My name is Jerijah West and these are highlights from my blog Westampersand. This blog chronicles my journey as a dancer,choreographer teacher and student, following my prophecy, which, is “to lead the children to God through dance.” In addition to dance, my everyday sense of style will also at times be the focus of content, which reflects who I am. Although this will be far from an easy journey, I adamantly believe that I am in the right direction, so I urge for you to join me and share!

-J.West

westampersand:

West& In Search of…Sankofa photoset

Photos by Dexter R. Jones of SirReal-photography © All Rights Reserved
 
-J.West

Last night Sunday October 5, 2014, the world lost an un-paralleled visionary Mr. Geoffrey Holder at the age of 84. Holder’s towering 6’6” frame could barely contain his many talents. He was a dancer, choreographer, actor, composer, 2 time Tony Award Winner, designer, loving husband, father, and painter who used his manifold talents to infuse the arts with the flavor of his native West Indies which significantly impacted the American cultural scene.

I cannot begin to go into his tremendous accomplishments but he is major inspiration of mine. Rest in Power to a true LEGEND. Thank you for breaking down so many boundaries and being such an incomparable man! Mr. Holder is survived by Mrs. Carmen de Lavallade and their son Léo. RIP Mr. Geoffrey Holder.

 -J. West

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoJ3vk9_PgQ

#tbt at 19. Taken by my best friend @ledivinefeline . #TBT #JerijahWest #Dandy #Fadora

#tbt at 19. Taken by my best friend @ledivinefeline . #TBT #JerijahWest #Dandy #Fadora

blackfashion:

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

Be sure to follow me on ig as well @westampersand . This is from my Malick Sidibé Inspired Shoot.

blackfashion:

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

Follow Jerijah’s fashion and creative endeavors at:

http://westampersand.tumblr.com/

Be sure to follow me on ig as well @westampersand . This is from my Malick Sidibé Inspired Shoot.

West& Malick Sidibé Inspired Shoot

This past weekend I attended Meet the Africa Center in Harlem. The Africa Center, which aims to be Africa’s Embassy to the World, did an amazing job with the facilitation of this wonderful event. One of my favorite aspects of the event was the Malick Sidibé inspired photo booth.  Attendees were able to transport to Bamako, Mali in the 1960’s to replicate the brilliant work of world-renowned photographer Malick Sidibé Yinka Parris and I did just that and got these great visuals.

Malick’s photographs from the 1950s through the 1970’s were inspired by Mali’s tremendous social and political changes once it transcended its colonial past. Musicians like the legendary Salif Keita (Who performed at the event) and Ali Farka Touré came to international attention in the 1990s, at almost the same moment as Malian photography was being recognized.

I was first introduced to his work through doing further research on my favorite Janet music video "Got ‘til It’s Gone" which, was directed by Mark Romanek. Some of the best scenes from the video were inspired by Sidibé’s work. The other photos above are a few of my personal favorites images taken from Malick Sidibé’s Iconic portfolio.  Hopefully our inspired photos did his work justice!

-J.West 

After @kirakoreo and @cat_alexis_7 KILLED the stage w/Chop and Quench aka the Fela! band at the Meet the African Center event. Always a pleasure to see these beautiful women body the stage! #chopandquench #theAfricanCenter #thefelaband #Queens #Blackexcellence #Africandancers #Harlem #Inspired (at The Africa Center)

After @kirakoreo and @cat_alexis_7 KILLED the stage w/Chop and Quench aka the Fela! band at the Meet the African Center event. Always a pleasure to see these beautiful women body the stage! #chopandquench #theAfricanCenter #thefelaband #Queens #Blackexcellence #Africandancers #Harlem #Inspired (at The Africa Center)

West& Collaboration with Men of Generation

I randomly wanted to get some 70’s inspired shots and my Men of a Generation counterparts delivered. Dex R. Jones shot the first photo and Yinka Parris shot the second. 

See More of these 2 at the links below:

http://westampersand.tumblr.com/post/80656825777/westampersand-west-dex-r-jones-men-of-our

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

 -J.West

So thankful to finally have had the opportunity to work with @luamky for Alicia Keys surprise “Coming to America" themed bday party . Luam has been a true inspiration for years. She even gave me a little solo! According to Luam Forces of Nature Dance Theatre gave her chills! #Wonthedoit #LookatGod #Dancelife #ForcesofNature #Luam #Blessed #comingtoAmerica

So thankful to finally have had the opportunity to work with @luamky for Alicia Keys surprise “Coming to America" themed bday party . Luam has been a true inspiration for years. She even gave me a little solo! According to Luam Forces of Nature Dance Theatre gave her chills! #Wonthedoit #LookatGod #Dancelife #ForcesofNature #Luam #Blessed #comingtoAmerica

West& Swizz Beatz Surprise 36th Coming To America Bday w/Forces of Nature Dance Theatre

Words cannot express my level of gratitude for the opportunity that I had to perform with my Forces of Nature Dance family Friday morning. In 5 short days under the direction of the amazing Luam (Luam Ky Productions) and the visionary Abdel R. Salaam (Co-Founder /Artistic Director of Forces) pure magic was created. Alicia Keys wanted to surprise her husband Swizz Beatz for his 36th bday with a “Coming to America" themed party and Luam brought the vision to fruition. As the result we were sworn to secrecy and drilled the routine until it was perfect. A. Keys cut no corners recreating numerous aspects of the legendary film. The party was complete with Forces of Nature Dance Theatre (African Dancers), African Flower Girls, plush thrones, a royal court and the Sexual Chocolate Band!

Forces of Nature Dance Theatre opened the party decked in elaborate headdresses and traditional accessories for the recreation of the iconic dance number from the film. Abdel and Luam recreated that legendary scene with original choreography and Swiss loved every moment. It was such an honor to share the stage with so many phenomenal dancers who I both admire and inspire me. Our cast was filled with powerhouse African dancers. Huge thank you to Nicole De Weever for being such an incredible assistant and referring the company. We are all so thankful and appreciative for the opportunity and I’m sure we made you proud! A stunning Alicia with her pregnant glow informed us that her and Swizz compete to out do one another for their birthdays. He admitted himself at the party that Alicia definitely won and that he has his work cut out for him for her January bday. I still can’t believe that I worked with Luam who I’ve admired since high school.  She even allowed for me to get a little solo and said, “we gave her chills.” It was a true honor working for Alicia, both her and Swizz seem to be genuinely sincere and loving individuals. I hope this is the first of many!

 -J.West