JULY 23, 2019
7 - 8:30 pm
Some of you may remember Mel Cotton aka Foxy Rock, who taught Intro to Hip Hop when UMA first opened two years ago. Well, she's BACK for a special summer pop up class: her signature booty-bouncing-body-loving-good-times hip hop class TWERKSHOP WORKSHOP. Mel is a not only a former member of Rennie Harris Pure Movement and a seasoned teacher, but she is also an in demand choreographer around town for some of Philly's biggest theater venues. Her smile makes everyone in class feel welcome. This class is a blast. Don't miss it!
$12 at the door | 8 pm | July 13 | 2100 Chestnut St. 2nd Flr
EEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! Our Artists in Residence this summer have taken my breath away with their grace, focus, and humility. Lauren and Shanel are at very different moments in their artistic journeys, but they are both committed to their practice and their bodies in a powerful and electric way. Lauren just graduated from Princeton, where she caused some good trouble in the dance department, insisting on the value of hip hop forms in choreographic practice. He work is full of patterns and insistence and quiet power. Shanel has returned to making dances after a brief hiatus to figure out how the fuck to exist in the dance world in a healthy way. Their movement is so comfortable in i's own skin, and also ready for anything. I'm so excited to share with the world the work of these two beautiful artists. You can read more about them individually here.
- Lily Kind
all photos: Adriana Imhof
Workinonit: Deluxe Edition
June 1 | 7:30 pm
$12 online | $15 at the door
The Performance Garage
1515 South Brandywine St. Philadelphia, PA 19130
Workinonit came into existence last summer as a way to build community with many of the amazing artists in residence applicants. Vince and I feel we have a responsibility to our community to share our in-demand resources with artists on the come up. Workinonit Deluxe Edition will be the fourth iteration of this works-in-progress cabaret. In place of of the usual in studio process showings, this Workinonit is a showcase of complete work making it's first baby steps into the big, bright world. We're taking a field trip to the Performance Garage (a hip venue much fancier than it sounds) to share a killer line up of dance theater performances that, frankly, you won't see in combination anywhere else in Philadelphia. I've built this show also as a space to share some of my new work, created in collaboration with dancers who take classes at UMA. I'm pretty stoked to share my latest; it involves Ravel's "Bolero" and is performed by Amalia Colon Nava, Caitlin Green, Evelyn Langley, Chelsea Murphy, Lillian Ransijn, Dylan Smythe, and Mary Carmen Webb. I'm also tossing a tidbit from my large scale/ long term project called Wolfthicket.
Critical ingredients to UMA's secret sauce are my co-workers Laurel Card and Adriana Imhof. They will both be sharing material at Workinonit. They both have the patience and focus to teach in our kids hip hop program (MoveMakers). Laurel holds down all things grown and Salsa. Adriana runs our social media platforms. She also works for Hip Hop Fundamentals and has been training in house and breaking with some of Philly's finest.. I'm sure you've see them around the studio. What you probably haven't seen is the hours they put into their own practices, ever finding and molding their relationship to their respective styles. Laurel's Solo Salsa class will be demo-ing material from class. And I've convinced Adriana to celebrate graduating from Temple by performing.
If that wasn't enough, the rest of the line up is epic. Several performers who are connected to UMA in various ways are coming through with new material, fresh and flavorful. Comedienne Jenna Horton, emerging from the winter soil with spring in her step, brings us “Dale”. Helen Noland lights the stage on fire with kaleidoscopic hip hop choreography. From Brooklyn, Sarah Chein brings adventurous improvisations that fly across the floor. Major Curl (Julia Davis) will do something that merits the adjective "titillating." We just added Camille Gamble to the mix. With many additional surprise performers in the mix, as well as the heartwarming showings of some of UMA's adult Salsa students, Workinonit: Deluxe Edition is the perfect thing to do before whatever else it is you do on a Saturday night.
See you there!
About the flyer design: The sources image can be found in the Vancouver Sun Archives. It is from a 1935 advertisement for "Brown Skin Models", a black vaudeville revue that played the Strand Theatre in 1935. The vaudeville industry, predominantly white owned and dependent upon racist minstrel tropes, was mostly gone by the thirties. However, vaudeville laid the bedrock for popular entertainment in America in music, film, and theater. The racism of this legacy has not been erased with time. Simultaneously, scholars Jayna Brown, Sadiya Hartman, and Daphne Brooks have demonstrated how the vaudeville circuit was also a site of artistic (and gender) expression that afforded female POC performers an economic agency otherwise made unavailable by dominant racist economics and politics at the local, state, and national level. The women of vaudeville were not just passive receptacles of some fucked up shit, but actively used the vaudeville stage as site for satire, subversion, rapture, competition, and joyful re-telling and re-claiming of the possibilities for female and non-binary performers in America. I am inspired by the resilience of these women. Moreover, the vaudeville circuit was the counter point to 'high-culture' and concert dance, which was an aristocratic tradition in origin. In producing conglomerate shows for UMA, I feel we are working in the lineage of vaudeville.
Wednesdays | 6:30pm Tai Chi | 7:30 pm Qi Gong | June 12 - August 28
UMA is honored to begin offering drop in Tai Chi classes with Tom Updegrove, starting in June.
Tom Updegrove started his journey in Tai Chi and Chi Kung in 1970 studying with Ted Mancuso and William Lin. He says that Tai Chi was a natural evolution for him from Karate which he studied from the time he was a teenager. Tom has studied with many great teachers over the decades and has even made the pilgrimage to Henan Province, Chen Village (Chenjiagou) to study firsthand the Chen style of Tai Chi. Tai Chi and Chi Kung are forms of ancient Chinese exercise that have developed over centuries of time. Both arts are sometimes spelled Taiji & Qigong today and are the same art. It is said that one who practices regularly will gain the pliability of a baby, the vitality of a lumberjack and the peace of mind of a sage.
Tai Chi ($120 for 12 weeks)
Qi Gong ($120 for 12 weeks)
Tai Chi & Qi Gong ($180 for 12 weeks)
Sun April 28th
Functional Flexibility Series for Yogis and Movers: Lower Body
$30 / single class
$50 / both
This 90-minute workshop offers yogis and movers the opportunity to investigate novel approaches to increase flexibility in the lower body. Instructor, Alex Brazinski, will lead participants through a mindful process of exploring ways to acquire more range of motion and control through foam rolling/self-release techniques, joint preparation, and isometric stretching. Fundamental training of patterns will set the foundation for exploring poses that feature hip mobility, including splits. Alex will stimulate each students progression towards realizing new forms of strength and flexibility in the hips, undoubtedly serving each participant's more general movement practice and overall vitality. The Functional Flexibility Series at UMA Philly is open to all levels.
Functional Flexibility Series for Yogis and Movers: Upper Body and Backbends
$30 / single class
$50 / both
This 90-minute workshop offers yogis and movers the opportunity to investigate novel approaches to increase flexibility in the upper body. Instructor, Alex Brazinski, will lead participants through a mindful process of exploring ways to acquire more range of motion and control through foam rolling/self-release techniques, joint preparation, and isometric stretching. Fundamental training of patterns will set the foundation for exploring poses that feature shoulder mobility, including backbends. Alex will stimulate each students progression towards realizing new forms of strength and flexibility in the upper body, undoubtedly serving each participant's more general movement practice and overall vitality. The Functional Flexibility Series at UMA Philly is open to all levels.
The Hoodlockers, local innovators of the Locking legacy, bring camaraderie and competition to Hip Hop's funkiest style.
PHILADELPHIA - If you thought “rock, paper, scissors” was boring or easy, you’ve never thrown down with Philly based dance crew The Hoodlockers. These internationally acclaimed dancers have invented their own version of the classic game rock/paper/scissors; their version celebrates the classic Locking move "Uncle Sam Points". Points in Locking often come with a heavy dose of mean mugging and shoulder articulation. Think about Michael Jackson's iconic points: he turns his gaze sharply with his shoulders moving independently, delayed from his head. Jackson worked on his choreography with one of the pioneers of Locking, Suga Pop. The Hoodlockers investment in their genre has taken them to train with Sugar Pop, as well as Don “Campbellock” Campbell--- inventor of the “lock” movement itself-- as well as Greg” Campbellock” Campbell Jr, Skeeter Rabbit, and Fluky Luke. Members of the Hoodlockers have taken home trophies from international dance battles and competitions across the globe. Their quartet regularly tours with Rennie Harris Pure Movement. Additionally, they train a junior crew of up and coming all styles dancers, called Hoodnation whose performance last year at Jacob’s Pillow’s Inside/Out stage received a standing ovation.
Like their adaption of rock-paper-scissors, the Hoodlockers are both goofy and serious, competitive and inviting. They are stretching the fabric of traditions. Speaking to his beginner adult students at Urban Movement Arts, Andrew “Riot” Ramsey explains “You’re never gunna look like me, ‘cause you’re not me.” He’s alluding to not just his years of training and performing, but to his whole life. Riot’s lock looks like he’s riding a motorcycle, his whole body snarling at you. He’s lean and athletic, like Shabadoo, one of the original lockers, Rick "Glitch" Evan’s lock is more square, boxy, a victorious video game hero. Josh "J Peazy" Polk is also known as Uncle Peazy for good reason, his happy-go-lucky physical character is the closest to Don "Campbellock" Campell's original old school style. Marcus "Epic Phlave" Tucker is in some ways an amalgam of them all, while uniquely his own, his razor sharp stare and incredibly crispy lines come out of nowhere.
“Lock, Paper, Scissors” goes beyond your traditional choreography, where there is little to no interaction between dancers. Locking is a social dance, a soulful dance. The show absorbs you into the Hoodlockers’ funky world. Their different styles inform their different performance personas. In “Lock, Paper, Scissors” you will see these four different characters as individuals and also as a deeply connected unit. The Hoodlockers have known each other a long time, have had their share of brotherly disputes, struggles, and triumphs. Glytch describes how audiences “see how we’re connected on a different level, and can’t help but be entertained." Seeing the The Hoodlockers perform together in UMA's familial studio space is a rare opportunity not to be missed.
Presenting organization Urban Movement Arts (UMA) welcomes adults of all ages and experience levels to explore Hip Hop, American folk dance, and African Diaspora movement genres. UMA, located in downtown Philly, guides movers and dancers to develop connection to community and style. UMA’s events and classes bring out the joy of discovering new ways of being and moving in the world.
Media Contact: Lily Kind | email@example.com
Salsa Beginner and Level 1 Advanced Beginner 8 Week Series
Starts April 7th and runs until June 2nd (no class on Sunday, April 21)
Salsa Series Prices:
Individual Registration: $75
Partner Registration: $125
*$10 off for UMA members
Salsa Series Includes:8 Weeks of Salsa Classes
1 free drop in to Solo Salsa Group Class Mondays 6:00pm
1 free Practice Party that happens once a month a UMA
Discounted private lesson rate during duration of the series; $60 for individual/ $100 for partners
Beginner Salsa *8 Week course Sundays 3:00-4:00pm:
This 8 week course is for the absolute beginner or those that want to strengthen and improve their foundation of Salsa On1. This course will give you all you need to know about the foundation of Salsa dancing, your basics, timing, dance positions, leading and following, footwork and turns. The course is designed to progress and to build each week. Each class we will take the time to really understand the steps and what the body is doing so we can build muscle memory. Most importantly let’s remember to have fun! Feel free to repeat the second half of this course as many times as you need to feel comfortable.
Salsa Level 1 Advanced Beginner *8 Weeks Sundays 4:30-5:30pm:
This course will help you build on the basics from the Beginner Series. You will be introduced to advanced patterns and shines, step variations, how to lead and follow them, styling and more challenging combinations. You must have competed Beginner Salsa Series, ideally a few times of the second half of Beginner Salsa.
Francois, Chrissie and Me
On March 23rd at 8:30pm, Vince will share a piece of improvised sound and movement with Francois and Chrissie. Francois and Chrissie are amazing musicians, not to be missed. Francois and Chrissie teach music lessons in collaboration with our kids program Move Makers. If you saw Vince's 2017 Fringe show "i.d" you have a general idea of what you're in for! We'll have somethings to drink and snack on. It's gonna be chill. $10 at the door.
Home to Homeland
8 pm | March 2 & 3, 2019
From Baltimore to Senegal, Sanchel Brown’s new evening length dance journey is a reminder that home is always beneath the feet.
Ticket link: https://tinyurl.com/UMAsanchel
Philadelphia, PA - In Home to Homeland, choreographer Sanchel Brown, dances, sings, raps, and raises an eyebrow as she travels from 1920’s Harlem to contemporary day time television. Brown weaves common yet diverse movement languages of footwork, as she invites us to follower her footprints towards the meaning of Motherland. Home to Homeland includes stops smack dab in the middle of a New Orleans second line as well as the Baltimore of Brown’s childhood.
Sanchel has been teaching her B’more Afro House class at Urban Movement Arts since summer of 2018, when she came on as a Guest Teaching Artist. The richness of her varied training and passion continues to unfold as she explores her repertoire more broadly, including her experience as a theater actor and choreographer. Talking about the piece/her process, Brown considers, “While in Senegal, I felt a connection of Dance as healing -- as connected to my childhood in Baltimore -- although there were dark days and minimal resources, everyone danced. While visiting New Orleans, I witnessed the same connection to brown bodies whom seem to have lost so much, yet have so much through their dance.”
Pack light and get ready to travel to many worlds. This experience will remind you that home is always beneath the feet. Home to Homeland is a the cumulative performance of the Spring Artist in Residence cycle. UMA’s Artist in Residence Program supports the creation of new performance work by providing production support to artists working in conjunction with the UMA community.
Artist Bio: Sanchel Brown
Brown is a performer/choreographer/actress originally from Baltimore, MD. She obtained her B.F.A from Virginia Commonwealth University, extensively studying movement of the African Diaspora in Senegal, West Africa under the direction of Germaine Acogny at L’Ecole De Sable. Most recently, she studied commercial Hip Hop Dance under the direction of Rhapsody James in Los Angeles, CA. Her performance highlight include World of Dance Philadelphia 2018 (choreographer/performer), The Kimmel Center's 2018 Jazz residency (choreographer/soloist), Let 'Im Move You: This is a Formation (Performer), Urban Bush Women (Apprentice), and Theatre Horizon's Black Nativity (Barrymore Win!). Her choreography highlights include Theatre Horizon's "The Color Purple" Regional PREMIERE, Yale Dramat's "Dreamgirls", and her self -produced show "Ode to Black Wombman" (National Tour). Sanchel currently teaches her original "Bmore Afro" class fusing Baltimore House and West African Dance Forms every week in NYC (Cumbe Center for Diasporic Dance) and Philadelphia (Urban Movement Arts). Her teaching highlights also include Yale University, Princeton University, Dancing Grounds, Drexel University, and University of The Arts.
March 2 8 pm
March 3 8 pm
Tickets online or at the door: https://tinyurl.com/UMAsanchel
2100 Chestnut St (2nd Floor), Philadelphia, PA
To request photos, interviews and more information, please contact:
Lily Kind, Artist in Residence Program Director, Urban Movement Arts, firstname.lastname@example.org
UMA is delighted to be hosting and Embodiology workshop with Dr. Ama Wray on Feb 3, 2019.
1 -2:30 pm
$15 Tickets can be purchased in advance here.
$20 at the door.
What is Embodiology®?
“Movement that Inspires Mind”
Embodiology® is a culturally inclusive approach to improvisation or freestyling, a neo-African improvisation-as-performance methodology. It is a practice which priorities embodiment of rhythm and building collaborative relationships between performers. You will learn how to play with and navigate through rhythm’s multidimensionality, embody its features (silence, tonality, repetition, speech-patterns) enabling you to create spontaneously and confidently. Workshops includes live music.
Dr. S. Ama Wray
Dr. S. Ama Wray is the creator of Embodiology®, a practical strategy, replete with techniques for skill development, to discover and sustain a vibrant creative life-force that can be utilized in the professional or private space. She completed her PhD at the University of Surrey, developing the practical and theoretical landscape that is Embodiology®.
She has taught improvisation and creativity at such institutions as: The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Temple University, Florida International University, Middlesex University, University of Ghana, Legon and New Waves Institute, Trinidad and Tobago. Her Embodiology® practice and research into improvisation extends to working with scientists, medical doctors, and entrepreneurs interested in how improvisers collaborate, invent and navigate life. Publications include: “A Hybrid Neo-African Improvisation-as-Performance Practice Distinguished by Dynamic Rhythm," is forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook of Improvisation in Dance. She is currently an Associate Professor of Dance at the University of California, Irvine and the Artistic Director of JazzXchange.