West& Westampersand Dance Visual Commercial 


Starring Jerijah West 

Filmed By Dex R. Jones
Production Assistant Terry Lovette
Choreographed/Styled by Jerijah West
 
Music Dj Djeff feat Nacobeta, Agre G e Game Walla - Mwangolé

http://westampersand.tumblr.com/

Photography: Dexter R. Jones
© All Rights Reserved

 -J.West

ybplastik:

TAKING A RIDE AROUND Sweden- Malmo

Malmö, in the southernmost province of Scania, is Sweden’s third largest city by population after Stockholm and Gothenburg,

West& Memories from Sweden Last Year…

I woke up this morning feeling grateful and nostalgic. Last year at this time I was on Cakes Da Killa’s Eulogy European Tour.  It was truly such a great opportunity and something that I will never forget. I’ve been blessed to travel around the world doing what I love for half of my life but this was different. I was with my best friend and my partner. We definitely left our mark to say the least. Until next time Europe!

See more from the Eulogy European Tour at the links below:

http://westampersand.tumblr.com/post/55485555811/west-london-1st-stop-of-european-tour

http://westampersand.tumblr.com/post/55545002076/west-london-european-tour-dancelife-the

http://westampersand.tumblr.com/post/55631375360/west-paris-2nd-stop-in-european-tour

http://westampersand.tumblr.com/post/56222028836/west-berlin-3rd-stop-in-european-tour

 -J. West

 

West& Red Bull Sound Select Presents NY AfroPunk Festival Kick Off Concert Recap

Tuesday July 15, 2014 was a night to remember. Cakes Da Killa was the co-headlining act of the Red bull Sound Select Afropunk Festival Kick off show. The other supporting acts included H09909, Princess Nokia, Denetia & Sene, and Sza. All the other acts delivered mellow/ in my feeling aesthetics with the exception of H09909. Team Cakes; however, came with the purpose of turning the night all the way up! According to the following statement made by CMJ we succeeded,

Cakes Da Killa took the stage sporting a leather cycling cap and floral tee, joined by a pair of dancers who moved seductively, but almost militantly, to Cakes’ hyped, spit-fire flow. Barely stopping to breathe, the NJ rapper ran through one long megamix of tracks, and then a few stop-and-start singles, including Truth Tella and Paid & Published off his recent Hunger Pangs mixtape. The crowd seemed to wake up at this point—and how could they not?”

As the co-choreographer of the high octane 20 minute set it was truly a defining moment for team Cakes. Cakes naturally is a great performer with dynamic stage presence and charisma; however, with the accompaniment of 5 powerhouse dancers skilled in multiple disciplines of the art form and the Le Divine Feline/ Multi Media Artist Terry Lovette his stage show was taken to the next level. The night was so special and I couldn’t of asked to share it with any other people. They truly are the epitome of true talents devoted to their artistry and beautiful beings. All the hard work and sacrifice was worthwhile witnessing the crowd as the Team Cakes Experience captivated them. I am still growing as a choreographer and I hope to create moments that evoke something from those that experience it. With that being said my collaborator Yinka Parris (Co-Choreographer) and I are already in full swing working with Cakes to create a monumental moment for the 2014 AfroPunk festival. I could only hope that you will join us.

Photos Courtesy of AfroPunk, TheLensWoman, Sirreal Photography,  David Velásquez, and Lauren Gesswein.

 -J. West 

West& A Couple That Works Together…

As I approach my 3-year anniversary next month I cannot help but to reflect on how fortunate that I am. I’ve been blessed with a loving, handsome, talented man that I am happy to call my partner. Although we’re far from perfect, “all the baggage he got now because of my past but he ain’t scared to carry it all.” For that I love him dearly. Yinka Parris is a young emerging creative director. Mr. Parris appreciates all facets of the arts and is skilled in garment construction, dance, choreography, styling, and videography.

Although I admired his artistry prior to becoming an item, I would have never thought that we would we ever collaborate. That changed a year into out relationship when we began dancing background for Cakes Da Killa. It was rough to say the least. We are both Virgos. With that being said we are driven, goal oriented, critical yet sensitive and stubborn as hell. We co-choreographed all the material together and often had opposing few points. We made it through though with several petty arguments and disagreements but we created some pretty solid work. Now we’re able we have a much better understanding and are able to respect one another’s visions and balance out each other’s weakness and highlight our strengths.

Fast-forward to 3 years later and we’re still at it together “On The Run.” We toured Europe doing what we love performing for packed audiences and even starred in a Fashion Musical Twilight in Harlem together. As MEN OF A GENERATION the sky is the limit for this powerhouse couple. Witness the force of this creative union at the 2014 Afro-Punk Festival during the Cakes Da Killa set, which we will be choreographing, staging and dancing for.

Be sure to follow Yinka and check out the following W& posts featuring him below:

http://yinkaparris.tumblr.com/

http://westampersand.tumblr.com/post/80656896690/westampersand-west-yinka-parris-men-of-our

http://westampersand.tumblr.com/post/35065323140/west-ybplastik-ybplastik-is-a-lifestyle-online

-J.West

Final Notice!!!!

It is not to late to RSVP for the Afropunk FEST KICK OFF PARTY presented by RedbullsoundSelect Tonight! Catch performances by SZA, Cakes Da Killa, denitia and sene, Princess Nokia, and HO99O9. Admission is a humble $3 with a RSVP and $10 at the door. Team Cakes ( Yinka Parris, Tata Milan, DeJaye Joseph, Terry Lovette, Sam Wildkatz and I) have a great show lined up that is not to be missed! Check out a preview of what to expect from Cakes Hunger Pangs Mixtape Release Party. What we have instored tonight will make it seem like a dress rehearsal. Hope to see you there! 

RSVP at the link below

http://www.afropunk.com/m/blogpost?id=2059274%3ABlogPost%3A1160513

Did you RSVP yet?! Tomorrow is the big day, July 15 at 8pm at Rough Trade in Brooklyn for the AFROPUNK FEST KICK OFF PARTY presented by @rbsoundselect! Catch performances by SZA, Cakes Da Killa, denitia and sene, Princess Nokia, and HO99O9. Admission is a humble $3 with a RSVP. Team Cakes has a great show lined up for you so get ready for a dash of Afro-Fusion Flava the J. West way! #Dancelife #CoChoreographer #Afropunk #Roughtrade #Williamsburg #Brooklyn #redbullsoundselect #Sza #Cakesdakilla #PrincessNokia #Afrofusion #JulianaHuxtable #Kickoffparty #TeamCakes  (at http://www.afropunk.com/profiles/blogs/red-bull-sound-select-presents-new-york-curated-by-afropunk)

Did you RSVP yet?! Tomorrow is the big day, July 15 at 8pm at Rough Trade in Brooklyn for the AFROPUNK FEST KICK OFF PARTY presented by @rbsoundselect! Catch performances by SZA, Cakes Da Killa, denitia and sene, Princess Nokia, and HO99O9. Admission is a humble $3 with a RSVP. Team Cakes has a great show lined up for you so get ready for a dash of Afro-Fusion Flava the J. West way! #Dancelife #CoChoreographer #Afropunk #Roughtrade #Williamsburg #Brooklyn #redbullsoundselect #Sza #Cakesdakilla #PrincessNokia #Afrofusion #JulianaHuxtable #Kickoffparty #TeamCakes (at http://www.afropunk.com/profiles/blogs/red-bull-sound-select-presents-new-york-curated-by-afropunk)

You’ve been warned! Next show with Cakes is Tuesday July 15, 2014 at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade. It’s $3 with a RSVP which is pretty HAM! SZA, Princess Nokia, Juliana Huxtable and the Illest Babyface MC/Cover Boy Cakes Da Killa! Come through! #Roughtrade #Cakesdakilla #Brooklyn #Sza #Dancelife #NYC #Williamsburg #PrincessNokia #soundselect #redbullsoundselect (at Rough Trade NYC)

You’ve been warned! Next show with Cakes is Tuesday July 15, 2014 at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade. It’s $3 with a RSVP which is pretty HAM! SZA, Princess Nokia, Juliana Huxtable and the Illest Babyface MC/Cover Boy Cakes Da Killa! Come through! #Roughtrade #Cakesdakilla #Brooklyn #Sza #Dancelife #NYC #Williamsburg #PrincessNokia #soundselect #redbullsoundselect (at Rough Trade NYC)

West& Dance Harlem 2014

On Sunday June 22nd 2014 I performed with Forces of Nature Dance Theatre as the headlining performers of the Harlem Dance Festival.  The festival took place at Marcus Garvey Park in the gorgeous Richards Rodgers Amphitheater. This was a tremendous honor because we shared the bill with living legends including Dyane Harvey- Salaam and Dudley Williams. It’s impossible that you haven’t seen their work so I will simply give a reminder. Mama Dy (Mrs. Dyane) who has become a true mentor to me is an accomplished dancer, educator, performing artist, and choreographer. She is a founding member of Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company. Her Broadway, Off-Broadway, film and television appearances include: The Wiz (original stage and film versions), Timbuktu!, Free to Dance’ (PBS Special), and The Cosby Show. She was also assistant choreographer for the Spike Lee film, School Daze. Mr. William’s has danced professionally for more than four decades. One of the primary dancers in the preeminent modern dance company with an African-American orientation—the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater—Dudley Williams has been identified in the minds of dancegoers with several of Ailey’s most famous dance solos, including a lengthy solo segment called “I Want to Be Ready,” from Ailey’s Revelations (1960). He also joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in 1961. So with that being said my title LEGENDARY was completely necessary.

We performed Lamban. Lamban is the dance of the Jalis, Keepers of the Oral Tradition. Lamban is a spiritual dance and rhythm that is used in healing to promote a sound mind and body. (Nurudafina Abena)

Lamban is a song/dance/ceremony enacted at passages of life and for spiritual cleansings (Sule Greg Wilson). It is one of my favorite West African Dances. We ended the performance with a good old fashion battle of the sexes audience participation. And our participants were incredible! From 8 years old to 82 they gave it all and had so much stage presence and personality. The woman photographed with the all black on is 82 years old and completely fabulous. This was also a reminder of what becomes of a Legend. People always say how short lived a dancer career can be but Dance Harlem was proof of what is possible with dedication and honing your skills over the years. Forces Founder/ Artistic Director Abdel R. Salaam, Dyane Harvey Salaam and Dudley Williams have over 4 decades as successful Artist/Visionary and still are creating and sharing their gifts with the world. They are true inspirations and I could only hope to have such a prosperous career as they have been blessed to have and still being fulfilled by the work. Special thank you to Peter Doyle for providing these priceless moments. You truly captured some precious moments that I will never forget. See more of his work at:

 http://www.peterdoylephoto.com/

 -J.West

blackfashion:

Afro-Fusion Dancer and Teaching Artist Jerijah West, NYC. 
Follow Jerijah’s fashion and creative endeavors at:
http://westampersand.tumblr.com/

blackfashion:

Afro-Fusion Dancer and Teaching Artist Jerijah West, NYC. 

Follow Jerijah’s fashion and creative endeavors at:

http://westampersand.tumblr.com/

West& Reflections of Batoto Yetu’s Rehearsal Director

On Thursday July 3, 2014 Batoto Yetu, the Children’s African Dance Company that I am the proud rehearsal director for had a special show at the Ross School in the Hampton’s. The show was for their incredible summer camp. When you talk about the top of line, the scholars at the Ross School have nothing but the best resources. Our Artistic Director Julio Leitão has had a residency there for the past two summers. What better way to get the kids excited and pumped up about taking part in learning African Dance than a lecture demonstration?

Batoto Yetu is something that is extremely sacred to me. I joined 17 years ago for goodness sake. I came back following graduating from college in 2011 as a rehearsal assistant. Much to my dismay a great deal of the discipline and structure of the company had changed. I took that on as a challenge and worked extremely hard to improve the company. I am extremely proud of where we are but their is always room for improvement. My tactic was to lead by example. I look at myself as a mentor to the young dancers. I am 25 years old so I am like an older brother. This can be a gift and a curse because I want them to be able to relate to me but at the same time they have to understand that we are not equals and have to respect my authority. The good thing is that I am young enough that they feel like they can speak to me because I was in their shoes just a couple of years prior. This has been a challenge specifically with our purple group, which is comprised of the teenagers. Being a teen we go through that rebellious phase and feel like nobody can tell us anything. As a teacher and person that went through it firsthand I know it all to well. I want them to understand that they are so special and I am hard on them because I see something within each and every one of them. I aim to bring out all the things within themselves that they don’t even know they are capable of. I want to remind them they have no limitations and they can accomplish whatever they want as long as they excel academically, are focused and willing to do the work to hone their skills. I realize the company is a safe haven for a lot of inner city youth. B.Y. teaches them about their cultural identity which, correlates directly with improving their self-esteem as form of empowerment. We all know the public school districts does not teach youth about their cultural identity. B.Y. also provides an opportunity for youth to travel around the world sharing what they have learned. And for that I am forever grateful to Julio Leitão for creating it.

Being rehearsal director was never what I sought out to be. I simply wanted to help get the company to the next level. While doing so I am constantly reminded of my purpose, it is a constant learning process. I am starting to take the backseat from performing and really focusing on the preparation of the company. I was juggling both tasks before but as the result something get sacrificed to some extent. I don’t want to be a crutch for them I want them to shine how I know they can but it is far from easy.  We have a lot of upcoming projects this summer and a great deal of work will need to be put it but I am ready! These are some photos that I captured prior and following the performance yesterday at the Ross School. Following the show we celebrated 1 of young dancers’ 9th Bday at Haven’s Beach. It was a fun filled beach day that allowed for our dance family to have fun in the sun and bond. This is so imperative because it has everything to do with developing that comradery that creates magic on the stage; I am a work in progress but dedicated to creating my legacy, Africa4theFuture. I hope they are ready because I want the youth of B.Y. to surpass what I accomplished with the company, which was a great deal! Not an easy challenge but we will make it happen, it’s apart of my prophecy so it’s already written.  

See more about my journey with Batoto Yetu at the links below:

http://westampersand.tumblr.com/post/34556661943/west-batoto-yetu

http://westampersand.tumblr.com/post/43063249768/west-teaching-i-was-recently-asked-what-i-would

 -J.West