Batoto Yetu facilitated a dance workshop earlier today at ACDA Headquarters and these gentleman of Guyana shut it down. You guys represented and had my bro Juan and I hype! #BatotoYetu #Dancelife #ACDAEmancipation #Emancipation #Guyana #Georgetown #Africandance #Angola #Maledancers (at ACDA Headquarters, Guyana)
Arrived safely to Guyana with the Batoto Yetu fam earlier and haven’t stopped working. We are blessed to be performing for an anticipated crowd of 25,000 people on Friday night for ACDA Emancipation in Guyana. #Guyana #Dancelife #Blessed #Rehearsaldirector #Africa4theFuture (at Georgetown, Guyana)
West& Westampersand Dance Visual Commercial
Starring Jerijah West
Photography: Dexter R. Jones
© All Rights Reserved
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:
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.
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:
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
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)
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: