, to discuss their memories and insight into Balanchine’s iconic ballet. General admission tickets to Celebrating Jewels are $20, donors and subscribers receive access to the program for a reduced rate or for free.

San Francisco Ballet Pop-Up Shop

San Francisco Ballet hosts a pop-up shop open to the public on April 2 and 3 from 10 to 3 p.m., observing COVID-19 regulations as suggested by the City of San Francisco. In celebration of Jewels, the pop-up is offering a 25% discount on all jewelry. The pop-up shop is held at 2400 Cesar Chavez, San Francisco, 94124. Parking is free. Donors and subscribers can access the sale early on Thursday, April 1 from 10 to 3 p.m. Contact their website with questions.

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Jewels
A Ballet in Three Parts  

Composers: Gabriel Fauré, Igor Stravinsky, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Elyse Borne, Judith Fugate, Sandra Jennings
Additional Coaching by: Helgi Tomasson

World Premiere: April 13, 1967—New York City Ballet, New York State Theater; New York, New York

San Francisco Ballet Premiere: March 12, 2002—War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California

© The George Balanchine Trust

Emeralds
Captured on January 28, 2021 

Composer: Gabriel Fauré
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Elyse Borne and Sandra Jennings
Additional Décor for Emeralds: Susan Touhy
Costume Design: Karinska, Recreated by Haydee Morales
Rehearsal Assistants: Ricardo Bustamante, Tina LeBlanc

Rubies
Captured on February 2, 2016  

Composer: Igor Stravinsky
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Elyse Borne
Costume Design: Karinska
Original “Rubies” Lighting Design: Ronald Bates
Rehearsal Assistant: Tina LeBlanc

San Francisco Ballet Premiere: January 30, 1987—War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California

Diamonds
Captured on March 12, 2017  

Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Judith Fugate
Costume Design: Karinska
Rehearsal Assistants: Felipe Diaz, Betsy Erickson

ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO BALLET
San Francisco Ballet, long recognized for pushing boundaries in dance, has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic “firsts” since its founding in 1933, including performing the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first 20th-century American Coppélia. SF Ballet is one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States and currently presents more than 100 performances annually, both locally and internationally. The mission of SF Ballet is to share its joy of dance with the widest possible audience—in its community and worldwide—and to provide the highest caliber of dance training in its School. Under the direction of Helgi Tomasson, the Company has achieved an international reputation as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world.

Chronixx shot by El Puru for 360 MAGAZINE.

Chronixx – “Cool As The Breeze/ Friday”

THE NEW VIDEO AND SINGLE FROM THE JAMAICAN HIT-MAKER IS THE LATEST DROP FROM HIS FORTHCOMING SECOND ALBUM DELA SPLASH

Watch/Listen HERE

Today, Chronixx unveils his new song and video, “COOL AS THE BREEZE/FRIDAY” a heartfelt dedication to his beloved Kingston, Jamaica. The stream of releases continues as Chronixx builds anticipation for his forthcoming album Dela Splash via Soul Circle Music. The latest cut is produced by Pantha, who crafted a crisp, shimmery beat for Chronixx’s third single reveal from the LP.

Director Meji Alabi naturally reflects countless elements native to Jamaican culture in every frame of the music video. Chronixx seated in a floating armchair, is flanked by a fleet of motorcycles as they weave past pastel-colored buildings. Street parties featuring charismatic dancers are in sync to the rhythm of a vibrant sound system. Kids effortlessly pop wheelies on their bicycles. Jamaican oil-drums are grilling food. This is paradise – Jamaica – “where every day is summer, and every day feels like a Friday,” as Chronixx raves with enthusiasm on the song’s chorus.

“This tune is about everyday people of the world, but really a song about us in a Jamaican life that we live…making sure we have the right music, culture, and energy to keep our mind uplifted throughout the struggle and building a better life for ourselves. No matter the intensity of the heat, and no matter how hot the reality get, we still haffi remain cool as the breeze you now. It’s the balance of being able to go through all the different forces of life you know and stay up…it’s an upliftment song,” Chronixx shares about his latest anthem.

Since the announcement of his second album Dela Splash in March, Chronixx has delivered three critical anthems. “Dela Move” was the first sample of Chronixx’s deeper exploration of his Rastafari beliefs mixed with motivational chants that echoed inspiration by Bob Marley and Shabba Ranks. “Same Prayer,” was the introspective follow-up that featured lyrical master Kabaka Pyramid. The celebratory tone of “COOL AS THE BREEZE/FRIDAY” shifts viewers’ mood to a sense of optimism, especially during this time as the world slowly recovers from the global pandemic.

CHRONIXX:

INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

(Photo credit: eL Puru)

San Francisco Ballet Streams Online

On June 30, San Francisco Ballet will stream its 2020 Opening Night Gala program – SPELLBOUND – to mark the end of a season that started with great hope and was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is being presented as a heartfelt message of appreciation to the nearly 3,000 San Francisco Ballet Critical Relief Fund donors, as well as annual fund supporters, and patrons who generously donated back their unused 2020 Season tickets. The stream will be available from 10 am until midnight U.S. Pacific Daylight Time on June 30 on SF Ballet @ Home, YouTube, Facebook, and IGTV. Viewers will also be able to contribute to the SF Ballet Critical Relief Fund and have their gift matched by a generous $1 million challenge grant put forward by the SF Ballet’s Board of Trustees.

A special intermission presentation featuring a new work created on Principal Dancer Yuan Yuan Tan will highlight the program. The 2020 Season marks the 25th anniversary season of Tan’s remarkable tenure with the Company. The piece, by SF Ballet’s Choreographer in Residence Yuri Possokhov, is a tribute to Yuan Yuan Tan’s mother.

“Throughout all of my years working with Yuan Yuan as both a dancer and a choreographer, I’ve always admired the support of her parents,” says Possokhov. “First hearing stories from her childhood, then later meeting them and watching as they stood by her side at every performance and milestone, I realized what an integral role they played in the progression of her incredibly successful career as a ballerina. In choreographing this piece, I wanted to honor Yuan Yuan’s mother, so we can appreciate the steadfast dedication to her daughter’s journey. During the process, the movements evoked emotions and memories of my own mother, who also firmly stood by my side throughout my life.”

Held on January 16, 2020, the Gala’s twelve pieces include the world premiere performances of Val Caniparoli’s Foreshadow and Myles Thatcher’s 05:49, in addition to the SF Ballet premiere of the pas de deux from David Dawson’s Swan Lake (featuring departing Principal Dancers Sofiane Sylve and Carlo Di Lanno) and the SF Ballet premiere of Danielle Rowe’s For Pixie. Other highlights include Principal Dancer Esteban Hernandez and newly promoted Principal Dancer Max Cauthorn in Bournonville’s “Jockey Dance,” and newly promoted Principal Dancer Wona Park with Principal Dancer Wei Wang in Victor Gsovsky’s Grand Pas Classique. Tan is also highlighted alongside Vitor Luiz, in his final performance as a principal dancer with SF Ballet, in a pas de deux from Yuri Possokhov’s Bells. Osterweis Capital Management was the Presenting Sponsor of the Gala. Full programming is listed below.

SF Ballet @ Home is made possible through the generosity it has received from the community through the Critical Relief Fund. The recordings are produced under agreements with the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center, American Guild of Musical Artists, American Federation of Musicians, and International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

About Yuan Yuan Tan

Yuan Yuan Tan’s remarkable 25-year career at SF Ballet has created not only some of the most prominent principal roles in the field of ballet, but also a path for her significant contribution to bridging the world of dance globally. Tan’s remarkable artistry and the inspiration she imparts on future generations of aspiring female performing artists continue to define the role of a prima ballerina today, reaching political and social realms. Nominated by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Mayor Mark Farrell noted April 9, 2018 as “Yuan Yuan Tan Day” for the people of San Francisco and awarded her the year’s San Francisco Mayor Art Award. He said: “Her grace, skill, versatility and strength have helped her become the first Chinese prima ballerina in the United States and one of the greatest Chinese ballerinas of all time. She has gracefully served as cultural ambassador for San Francisco and the United States. We are immensely grateful for her contributions to our city’s cultural history.” Chelsea Clinton featured Tan in her 2018 children’s book She Persisted Around the World, alongside other female leaders in science, the arts, sports, and activism who are role models in their determination to break barriers and change the status quo.

Helgi Tomasson first noticed Yuan Yuan Tan at the Fifth International Ballet competition in Paris in 1992, where she took the gold medal in the junior division. She won the gold medal and the Nijinsky Award at the 1st Japan International Ballet and Modern Dance Competition the following year. Tan was invited by Tomasson to join SF Ballet in 1995 as soloist, and two years later was promoted to principal dancer, making her the youngest principal dancer in SF Ballet history at the time. Over the course of Tan’s exceptional 25-year career at SF Ballet, she has danced a remarkable repertory traversing works of preeminent choreographers including Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, and Jerome Robbins; and has created leading principal roles including Helgi Tomasson’s 7 for Eight, Chi-Lin, and The Fifth Season; William Forsythe’s Pas/Parts 2016; Edwaard Liang’s The Infinite Ocean and Symphonic Dances; Mark Morris’ Sylvia; Yuri Possokhov’s RAkU, Firebird, and Diving Into the Lilacs; Liam Scarlett’s Fearful Symmetries and Hummingbird; and Christopher Wheeldon’s Bound To, Continuum, Ghosts, Number Nine, and Quaternary. Yuan Yuan Tan was featured as Queen of the Snow in the 2008 PBS Great Performances broadcast of Tomasson’s Nutcracker, co-produced by SF Ballet and KQED Public Television San Francisco, in association with thirteen/WNET New York.

Arguably the most notable ambassador to bridge dance between China and the United States, Tan facilitated SF Ballet’s historic first-ever tour to China in 2008 and still performs several times a year in her native country where she also frequently participates in teaching workshops, competitions, and other community programs to nurture new generations. Tan was the first Asian dancer appearing in the World Star Show in Prague. Her appearance on TEDxShanghai in 2016 titled “My Life as a Ballerina” was critically received and garnered her the reputation as the “irreplaceable pride of China on the global stage.” In 2004, Tan was featured on a cover of Time as a “Hero of Asia”; named one of the world’s most influential Chinese for her contribution to the arts by Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV in 2015; was honored with “You Bring Charm to the World” award from HKSTV in 2017; and in 2018, appeared on the Chinese cultural program The Reader.

Programming Details

Men’s Regiment from Stars & Stripes

Composer: John Philip Sousa, arranged by Hershy Kay

Choreographer: George Balanchine

Foreshadow (World Premiere)

Composer: Ludovico Einaudi

Choreographer: Val Caniparoli

Pas de Deux from Swan Lake (SF Ballet Premiere)

Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Choreographer: David Dawson

“Jockey Dance” from From Siberia To Moscow (SF Ballet Premiere)

Composer: Carl Christian Møller

Choreographer: August Bournonville

For Pixie (SF Ballet Premiere)

Composer: Nina Simone

Choreographer: Danielle Rowe

Pas de Deux from Le Corsaire

Composer: Riccardo Drigo

Choreography: after Marius Petipa

Intermission Performance

Dedicated to… (World Premiere, June 30, 2020)

Director and Director of Photography: Erik Tomasson

Composer: Victor Osadchev

Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov

Editor: Hidetoshi Oneda

Costume Design: Original costumes for Yuri Possokhov’s Carmen, designed by Mark Zappone

Music: Victor Osadchev

Balcony Pas de Deux from Romeo & Juliet

Composer: Sergei Prokofiev

Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson

05:49 (World Premiere)

Composers: Ivan Pavlov and Annie Bandez

Choreographer: Myles Thatcher

Grand Pas Classique

Composer: D. F. E. Auber

Choreography: Victor Gsovsky

Pas de Deux from Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

Composers: Anthony Gonzalez, Yann Gonzalez, and Justin Meldal-Johnsen

Choreographer: Justin Peck

Pas de Deux from Bells

Composer: Sergei Rachmaninoff

Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov

Finale from Diamonds

Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Choreographer: George Balanchine

About San Francisco Ballet

San Francisco Ballet, long recognized for pushing boundaries in dance, has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic “firsts” since its founding in 1933, including performing the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first 20th-century American Coppélia. SF Ballet is one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States and currently presents more than 100 performances annually, both locally and internationally. The mission of SF Ballet is to share its joy of dance with the widest possible audience—in its community and worldwide—and to provide the highest caliber of dance training in its School. Under the direction of Helgi Tomasson, the Company has achieved an international reputation as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world.

Homecoming

Netflix released Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé, which presents an intimate look at her historic 2018 Coachella performance that paid homage to America’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Interspersed with candid footage and interviews detailing the preparation and powerful intent behind her vision, Homecoming gives a peek into the process and emotional physical sacrifices it took to conceptualize and execute a performance of that magnitude that became a cultural movement. This stand-alone Netflix original is now available globally on Netflix.

As the first black woman to headline Coachella, Homecoming recognizes the African American visionaries who inspired Beyoncé, including HBCU alums Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, activist Marian Wright Edelman, and scholar W.E.B. Du Bois, in addition to cultural luminaries such as Nina Simone, Maya Angelou, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Audre Lorde. Beyoncé’s personal knowledge of the relevance and celebration of HBCUs started with her father, Mathew Knowles, an alumnus of Fisk University.
Shot over eight months, the film follows the global entertainer as she returns to the stage after the birth of her twins, highlighting the comprehensive preparation involved in creating her groundbreaking performance, which included four months of band rehearsals followed by four months of dance rehearsals with over 150 musicians, dancers, and other creatives, — all of whom were hand-picked by the artist herself.
In juggling dual roles as both the director of her live performance and the film that captured the process of making it, Beyoncé says, “It was one of the hardest jobs I have taken on but I knew that I had to push myself and my team to go beyond great to legendary. We knew nothing like this was ever done on a festival level before and it needed to be iconic beyond compare. The performance was an homage to an important part of African American culture. It had to be true to those who know and entertaining and enlightening to those who needed to learn. In making the film and re-telling the story, the purpose remained the same.”
Many in the cast; band, singers, dancers and steppers are former HBCU students, immersed in the HBCU marching band tradition. They joined Beyoncé’s own group of performers, some who have toured with her for years. Viewers not only get to see the intense dance rehearsals and talent of these amazing artists, but hear their personal journey from HBCU student to artist and the lifelong impact that comes with performing alongside Beyoncé in this historic concert.
“So many people who are culturally aware and intellectually sound are graduates from historically black colleges and universities, including my father,” she says in the film. “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”
As a treat to her fans, the film also includes, in the end credits, her remake of “Before I Let Go” by Frankie Beverly and Maze, a 1981 R&B classic that’s commonly performed at HBCU games. The single will be available on the film’s soundtrack, Homecoming: The Live Album, available today from Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia Records. smarturl.it/BH9102
Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé was directed and produced by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Longtime collaborator Ed Burke served as co-director. Steve Pamon and Erinn Williams are executive producers.
Set List

“Crazy In Love”

“Freedom”

“Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing”

“Formation”

“Sorry”/”Me, Myself and I”

“Kitty Kat”

“Bow Down”

“I Been On”

“Drunk In Love”

“Diva”

“Flawless” (Remix)

“Feeling Myself”

“Top Off”

“7/11”

“Don’t Hurt Yourself”

“I Care”

“Partition”

“Yoncé”

“Mi Gente (Remix)”

“Mine”

“Baby Boy”

“You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No)”

“Hold Up”

“Countdown”

“Check On It”

“Déjà Vu”(featuring JAY-Z)

“Run the World (Girls)”

“Lose My Breath” (featuring Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)

“Say My Name” (featuring Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)

“Soldier” (featuring Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)

“Get Me Bodied” (With Solange Knowles dancing)

“Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”

“Love On Top”

About Netflix
Netflix is the world’s leading internet entertainment service with over 148 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.
About Parkwood Entertainment
Parkwood Entertainment is an entertainment and management company founded by entertainer and entrepreneur, Beyoncé in 2010. With headquarters in New York City the company houses departments in music and video production, management, marketing, digital, creative, philanthropy, fashion, publicity and a record label. Under its original name, Parkwood Pictures, in 2008, the company released the film Cadillac Records (2008), in which Beyoncé starred and co-produced. The company also released the film, Obsessed (2009), with Beyoncé as star and executive producer. Parkwood Entertainment produced The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour (2013-2014) and The Formation World Tour (2016), and co-produced the ON THE RUN TOUR (2014) and ON THE RUN II (2018).

Beyoncé, netflix, Homecoming

Beyoncé’s Homecoming

Writers: Vaughn Lowery, Tara McDonough, Stella Iman Dugall

Every once in a while pop culture encounters a rip in its continuum. The latest breach comes from one of the most effervescent entertainers of all time, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles Carter, as the first Black female to headline one of the most prolific festivals since the iconic Woodstock. Introspective yet intimate, Homecoming is positioned to be one of the most immersive concert series in the history of music and streaming services. Beyoncé, the Director and Executive Producer of the film, creates a visually captivating story from the beginning to end. The documentary answers a plethora of questions, at which the infamous Beyhive has had about the historical moment.

With intermittent quick cuts of her family before, during and after the epic performance, Beyoncé gives herself permission to exhibit her vulnerability. After all, she planned to take the stage at Coachella in 2017 before she was pregnant with her twins. The tour was postponed and we fast forward to ‘Mrs. Carter’ having to deal with the aftermath of a complicated pregnancy, which ultimately ends in a c-section. Similar to friend, and professional tennis superstar, Serena Williams, Beyoncé bounced back harder than ever after her tough pregnancy. Throughout the piece she digs deep and pummels through some of the most difficult days she has ever encountered. She even speaks to her weighing 218 lbs and how she was only able to zip her costume up after months of hard work alongside of a dedicated clean/raw food diet – no meats, carbs, sugars. The director of photography expertly captured an extremely intimate and vulnerable side to the strong and flawless Queen Bey.

Inspiration

Having family members as graduates of some of the prominent HBCU (historically black colleges and universities), Beyoncé was able to tap into the most celebrated moments of their collegiate life. Her full show not only highlighted the history of these schools but also their social networks and fraternal organizations; transforming the stage into one of the most dynamic Black Southern spaces of cultural legacy and pride. Much of it was enunciated with their boot dancing, a traditional dance style for HBCU called J-Setting, in between transitions. These dance formations visually anchored the performance. Contortionists contributed an urban Cirque du Soleil vibe to the display which can be more accurately described as an infused gumbo of Chicago (the musical), Moulin Rouge! and the Off-Broadway play Stomp. To date, the pyramid stage has been persevered onsite at this year’s Coachella as an art installation.

A group of 200 people shared the stage with Queen Bey including Jay Z, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams and Solange Knowles. The expansive crew that Beyonce worked and practiced with for 8 months is featured in the documentary, as each individual had their own part in making the event a success. The dancing in her set is not technical, but emotional. The crowd, as well as audiences watching the documentary at home, are meant to feel something from just the way Beyoncé and her dancers, who she handpicked herself, move with each other. The concert experience not only exhibits the immense talent of HBCU musicians but works towards using this heightened exposure to aid these institutions that have been struggling with little resources and grants since their establishment.

After the the release of Homecoming, Netflix will more than likely notice a spike in downloads/subscriptions; Beyonce will notice an increase in her fan base and HBCU enrollment rates will most likely skyrocket. Overall, most audience members will be thrashed into a world of black honor, history and preservation. While the Pew Report notes that there is a varying “black/white digital divide” concerning internet usage, (87% whites, 80% blacks), there is little divide when it comes to mobile platforms. The growth of black presence in media, such as on social media, in streaming services and more, will only continue due to the imminent success of Beyoncé’s partnership with Netflix. Her myriad of success as a dominant Black woman breaks down barriers in the same way Jordan Peele has done for young Black filmmakers across the diaspora. This will become one of the most treasured pieces of mass media and should offer encouragement to both women and minorities to bust through the glass ceiling on all fronts especially digitization and technology.

Beyoncé, Netflix, Homecoming

Illustrator: Alejandra Villagra

Shop Beyoncé

CARDI B × BACARDÍ

BACARDÍ Presents Dress To Be Free with Performances by Cardi B and Les Twins 

What: Last night, BACARDÍ toasted Halloween with “Dress To Be Free,” a celebration of the beauty of those who wake up every day and dress to be their truest selves. BACARDÍ and friends joined forces for an evening of dance, liberation, creative expression and of course, cocktails, with featured performances by chart topper Cardi B and dancers Les Twins. 


Cardi B
, whose Rolling Stone cover debuted earlier in the day, arrived in true Cardi B fashion – lighting up the red carpet donning a “Bruella” de Vil costume, black and white fur coat and matching hairdo, long red gloves, a black embellished bustier, and a long cigarette holder. Sadly her new rock – nor her new fiancée – made an appearance atop her satin gloves, as it is currently getting resized. Other notable guests walking the carpet included DJs Nina Sky, actor Broderick Hunter, and models Vashtie Kola, Jordun Love, Slick Woods, and more. 

Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed the spirit and uniqueness of the Caribbean with the BACARDÍ Zombie, a tiki cocktail made with BACARDÍ Superior and BACARDÍ Gold, as well as exciting surprises from House of Yes. 

The evening culminated with an energetic performance from Cardi B, who performed her Billboard number one hit “Bodak Yellow” along with “Lick”, “Motorsports”, “No Limit”, and “Foreva.” She greeted the crowd in full Cruella character – yelling “what up poor people” in her signature way, followed by “despicable, despicable, despicable,” to the crowds’ bemusement. 

Before she left the stage Cardi B encouraged guests to dress however they want and be whoever they want, which is what the #DresstobeFree movement means to her. She reminded the crowd that her name, Cardi B, is a nickname for Bacardi, and that she was honored to perform at the BACARDÍ Dress to be Free event. 

Guests were also treated to an exclusive dance set from Parisian dancers and choreographers Les Twins, who have graced the stages with Beyoncé and Missy Elliott. Les Twins shocked partygoers as they took to the stage unexpectedly – dancing to get the crowd going and spraying them with water before letting Nina Sky, dressed as twin nuns, reclaim the DJ booth.                                                                                          

When: Monday, October 30, 2017

7:00 PM – 11:00 PM  

 

Who: Cardi B
– Chart-topping hip hop artist and television personality

Les Twins (Larry and Laurent Bourgeois) – Internationally acclaimed dancers and choreographers

Chef Roble – Celebrity chef, television and social media personality
Nina Sky – R&B and DJ twin-sister duo

Slick Woods – Fashion model

Broderick Hunter – Actor (Insecure) and model

Jordun Love – Model

 

Where: House of Yes

2 Wycoff Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11237

Australia’s Thunder From Down Under × Houston

[Monica Schmidt (Houston Humane Society PR Manager), Sherry Ferguson (Houston Humane Society Executive Director)]

AUSTRALIA’S THUNDER FROM DOWN UNDER DONATE $5,000 TO THE HOUSTON HUMANE SOCIETY TO SUPPORT DISASTER RELIEF 

Thunder From Down Under Presented the Donation to the Houston Humane Society at their Las Vegas Show Last Night

 

To support the local Houston community and relief effort, Thunder From Down Under presented a $5,000 donation to members of the Houston Humane Society last night. The donation came from a portion of the proceeds from Thunder From Down Under’s House of Blues Houston show last week. In addition to donating, the men of Thunder From Down Under also volunteered at the Houston Humane Society bathing the shelter dogs and cats, walking the dogs, playing with the animals and helping transport them. Photos and video from the visit, here.

 

“This is something that really means a lot to us. I have four dogs, two cats and a tortoise, and every single one of the guys on this show has an animals themselves,” said Marcus Deegan, Thunder From Down Under’s emcee. “It’s a small pinch, but everyone can donate to this massive cause. If anybody out there has a pet, know it’s not just an animal – it’s part of your family. So when these animals are suffering, it’s these people [from the Humane Society] that make their lives better.” 

 

Thunder from Down Under is a phenomenon that has made its mark on five continents and dominates as one of Las Vegas’s top 10 shows, playing to 250,000 women a year at the Excalibur Hotel & Casino, where the dance troupe has a 16-year residency that is going strong. The group has entertained nearly four million fans across the globe to date.