West End Talent

West End Talent

JUn09-1I was fortunate enough to watch some of the most amazing talent.  No, it wasn’t the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre (although they are simply fantastic!).  It was the ArtsReach Performing Arts Showcase at the KY Center.  Over 170 youth from several of the local community centers came together and gave a superb performance.
Imagine several dozen pre-school aged children standing on stage in their sailor hats dancing to “Good Ship Lollipop”.  Some of the kids actually knew the words to the songs and all of the moves.  Others just stood on stage star struck and amazed that they were the focus of attention.  Anything 3-5 year olds do is usually cute, but this routine was just right for them.
Then there was a very moving piece by several girls from the Grace Divine Liturgical Dance Institute.  At the beginning there was a problem with their music, but these ladies stayed composed.  They danced with such emotion and strong energy.  You didn’t want to blink your eye for fear of missing a beat.
Not only was there dancing, there was a stage full of violinists.  I admired the amount of boys that have becoming dedicated to playing and you can tell they each have a passion for it.  While I listened to each one play, I wondered how far they would go and who may be the next hip hip violinist or 1st chair in an orchestra.
The show ended with a bang!  The dance team Str8Legit put together this jamming rendition of The Wiz.  They incorporated many of the songs from the movie.  At the same time, they added some current dances and current dance moves.  The costumes were on point.  The young kids loves watching the dance team move and the older adults in the building were able to reflect back on the ‘old school’ music.
The talented instructors of the different groups included: Keith Cook, Portia White Muhammad, Marlina Churn-Diallo, Baba Serikali, Sherley Desgranges and Marcellus Love.  If you haven’t seen any of their work, you are definitely missing out.
For those of you that have children that you feel are just sitting at home wasting their time away, definitely consider getting them involved with the ArtsReach program.  They have activities at 50 different community centers/locations in the area.   If you don’t have children, but have a gift you like to share (talent or monetary), please contact Julia Youngblood (jyoungblood@kentuckycenter.org) at the KY Center. We need to support our youth in every way possible.

M.Y.  June 2009

Ode to the Arts

“Ode to the Arts”

My friend Myron (just a friend) and I attended the Tyler Perry play “What’s Done in the Dark” this week.  It was a wonderful show.  The cast was full of talent.  Not only could they act, but they all could ‘sang’!!  The male actors were all tall, dark and light, and handsome (really handsome).  I ask you all to take a moment of silence for the bare chest of the male actor with the long dreads. Whoa!  There was definitely quality on that stage.  As I left the KY Center I started thinking about the superb shows that have come to Louisville this calendar year including: Jamie Foxx, Katt Williams, the Soul Food Festival, Smokey Robinson, Brian McKnight, Macy Gray, Monique and who can forget The Lion King.

I remember several years ago when most performers would skip Louisville and instead go to the surrounding areas like Indy, Cincy and Nashville.  Promoters now are starting to come back to the Ville to bring top-notch African American performers to our area.  We, as residents, need to support these performances so they will continue to stop in our neighborhood.  I know the tickets can be somewhat pricey, but think of it as a way to treat yourself.

There is so much negativity going on in our nation about ‘us folks’.  The arts give us a chance to celebrate our heritage, our culture, our unity and our pride.  Whether your thing is comedy, plays, concerts or visual art – take a walk on the wild side and experience the arts!  The KY Center, LouisvillePalace, Actors Theatre, The Speed Art Museum and the UL African-American Theatre Co. all have some wonderful performances coming this calendar year.

Check out an upcoming OnyxLouisville for more information! (Thank you also to Robin H., Jennifer C. and Cathy M. for helping me to keep the Ville informed about these events!)

M.Y.  September 2007

Brian McKnight

Brian McKnight

“Brian McKnight”

To Robin Hicks:  Thanks for all you do.  You are truly a gem!!

The Brian McKnight concert was simply wonderful.  I felt a little bad for the men in the audience because Brian was performing for all the ladies in the house.  (Although I can’t prove it….I’m almost positive that Brian was singing directly to me at one time!)

Summer is here…Kids are out of school…  Teachers are able to breathe again… Cute clothes are back.  Stay tuned to OnyxLouisville where you’ll find all the happenings (and possibly win tickets too!)

Thanks also for the birthday wishes. The Onyx readers have hearts full of gold!!

M.Y. May 2007