Tags: dance

Silly - Dirty Face

Papa Stop the War

Hearken the voice of reason. Racial venom is like social dynamite.

I've been doing some writing about the last days of apartheid, so far mostly for myself but hopefully some will be sharable. In the process I've been rewatching some movies on the subject and listening to music from the time. I was rewatching, Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony and it took me right back to those times.

It also reminded me of an example of music from South Africa that was popular toward the end of apartheid, a plea for sanity and an end to the cycle of violence. Scenes of men preparing for battle were censored by the government controlled media. I remember loving this song. It is performed by Chico (Sello Twala), but features the voice and english poetry (see below) of The People's Poet, Mzwake Mbuli.

Mbuli started with anti-apartheid protest poetry at Trade Union events and was repeatedly detained by the authorities and his music and albums banned. He persisted at great personal risk, becoming a popular hero of the revolution. He continues to speak for the people today, highlighting issues like HIV and AIDS, political violence and corruption.

Papa Stop the War
Listen to the voice of reason
Words of wisdom have to be ushered
A better world has to be built
Listen to the voice of reason
Now is the time
To unchain the minds
Now is the time
To unchain the hearts
Images of a new dream
Images of a new society
Should emerge
Hearken the voice of reason
Racial venom is like social dynamite
It is like a revival of a perilous syndrome
A syndrome of death and destruction
This is the voice of concern
A voice of social redemption
An eye for an eye makes the world blinded
reconciliation and reconstruction
Is like a dark cloud
Giving way to the blue sky
Human kind must put an end to war
Or war will put an end to human kind
Africa and the world
Cannot afford self pity
If something is not worth living for
It is not worth dying for
Yes this is the voice of reason
In search of liberty
Human kind think positive
Choose life not death
This is the voice of reason
That shakes the conscience of human kind
That was the voice of reason
Scene - Robot anim


This is sensational. I kinda collect dance videos... and somehow I missed this incredible one of Marquese "Nonstop" Scott... until now. People, I implore you... watch this and be amazed. It starts slow, but then gets awesome. And the slow bit in the middle is actually a setup to a great climax. Incredible stuff.
Silly - Dirty Face

Ballet Monks

So last night agrathea and I saw a mixture of ballet and Shaolin Monks. Quit your laughing... I'm serious. No really. For one night, here in Portland, Oregon, we were treated to Alonzo King's LINES Ballet with the Shaolin Monks.

Here's their blurb:
Long River, High Sky

Ballet meets martial arts in Alonzo King's recent thrilling creation, Long River, High Sky. One of the United States' most celebrated choreographers, Alonzo King creates contemporary ballets that are hailed for their ability to connect audiences to a profound sense of shared humanity. He has become renowned for his unique collaborations with composers, musicians, and visual artists. Now appearing for the third time on White Bird's stage, Alonzo King's LINES Ballet will join with the Shaolin Monks of China to create an unprecedented synthesis of Eastern and Western forms of movement. As you experience this fascinating work, you will quickly recognize how King is not only blending two distinct cultural traditions but also demonstrating how interconnected the worlds of ballet and martial arts are.
A quite intriguing experience, and the blurb is mostly spot on. It was not a planned trip, but rather one of those wonderful little surprises life throws your way from time to time. A coworker had tickets, but could not make it, and I was the first she approached -- yesterday, at about 3:15 in the afternoon -- who did not already have plans.

The performance included mixes of martial arts and ballet, as well as times when the monks participated in ballet-style moves and other times where the dancers did martial arts, but mostly it was about blending and being complimentary. The ballet and martial arts both had their own grace and wonder, and it was lovely to see. A pretty astonishing combination that I can highly recommend, if you get the chance.