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

Halloween in April

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Wild West Hip Hop

Janda
Urban Sol is a-comin’ my people! This Friday (4/4), ASU’s Tempe Campus will be conquered by Hip Hop. The Galvin Playhouse (the Southwest section of campus) will be a beautiful horde of artists, professionals, and students alike breakin’, graffin’, deejayin’, and emceein’. Reunited at last, the four elements of Hip Hop, all in one place at one time, might just spark TOO MUCH magic & dopeness. Ancient Native American spirits will probably rise from the desert and dance with us. The city officials might mistake us for a riot. The retirees out in Sun City will reconsider their quiet, peaceful suburban blocks as Urban Sol echoes through every corner of the Valley. Whether or not the streets are shutdown, this is sure to be a night to remember, so don’t miss out!

Urban Sol is a Free event, but donations will be held for Cyphers (a beloved jewel of breaking & dance in our community) to help them relocate downtown, as well as a fundraiser in support of Jukebox studios, another staple in our artistic life here in Phoenix. Definitely show up and enjoy, but also remember to PARTicipate and do your part for the whole city.

abstractgraffiti
The graphic art portion (graphic art = graffiti.. Urban Sol 101) will be led by b-boy House, of Cypher’s Center of the Arts. Our graffiti installation is a little different this year, as clothes will be incorporated into the canvas and everyone who wishes it can have their swag tinged with tonight. The finished product is most definitely going to be out of the box & something no one’s ever done before, just another reason to do yourself the favor of being a part of all this beauty! Bring one piece of clothing to donate to the art, and one you want back to wear!

frontside
backside

Tomas Stanton (local poet, hippie & thug, ½ of Phonetic Spit) led last Friday’s workshop and open sesh, schoolin’ 20 or 30 ASU students on the art of the Spoken Word. This workshop had real relaxed, personal vibrations throughout & provided a compelling snippet of Phonetic Spit’s unique style of Spoken Word.

Tomas invited his students into the art form by starting with the foundations, showing us some of his secrets of expression. We reached into our hearts through stream-of-consciousness exercises, as Tomas pitched words and ideas, nuances and inflections to bounce off our brains and inspire our souls. “Let your spirit vomit, we’re just goin’ with what comes naturally right now.” We successfully slowed down the breakneck pace of reality and came together from a group of strangers to quickly laughing, thinking, and yes, crying together.

the other 1/2 of Phonetic Spit, Myrlin

the other 1/2 of Phonetic Spit, Myrlin

Tomas’s 3 step breakdown of writing the Truth:


1). Read & Live: “Artists are the best thieves. Nothing is original; we’re all just recycling, improving, or plain stealing ideas from other artists and scientists.” Tomas explained to us right off the bat that reading is essential to refilling that well of inspiration in your mind. Ideas from books and articles can inspire your own work and expand your worldview. Obviously, a nice cache of memories and lived experience is also crucial to the poet, whose function in the world is to show how it really is, really!


2). Write: Phonetic Spit has a unique, accessible style in performances that I feel is mostly due to this writing process. Writing, to Tomas, was mostly getting the raw feelings, the memories, & thoughts into a material form. Tomas emphasized in his workshop that in the initial writing, little to no embellishment is needed. “Fluffy” lines of description or intellectual metaphor is a more cerebral process that can detract from this stage, which is meant to simply get the feelings on paper. Contrasted with my own experience of writing, this technique will keep your poems pure and profound, rooted in the emotion that they were inspired by and not too detached by craftwork.


3) Revise: This is the time to let your mind shine. Tomas uses step 3 to bring in the techniques, the toolbox of expression. Revision to Phonetic Spit is where the raw material, the emotion, gets translated to metaphor & simile, to lines and rhymes and alliteration and assonance, whatever, to bridge your life into your audience’s!


This organization is a fail-safe way to make art out of words. Be sure to catch more intriguing knowledge like this at one of the monthly Phonetic Spit workshops, taking place in the Burton Barr Library, every third Saturday. Always fun and always enlightening, it’s also always free, so be sure to catch the inspiration and meet the people around these parts interested in the same thing.

ARCHIE BURNETT & THE BALL

01ArchieBurnett1


Does the definition of “normal” feel just a little too tight to wear?
Then slip into something more natural!

The Come as You Are Ball is kind of like the best Halloween party you ever went to, minus the Party City plastic but keep the general principle, add a whole lot of Hip Hop, stir in a dash of social change, (bring your own open mind and attitude); and you’ve got the perfect night to forever change your idea of what is “okay” and “normal” to be.


Party with the Urban program the evening of April 18th, in the Physical Education Building – East. (East of Memorial Union).


The Come as You Are Ball will be hosted by master dancer/scholar/weightlifter/teacher/world traveler/graphic artist Archie Burnett. The man’s styles go on & on, but if the words waacking, voguing, feme, posing, & punking, house, or breaking mean something beautiful to you than DO NOT MISS this man’s workshop, to be announced. Even if that last sentence sounded like the recording of a wrestling match to you, don’t miss the chance to experience and learn something new (& what’s more fun than that, really?).

mark ashkenazi JAMES DEAN

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

Wisdom

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Wisdom

It's all about Perception this week (this is by Jake Messing)

It’s all about Perception this week (this is by Jake Messing)

This past week was mind-blowing, urbanites. Last week’s resident artist Brickhouse, (of Urban Artistry), dropped heavy knowledge for ASU’s urban program, teaching us all what it means to be an artist, teacher, as well as an ever-learning student of all art forms. Urban Sol is nearly upon us, and soon after that, the Come as You Are Ball will be pummeling the walls of ASU with emanating bass. More details of those below. All my Arizonans, natives, students, and snowbirds alike, are aware of the immature and close-minded bill making its way passed our uncaring representatives. Keep reading if you want the opportunity to throw a fist in the air and let the Governess know how you feel. Oh yes; this article is chock-full of philosophy, politics, important upcoming events, & of course, pretty pictures. (:

Brickhouse & Urban Artistry

Last Friday night I had the opportunity to sit down with guest artist Brickhouse and nerd-out about art, dance, and life for a while. The gentleman had plenty of wisdom to share about his experiences with his foundation, Urban Artistry, and how they have watered the roots of urban culture. These people are all about embracing the heritage of this culture, educating the current generation, and making sure this art moves in the right, positive direction. Like a b-boy in the 80’s, let me break it down for you:

Urban Artistry Timeline: (study this hard, urbanites)

PAST-

  • ·         Urban Artistry has won Juste Debout twice (compliments to dancer’s Toya & Latasha) and will continue to compete and represent the good ol’ You Es of Ay in this world-wide urban dance competition.
  • ·         Urban Artistry began teaching in 2005 – originally to all adults, already experienced in house, hip hop, popping, locking, etc. It took a little while for the younger generations to realize the opportunity education can provide and the massive strength your art can gain when the artist knows their history.
  • ·         In addition to travelling all over the world, spreading knowledge and establishing urban dance in cities in Africa & Europe, Urban Artistry has performed at the Kennedy Center & the Smithsonian in D.C. (prestige, y’all!)

PRESENT-

  • ·         The House That Jack Built” workshops & lectures teach the youngin’s all about how this thing called “urban culture” began and what it means to be a part of it. These workshops are a positive opportunity for kids (& adults alike) in the D.C. area to get to know one another, to build a community, and strengthen ties within the art. Urban Artistry is a driving force in the continual spread of House dance, as well as helping house dance & urban styles become recognized as the true American art forms they are.
  • ·         Urban Artistry recently began operating as a non-profit organization, signifying their now established connection with and importance to the community.
  • ·         Urban Artistry continues to work extremely hard in pushing house dance & hip hop in the right direction. They teach in cities across the globe that have sprouted their own urban communities, that often have much in common with what we’re doing here in the States.

FUTURE-

  • ·         When asked about the future of Urban Artistry, Brickhouse looked me dead in the eye and told me they literally did not have time to write down goals. They will continue to practice their art, translate it to outsiders, welcome in newcomers, as well as teach the world to move and keep learning themselves. Urban Artistry plans to establish house & urban styles within academia (go ASU!) as well as for the history books.

Much love to Urban Artistry & Brickhouse for blessing the Southwest with his knowledge!

keep it rollin' Urban Artistry

keep it rollin’ Urban Artistry

            See what you can learn at these workshops & open sessions, urbanites? The next one is this Friday night (2/28), in FAC 28, led by Coflo at 9 p.m. 7 bucks for both events, or 5 for one, you know the deal! You could drop Carlton in on one of these nights and he’ll come out moving like Michael Jackson. This week’s guest artist, Coflo, is a hip hop producer, dancer, capoeira-warrior, and musician, so there will without a doubt be SOMETHING to learn! Don’t miss it.

And it’s that time again, friends. My favorite duty as artsy intern, WHAT’S GOING DOWN?

Y’allreadyknow; Urban Sol festival is fast approaching. Hip hop will conquer ASU’s Tempe campus the evening of April 4th, giving all our b-boys & girls, graffers & taggers, DJ’s & scratchers, MC’s, poets, & rappers a chance to shine bright. Just announced: Newbreedz will rock the mic, providing all the goosebumps and god-damn’s for the night. More artists are planned; stay in tune (:

Urban Sol (ASU, Galvin Playhouse)

Urban Sol (ASU, Galvin Playhouse)

The Come as You Are Ball (April 18th) is also on our horizons. Hosted by Archie Burnett, this event will be runway show, dance competition, royal ball, as well as jungle-wild party all colliding into one helluva night. Primarily voguing and waacking artists, there’s gonna be a lot of flavor and attitude in the air. You’re probably going to witness things here that you will never see again in your life (: This event is all about broadening the definition of hip hop dance, in  that what we see in movies & what is portrayed in the media is not at all the beginning and end of Urban styles. The Come as You Are Ball will feature voguing & waacking and will be providing a space for these new forms to practice and be enjoyed, but the real ideal is to push the boundary on what hip hop/urban styles have to look like. Come as You Are, don’t restrict yourself to other people’s definitions (:

VogueFunk (Archie Burnett)

VogueFunk (Archie Burnett)

On that socio-cultural note (still with me?), The Ball is serendipitously the same week as Gay Pride. Let’s open our minds up Arizonans; there will be a gender studies panel taking place around this time that will be announced towards the end of March. All this talk of what is right, what’s wrong, what’s hip hop & what’s not, reminds me that we’re all just chimps on a rock in outer space (if you really think about it) & there’s no reason to treat another living breathing human being differently because of some fake division between us. Keep this in mind as 1062 faces approval or repeal this Friday (2/28). If the right to discriminate on religious grounds doesn’t sound like it should be a right, or has anything to do with loving religion, then feel free to join the protest happening at the State capital building, in downtown Phoenix, 9pm Wednesday night (2/26). Protesting is patriotic!

            & that’s some real wisdom for you, readers. You’ve earned these beautiful pictures this week:

Lips

Lips

Jazz

Jazz

Grass

Grass