“Are you the one we’ve been waiting on?” he recalled her asking.
“Yeah!” he replied.
“All right, go in there,” she followed.
“It was at that moment I knew this was where I belonged,” Evans said last week.
Joan Myers Brown founded the Philadelphia Dance Company – known as Philadanco – 44 years ago. Her intent was to create an instructional sanctuary for talented African-American dancers who were then not welcome in the established schools and companies, a place where young dancers of color felt as though they belonged.
She has achieved just that.
Still, however, there remains a latent inequity in the field.
“The imbalance is still present,” Brown stated. “It’s important that with that imbalance that we support each other. I try to make opportunities for choreographers. A lot of young choreographers. Especially with the International Association of Blacks in Dance that I started. I think that we are obligated to the next generation.”
Brown founded Philadanco in 1970 undoubtedly for the same motivations that led Alvin Ailey to found the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City more than a decade prior – to showcase to the world modern dance movement as expressed by African Americans. But more importantly, the idea was to provide an outlet for their talent.
Up-and-coming choreographer Tommie-Waheed Evans has matriculated through both of these prestigious companies.
Tonight and tomorrow, Philadanco will present Francis Poulenc’s Aubade in conjunction with The Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
The piece is choreographed by Evans, who was initially shocked by the opportunity.
“The fact that they asked this young black man from South Central Los Angeles – a member of Philadanco, someone with this aggressive and athletic movement – has been a challenge,” Evans stated. “And that’s been the beauty of it.”
South Central’s ScHoolboy Q will perform on Monday at The Troc tomorrow and we’re giving away tickets.
If you want to play it safe and get your own tickets, find details for the show here.
Text and images by Grace Dickinson.
Philly-based Marian Hill played their first ever show at Boot and Saddle on Tuesday. Their debut EP Play comes out next week, March 4th, from which they’ve already released several songs online.
The catchy, electro-R&B singles they’ve dropped – like “Lovit” (already grossing close to 40,000 views on YouTube) and “Whisky” – managed to draw out quite the crowd despite the band being in such a nascent stage of their music career.
JUMP Presents The Red Bull Sound Select Party With Plastic Little, Needle Points, Sweatheart and GUN$ Garcia on April 26.
We’ve been trying to keep this pretty quiet until everything is locked down but we’re just too damn excited.
On April 26, JUMP will present the first Plastic Little show in Philly since 2009. This will be a wild party, with Sweatheart and Needle Points opening and Mad Decent’s GUN$ Garcia spinning ’til Underground Arts kicks us out.
And thanks to Red Bull, tickets will be only $3!
We’ll have free T-shirts and other giveaways, plus lots of guest performers throughout the night.
We’ll announce ticket details in about two weeks, just before the spring issue of JUMP hits the streets.
Stay tuned. And start getting in shape to dance your ass off.
In April of 1994, the Digable Planets walked out of Radio City Music Hall stunned to be holding the Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
In reality, says Cee Knowledge (aka Craig Irving – or Doodlebug, as he was then known), the crew was just happy for the invite and the chance to kick it with some of the established legends of the music world.
“We all had our parents with us, which was a surreal situation,” he reflects wistfully. “I got my moms sitting right next to me and there are all these luminaries of the music and entertainment world around.”
“The Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat),” the first single off Digable Planets’ debut album, Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space), was nominated alongside some heavy hitters of the early ’90s rap charts and no one inside their camp thought they had a realistic chance of winning the award.
“I’m thinking, ‘Ok, Dr. Dre and Snoop got this,’” Cee Knowledge recalls. “And when they said our name it was like time stopped.”
He was – and still is – flabbergasted.
“I thought, ‘Did they just say Digable Planets?’” he remembers. “Then my mom nudged me. ‘Go, get up there!’ And I was like ‘Oh, oh shit!’”
Text and images by Mina Lee.
Playing to a die-hard audience of all ages, teens and parents alike stomped their feet and clapped to Celtic punk rock hits, such as “Devil’s Dance Floor” and “Salty Dog.” Offering jabs at “Gingervitis” and the joys of not being sober, lead singer Dave King tossed out cans of Guinness to the audience. Aware of the massive pool of ages in front of him, King was unapologetic in the best of ways, joking that the girl that caught the first tossed Guinness was probably 14.
Leaving an ever-crushing crowd of moshers, crowd-surfers and ragers with bruises and hoarse voices, King made sure to give their fans a proper ending.
“We’ve always had one common denominator these last 10 years on the Green 17 Tour,” he said. “And people…It’s been fuckin’ you. Thank you.”
However, even after their goodbyes, not a single body moved to leave.
Stomping and unanimous cheering filled the venue until King returned to the stage to begin an encore performance.
An assuring King had one last piece of wisdom to share: “Philadelphia, it’s gonna be alright.”
Dancing along to “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” Flogging Molly was joined by their crew on stage to say their final goodbyes of the night. Reluctant bodies shuffled to the venue doors and out into the cold, some left shirtless (and even shoeless) from the chaos that Flogging Molly had so seamlessly created.
Alright Philly, let me get all deep and introspective on you for a second. There’s something truly special about a group of otherwise random people getting together and making music, don’t you think? The fact that musicians can get together and make anything and everything from beautiful sonic soundscapes to straight ahead eardrum-shattering noise rock is a pretty amazing thing. On top of all that, we live in a city that is filled to the brim with excellent groups of musicians doing just that. So, go out this weekend and experience and support some of the best local bands and artists Philly has to offer. Oh, there will be beer too. Beer is good. - Derrick Krom
Start your weekend off right by celebrating the release of lo-fi rock/pop duo Revolution, I Love You’s newest EP The Atlantic Ocean. Revolution, I Love You (above) will be joined by fellow Philly electro pop-rockers Dockument and local rock band The One2s. It’s bound to be a unique and genre-bending night.
It’s going be a dirty, rock ‘n’ roll-filled night at Ortlieb’s this Friday when Philly outfit The Rivals come out from the underground to tear through a set of brooding blues-rock numbers. Country rockers Levee Drivers and Brooklyn garage rock duo Crushed Out will round out the bill.