Keep the Hands High

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Urban Sol

Urban Sol!

           

Damn, I still can’t get over last Friday. Urban Sol exploded and flared into the night. Cyphers of dancers were grooving long past the point where I was falling asleep, the moon almost below the horizon. It was seriously some controlled chaos at ASU. Urban Sol definitely made Tempe & Hip Hop history as well this weekend. We might have broken a few windows with the beats. Really. Lemme break the night down for you:

  • Furious Styles Crew took home the bacon in the 5-on-5 battles, though every crew gave it everything they had and put on an amazing show. I was seriously blown away by these b-boys & girls. It was intense but it was all fun at the same time, showing true breaking spirit in the aggression but also the respect all dancers had for one another. Unbelievable moments a-plenty. The amount of work and raw passion that obviously went into every crew’s performance was inspiring. Y’all put Hollywood to shame with your moves!
dopeness! Get it Kyle

dopeness! Get it Kyle

  • • Conducting all the madness on the turntables, the winner of the DJ competition was selected in a classic audience-response style. That means screams. DJ Panic succeeded in gaining the most hype, taking home a cool 200$ & some definite bragging rights for beating out local hero DJ Tiger (dude even had his own signature tiger noise!). All four DJ’s of the night kept the energy more live than Frankenstein taking a lightning bolt from Zeus. That’s the only way to describe the music they chose, ranging from old school hip hop, funk, 80’s music (dancin’ with myself, oh oh oh-oh!), all through the 90’s and some stuff so new, not even the trendiest of college kids could keep up!
DJ Panic

DJ Panic

      • • & of course, New Breedz (link), the Urban & Funk ensembles, Juke Kids & everyone else who took the stage blew us all away. The acts of the night covered all 4 corners of Hip Hop, with each act doing their own unique take on their art. Real incredible talent, all around.
      takeflight

      takeflight

      • • The graffiti wall was also signature and unique. Audience members gave away shoes, shirts, sweaters, (one guy brought a clock) amongst other things that were nailed to the canvas and painted on, giving the final piece a three-dimensional aspect. Take a look:

      house house us

@ ASU:


King Charles, of Footworkingz, proclaimed by his city as the monarch of Chicago Footworkin’ at age 14, was our guest artist for the Urban program last week. I attended a class session led by him and left with five new callouses. I left convinced this man had the fastest, most intricate movement even possible for the human body to do.


Chicago Footwork is a high energy, lower-body focused style that is purely unique to the Windy City. King Charles & the Footworkingz are on a mission to spread their passion around the nation & the globe, taking the breath away from their audience at every performance. The dance is usually done to songs at around 180 bpm, so you can imagine the intensity involved. Actually, you can’t. You can only watch and be amazed:


King Charles taught us all about dedication and believing in your artwork. Being the King of anything isn’t easy, so as the leader of his own style of dance King Charles is a living lesson to dancers & all artists to believe in what you have to offer to the world, and to pursue that with everything you got. The amount of sweat this guy gives to his style every day is a testament to what it takes to be a professional chasing their dreams. Keep it movin’ King! Big ups to you & thanks from ASU for the inspiration!

 

Freshy Fresh Archie Burnett

Freshy Fresh Archie Burnett

 

These next two weeks belong to Archie Burnett, true dance veteran & legend from Brooklyn. Archie has spent the past two decades working on a documentary entitled “Check Your Body at the Door,” a study into the lives of New York dancers and how they get by, why they do what they do, & also a striking look at the many different moves seen in his home city.


Archie himself is a guru of dance, a connoisseur of movement & music. Don’t miss the chance to share with him at his workshop the evening of Friday, April 11th. (FAC 28, 5$!) This is also the last workshop of the year, so don’t miss out on the fun!

 

comeasyouare
Archie Burnett is also hosting the aforementioned Come as You Are Ball, on April 18th. This is going to rival Urban Sol as ASU’s Hip Hop event of the year. No doubt it will be a night you will never forget! Tickets are 15$ at the door, but presales can be had for 8$ (here’s your hookup for that presale price y’all, post your name & email & you’ll get the link for half price!)

  • • Love Hip Hop? Of course you do. Deepen your knowledge of the culture at the Check Your Body at the Door film screening! No matter what you’re into, knowing more about a culture you’re unfamiliar with will help your own pursuits.

Even if you’re already a certified Hip Hop head, you’ll definitely learn something new, or at least have a lot of fun (: BE THERE! This is going down in PEBE East, April 14th, at 8 p.m. I’m bringing munchies!

  • • ASU’s Urban Arts Club is also hosting a panel discussion April 16th, PEBE East (room 132) at 7 – 10 pm. We’ll be gettin’ all scholarly; discussing gender & sexuality in art & our society. Get Educated!
Steven Yazzie

Steven Yazzie

This week’s art spot is a focus on Thomas “Breeze” Marcus, a local Phoenician and Tohono O’odham Native American. His style combines graffiti & traditional Native motifs, to create something that’s well, really just indescribable. If you live here, you’ve probably seen his work saving Phoenix from the despair of white-washed monotony downtown. Take a peek at some of his lesser known work:

breeze & sliim

Breeze (shot by PHX New Times)

Breeze (shot by PHX New Times)

breeze & slim

taken by Chris English

taken by Chris English

steven yazzie

steven yazzie

Breeze

Breeze

Rhythmic Intervention

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Armando Renteria            The walls of the Fine Arts Center reverberate with pounding bass from somewhere deep underground every Friday night, as passerbys above wonder if giants are knocking at the door. Laughing and the mouse-quiet squeaks of rubber on a dance floor echo up the sketchy, ugly staircase, hinting at more fun than should be possible to have. What could be going on?!

            Nope, that’s not a passage from Goosebumps. That was last Friday’s workshop/open sesh, led by our girl Shacks of the Urban Arts Club. A smile on her face the entire night, she lent her students her passionate take on Punking, showing us how to reach within and paint what you feel on your face, with your arms and your core, your knees and your toes. Punking is an aspect of a style called Waacking (both of which I was unfamiliar with) that involves the “silent movie” dramatic expressions and poses, whereas Waacking is the very dynamic, striking and striding movements involved. Together, these two forms make something amazing but just beyond my powers of description. Take a look for yourself.

            Every Friday night this semester has been quite the learning experience. Even if you dance like a Silverback Gorilla being chased by a swarm of bees, experiencing a different form of art and being around people who are passionate will deepen your understanding of your own pursuits. In other words, it’s fun, you won’t see what you see here anywhere else, and it’s good for your soul!

By VisualSingularities

By VisualSingularities


That being established, next week’s workshop is a little change of pace, featuring Tomas Stanton of Phonetic Spit. This workshop will be focused on poetry instead of dance but will no doubt be just as loud. You’ll hear the audience laughing and snapping their fingers cross-campus, as thought-provoking dopeness flows through the mic cables & into everybody’s hearts. Bring a pen & a friend y’all.

You know the deal: Nelson Fine Arts Center, 5$ just for the workshop, 5$ for the open-sesh-after-party, or 7$ for both! Room FAC 28 (you have to go down the sketchy, ugly staircase!)

Tomas + Beard

Tomas + Beard


En nuestra comunidad:

2 001 Urban Sol Flyer ++

ASU’s Urban Arts Club (in alliance with Archie Burnett) will be hosting the Come as You Are Ball on April 18th. There will be Waacking. (Need I say more?) This ain’t no king-&-queen, funny-French-masks-with-the-sticks-attached type of “ball.” I mean, if you wanna come as Marie Antoinette, that’s cool too. The point is to express yourself without any lines or definitions imposed, this will be a judgment-free event, open minds must be brought. Just DO YOU (: Join us in our stand for free expression and against self-consciousness:
Tickets for the ball can be had for 8$ presale, or 10$ at the door. Strapped for cash? Follow the link and get yourself presale price: Facebook
The Come as You Are Ball will be located on campus, in the lobby of PEBE East. (Just a little East of the MU). I’m not exaggerating when I say this event has the potential to change your life (:

drama-masks

Outside the University, inside the city, this weekend is the McDowell Mountain Music Festival, a 3-day, completely non-profit, cross-genre charity event at the Margaret T. Hance park in Downtown Phoenix (right by the library, ride the light rail my fellow New Hippies). Artists attending run the gauntlet from Ben Harper to Gramatik, so there is definitely something for everyone here. Make the most out of this weather we only have a few weeks of, experience the music. All (100%) proceeds from this event go to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Umom Day Centers. Do your part as a Phoenician!

 

andrea lupe

Coflo (no double-yoos)

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Propeller Energy

Cofloat

Cofloat

Big ups to Coflo for last week’s open session and workshop. Are anyone else’s toes still cramping and curling up? It got real intense, real quick in there, y’all. Sweat poured, rhythm pounded. Lots of smiles and hip high-fives. The students in FAC 28 last Friday ranged from fledgling dance gurus to basic beginners, but everyone had fun and learned something new.

This week I’ll be presenting some wise words from the man himself, Coflo Ferreira, about everything from cheesey 90’s movies, to Brazilian dance-fighting, to what it means to be from the Bay & the direction his artistic collective MVMNT is taking in the future. Read on, urbanites. I will also breakdown Urban Sol (get it on your calendar already), and reporting on some local artistic movement happening here in the valley. Let’s do it!

Coflo “no double-you’s” Ferreira:

UAAZ: Can you tell the world a little about your background as an individual regarding music, dancing, & capoeira?

Coflo is from a musical family, and grew up with his father rocking the blues on the guitar and singing. His mother was also a guitarist (and coincidentally a much better singer). Neither had any formal training or instruction, just passion.

This exposure to music seems to usually give kids a better sense of rhythm, so it is natural that Coflo became a dancer and (eventually) a producer. Coflo started really moving with his crew Circle of Fire, and then Soul Shifters shortly thereafter. Both crews were with co-conspirator Seth, who is now working with Coflo in their house/break dance/ capoeira/ creative arts studio MVMNT in South Berkeley.

Soul Shifters

Soul Shifters

‘Only the Strong’, a 90’s martial arts movie (so you can imagine the kind of plot and dialogue we’re talking about here) featuring capoeira as it’s ticketseller is what inspired Coflo to study the Brazilian art, which is literally indescribable and can only be watched. “Such a stupid ****ing movie, but I saw how they moved and I was fascinated. I knew I had to do it.” Sometimes the ends justify the means, Coflo. We all draw inspiration from different places is what I mean! Since watching the movie and learning that capoeira is a little more difficult than Hollywood makes it seem, Coflo has internalized the historical martial art and trains others, as well as continues to learn & practice, in the studios and dojos of MVMNT.

coflo

As an ever-learning student, Coflo asked his mentor Brian Green how he could take his dancing to the next level. “He told me to start reading musical theory, which was a drag and made absolutely no sense for a long time.” Progress was slow but Coflo knew the wisdom in his mentor’s words. He picked up a keyboard, learned piano, learned to DJ & mix, but the theory and the practice only clicked when he learned to critically listen to music. Coming from a dancing background, you feel the rhythm, feel the music. The action is different when you’re a musician. You still feel the rhythm but you pay more attention to the space within, you listen a little more analytically.

After years of hard practice and advice and tips from friends, Coflo has produced some entrancing House, (or whatever you feel like naming it, it’s just dope!) for the world to listen and learn through.

As to the future and plans within MVMNT, Coflo’s goals have to do with creating a more regular class schedule, as well as expanding the programs already offered. “MVMNT already features a lot of special events… like the open floor, open house I host. We just need to continue growing and snowballing in the community.” Coflo, Seth, & Green’s space in the Bay is a place where dancers, musicians, and artists of everything in between and all ages can come to learn, practice, or teach, or show off. It is a staple in the city, even the whole area. My cousins who always claim to be from the Bay (but are really from Santa Rosa) will be jealous & enraged when I talk to them about something so dope in their own city, which they have no idea about.

Look up Coflo’s moves to get inspired, look up MVMNT to see where urban art is heading! Stay up Coflo, & thanks from everyone from ASU!

There you have it, urbanites. Sick of missing all the important, life-enriching things happening on campus? Our next workshop & open session will be this Friday (3/7) in FAC 28, ASU Tempe. 5$ for one, or 7$ if you want to take both.:

3/7

3/7

April 4th is going to be a loud one in Tempe this year folks. Next month will be Urban Sol, the highlight of hip hop in Arizona and at ASU. This year’s theme is PARTicipate, as the dance competition (featuring 80 contestants, which is gigantic) will be 5-on-5 teams this year. Cyphers will be swirling as students break free and feel the hip-hop in their blood.

People             Artistically                  Reimagine                   Together

PARTicipation is the only rule at Urban Sol. Hip Hop is for the people, by the people, & that means ALL the people. Bring your creativity and be involved. (:

Evening of April 4th, FREE, Galvin Playhouse @ ASU Tempe. Yeah baby!

urban sol

urban sol

WELL WHAT IS GOING DOWN, URBANARTSAZ?

  • ·         Eddie Wellz, ASU student as well as enlightened-MC is dropping his 2nd mixtape, Keep Your Head Up, this Thursday (3/6). As mixtapes go, it will be available for free just about anywhere you find it. If you like your rap to be about something a little more meaningful then weed, flashy gold or cars, & more inspired and deeper when it regards women, then don’t deprive yourself. Google this kid and find his music. It’s doing YOU a favor. Download the brilliancy here!
Keep Your Head Up

Keep Your Head Up

 

·         Phonetic Spit will be bringing their own brand of New poetry to the Burton Barr Central Library the Saturday of the 15th. Get inspired. Wear that purple painter’s hat and practice snapping your fingers. Get that perplexed, intrigued intellectual-look well versed with your face, cause it’s gonna be deep. No totally joking! This is the most down-to-Earth, real word-fest I’ve ever experienced. Don’t miss out!

phonetic spit at the downtown library

phonetic spit at the downtown library

 And of course: Beautiful Murals!

trapped OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA flowers

Hello World, PHX Here!

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Hello World, PHOENIX Here!

Amongst the miles and miles of anonymous cinder block walls, sprawling suburbs broken only by abandoned lots and failed construction projects, and cookie cutter homes that could make even an angel feel like a mass produced robot, you might be asking what “urban”? What art? How could anything lively grow out of this Arizona dust?

Well, my friend, don’t fall into despair just yet. Welcome to UrbanArtsAZ, giving you a full dosage of color, inspiration, and reality through the blossoming music, mural, and movement taking place in our oasis. Here we will provide a spotlight on the brave souls, young and old, who dare to splash life onto Haboob-blasted brick walls, the dancers who capture the rhythm of our heat waves, and the poets and musicians who have translated the Southwest into an epic that must be shared.

All you have to do is sit back, get something cold to sip, and enjoy your fellow Phoenicians as they sweat to breathe life into our City.

So, What’s Going Down?

Need to break the boundaries of “normal”?  Hit the freeway to the Phoenix Central Library for Phonetic Spit, this Saturday, (1/18) for a poetry workshop, as well as an open mic where the brave can showcase their pen’s perspective. You don’t want to miss this chance to support poetry in the community. Check out Phonetic Spit here, as they are central players in bringing spoken word and poetry to a bloom here in cactus land. These guys routinely show local kids the freedom of poetry, so definitely show them some love in return!

Taken by Claire Lawton, of the Phoenix New Times. (Don't sue me!)

Taken by Claire Lawton, of the Phoenix New Times. (Don’t sue me!)

If you’re lucky enough to live downtown, then you are accustomed to the beauty that is springing onto walls all around Roosevelt Row. On UrbanArtsAZ, we will regularly post pictures of the dopest murals and street art in the valley. Seriously, some of these kids use colors like an Arizona sunset. For starters, here’s a collaboration between Francisco Garcia, Francisco Guerrero and Edgar Fernandez. Take a good look and soak it in!

 

& to wrap things up this week, the Tempe Center for the Arts has started Walk-In Wednesdays. The center has opened its doors to local musicians, poets, really anybody not afraid of an audience with something sick to share, to come and make noise! Right along Tempe Town Lake, on Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Ave, come chill with ASU students as they show the world what it’s like to be HERE. Kids start lining up at the door at 5 p.m., so if you would like to perform, get there early! The place is well known for the friendly, welcoming atmosphere and good vibes. Don’t be afraid to do your thing!
A little inspiration: