Daily Archives: June 17, 2011

Maxwell-Fistful Of Tears At VH1 Storytellers

Maxwell’s performs “Fistful Of Tears” for “VH-1 Storytellers” that was taped on May 31st. His entire performance of 12 songs from his last album BLACKsummer’s Night airs tonight.

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MeLo-X-: Inside The Mind MeLo: Mini-Doc

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This is a quick visual into MeLo-X’s first performance in Brooklyn since releasing his mixtape More Merch and touring overseas.

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Jeffrey Page’s Dance With West Africa (Interview)

“It’s about women being seen as potential rulers of the world in a way that is sweet and endearing”

Jeffrey Page got to Africa the way a lot of American artists do; he followed African-American cultural retentions via hip-hop and Black popular culture. The recognizable rhythms of rap in his Indiana hometown worked like an Ellegua charm when his first dance teacher hooked her next students with an ad for the next Rock Steady Crew when she was really looking for future Katherine Dunham devotees. Page’s early forays into the workings of West African dance prepared him for future work in the ongoing dialogue between African-American and African popular and folk cultures since the arrival of slaves in the New World in 1619. Those destinations would include choreographing BET Award Shows, a tour for Beyonce, a principal dancer in the Fela! musical and now being one of the choreographers for the much debated woman empowerment anthem video “Run The World (Girls.)”

The video sparked the usual Beyonce imitators who have used her past work to make creative intervention and empower their own self-esteem and notoriety on the internet. “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” had the same viral effect two years ago with numerous video interpretations. But “Run The World (Girls)” has irked the feminist sensibilities of some women for its unrealistic portrayal of women’s status worldwide. These critics have mistaken a mantra for a political critique yet missed the radical politics of remixing and representing authentic African dance to the masses. Page’s expertise in taking concepts and expressing them through the body helped make Beyonce’s vision of strong women an artistic advance against the prevailing diluted versions of a Black folk art.

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How did you become a dancer?

When I was young I was walking around the neighborhood I saw a posting for auditions for hip-hop dance troupe it was in Indianapolis, Indiana and I went it. It kind of began my love of dance. In Indianapolis I would see different dance companies and I was kind of amazed that one could actually live a life doing a dance having health insurance and benefits and the whole nine that intrigued me and I wanted to enter the field.

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