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.
January 13, 2019.
6:30pm-7:45pm on January 13th
$15 advance ticket purchase / $20 at the door
We're excited to welcome back Virgil's bright energy and expertise! He is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher working across hip hop disciplines. You don't want to miss this!
Here's his bio from Broadway Dance Center in NYC, where he teaches:
Over the years, Virgil "Lil O" Gadson has appeared in NFL commercials, Season Eight of So You Think You Can Dance (top 30), MTV‘s Americas Best Dance Crew, music videos, and has choreographed musicals. He is an avid student and instructor of Hip-Hop dance and he thoroughly incorporates himself into all aspects of the art form.
Virgil was nominated for a Fred Astaire Award for the Broadway show After Midnight (7 Tony nominations) as principle actor/dancer along side Dule Hill, Fantasia Barrino, and Desmond Richardson alongside numerous other artists.
Ranging from outreach programs in Philadelphia to the University of the Arts in Center City to classrooms in Bermuda, Virgil has instructed children and adults of all ages and is very involved in his community as well as dance communities abroad. He has also competed in Paris, Japan, China and Russia representing the U.S for the Hip-Hop title of many different competitions from 2011-2013.
December 16 | 7 pm, 9 pm |$10 at the door |2100 Chestnut St. 2nd Floor. Philadelphia, PA 19121
yes, this is she is a duet created and performed by Maddie Hopfield and Kayla Bobalek, inspired by today’s increasing onslaught of scam phone calls and the minefield of navigating contemporary communication. Maddie has been receiving dubious tax fraud phone calls for a while now. Kayla’s grandpa lost everything he had to telephone marketing schemes. Time and communication inside of relationships expands and contracts between phone calls and texting, as both of their families live far away (phone calls, voicemails, guilt), yet as collaborators they live and work together (texts, telepathy). With both frivolousness and gravity, Maddie and Kayla use speech and movement to investigate the intricately connected world of phones, family, and language.
yes, this is she is the cumulative presentation of UMA’s winter Artists in Residence season. The summer season, the inaugural season, presented two powerful local artists: Majestique and Yvonne Pilar. Maddie & Kayla were awarded the Winter Residency, as part of a test drive of UMA’s a new choreographic fellowship that provides training for dancers throughout the summer, requires the artists learn and participate in DIY production, and cumulates in an evening length performance. UMA, an organization only one year old, is proud to be sharing its resources by offering artist in residency opportunities three times a year, with an annual call in the spring. These residencies include free studio space, hip hop and yoga classes, artistic support, and a cumulative performance.
This fall we added two classes to the schedule: Beginner House with Ricky Evans and Locking & Funk Styles with Drew Ramsey. Both of these guys hail from the Hoodlockers, Philly's foremost locking crew. Our social media intern Adriana Imhof recently captured some of their magic. The Hoodlockers can be found not only teaching and throwing down around town but performing on major theater stages such as Jacob's Pillow and off-Broadway, in Rennie Harris' Funkified! (click here to read the NY Times coverage).
On July 19th, I had the pleasure of hosting our first formally-informal works in progress cabaret. It was awesome. I was a cabaret in the sense that the vibe was intimate, with lots of space for audience response, and the line up had a rich variety of clever performers. Studio B was packed with both UMA regular students eager to see their teacher and classmates under a new light, as well as folks brand new to the space, who came to see their friends throw down.
Artsits included Amalia Waitr Lewis (@amalia_raye), Sanchel Brown (our current teaching resident, @trudancer92), Maddie Hopfield (@wibmd), Noa Schnitzer (@noatree), Lillian Ransijn (@lillianatora), and Ben Baker with Jamal (@tbbake and @tru_dalife). Everyone's work shimmered with inter-disciplinarity. I like performance where the artists are taking risks with their conceptual questions as well as technical capacity. Amalia timed her work through the chewing of ginger candies; Sanchel was a prism of gendered racial identity; Maddie messed around with apples and language; Lillian slithered through between grief and sexuality; Ben proposed a triptych of poetic moods of hip hop; with paper puppetry, Noa made us laugh and groan about what it's like to read the news these days. I was stoked by how attentive the audience was, with lots of tender and thoughtful feedback.
Most of the artists in this first go round were applicants to our summer residency. We had such a kick ass pool of applicants, I wanted to do harness that momentum, even though I couldn't offer them all residency positions. Vince and I have both had our own ups and downs in the arts funding/creative capital world; it can be a bummer than being an artist has come to require also being a fundraiser and grant writer. It felt really good to be able to curate a night of work I woulnd't have known about if not for the residency application process and to give these killer artist a low stress platform (and a month of free classes.)
Big thanks to the artists for sharing their work and for everyone who came out to support.
This is a Dance Party where students, family and friends are welcome to join us in dancing the night away! Whether you dance as partners, solo or in groups, all are welcome. Social dancing is a great way to meet new people, learn more, practice, improve and have lots and lots of fun!! Students this is a great way for you to practice the new moves and routines you’ve been learning in class with your fellow students, instructors and other local dancers.
Click for Tickets
See you at the party!
Intro to Yoga (for newcomers to Yoga)
This is a 6 week intensive that provides a step by step process for starting a yoga practice. Introducing the names and alignment of basic postures, this series is for newcomers of all ages. It will provide a base of knowledge to enter any style of yoga. Instructor Alex Brazinski teaches at a comfortable beginner pace to build confidence for new movers; there's no pressure to keep up. Come learn about yoga!
When: Sundays 4:30-5:30 Nov 12-Dec 17th
Sign up here
Backbends and Handstands for All Levels
A 6 week intensive for individuals with a basic to advanced level of practice. This workshop teaches yoga-based methods of developing handstands and backbends. Instructor, Noah Julian, provides students with safe and mindful steps to unlocking new physical mobility and capabilities for performing feats of power and grace. Click to watch video of Noah.
When: Thursdays 6:30-7:30pm Nov 9th- Dec 21 (no class on Nov 23rd, Thanksgiving)
Sign up here
More Great Class Options @ UMA Philly Yoga and Workout Classes
SEPT 15, 16, 22, & 23 at 8 pm
SEPT 17 & 23 at 5 pm
UMA Philly founder Vince Johnson collaborates with virtuosic Cuban jazz musician Francois Zayas for a raw, up close duet, inviting the audience into the many layers and textures of identity.
“i.d.” is an uplifting journey through sound and movement that celebrates the complexity of race, culture and gender diversity. Vince Johnson is a former principal dancer for Rennie Harris Puremovement and Francois Zayas a former member of the National Symphonic Orchestra of Cuba. Johnson and Zayas’ virtuosities overlap as they effortlessly transform themselves through styles of dance and music. This shape shifting celebrates the richness of human expression and identity. Johnson fuses influences from hip hop, martial arts, and contemporary dance into aerodynamic expressions of grace and control. Francois delivers ear-bending beats that travel across a landscape of percussion instrumentation from around the world. Johnson and Zayas, both educators at Movemakers Philly and the newly launched Urban Movement Arts Philly have created “I.D” as dazzling and inspirational entertainment for all ages.
Development of “i.d.” was supported by The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) Forward Dialogues Residency.