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.
‘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.
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.:
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!
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
· 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
And of course: Beautiful Murals!