Piccadilly Circus: Movement in the city

Piccadilly Circus is the most significant place for creative heads, fashionistas, food lovers and dancers. There is a spot for dancers to train in the underground of the station, leading to the entrance of the Trocadero Game Centre. The whole area and its training spot for underground dancers highlights the fact, that this is a little secret amongst dancers and no one really knows how valuable Piccadilly tube station is with all its surroundings. This place shows the busy movement and interaction between locals and tourists. It is a road junction and public space of London´s West End in the City of Westminster. Its Underground station is located directly beneath the circus itself, with entrances at every corner. It is one of the few stations across London, which have no associated buildings above ground and is fully underground.

At daytime, dancers from all across the UK come down to jam, teach classes, train and exchange their knowledge and skills at the Trocadero. Weekend or at night time usually, dance competition are organized to keep the energy level up and encourage all to dance in the spotlight. Leicester Square lies also within the West End. Pedestrians cross there every day.

Dickens describes, that “by the 19th century, Leicester Square was known as an entertainment venue, with many amusements peculiar to the era.” (Dickens 1879)

The square remains the heart of the West End entertainment district today. It is a moving and busy place for passionate dancers. The Square is home to several nightclubs, making it often very busy, particularly on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Due to my passion for dance and my love for music and living in the heart of London city, I see the movement in the city as a choreographed dance piece.

Commuting in London city is a visual spectacle and piece of art to my eyes. The city has rhythm and is comparable to the dance scene. The common notion of movement is the change of position. Movement takes places everywhere. The way as a choreographer teaches dance routines and directs a choreographic piece; the students know their steps. Right, left, front, back, up, down, side to side are familiar terms. Its dynamics are fast, slow, hard, soft, long and short.

Focusing on London city, commuters also know their steps and how to keep the codes of the streets. Pedestrians stop and cross traffic lights, commuters get off the tube first for others to enter and intuitionally keep on the left on the underground. On busses, there is no standing on the upper deck; third push chair must be folded. Sorted that out, the bus moves! Elderly people sit in the front on the left, mothers with push chairs sit in the middle on the right and the younger generation, sit at the back and also on the upper deck. Back on the streets cars move, drive, stop, crush, name it all. Movement in London city is like a choreographed piece.

Get a  glimpse into my vision with this video:

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Ghanaian architect

Young black men out there: be inspired and encouraged to achieve your dreams!

British Ghanaian architect David Adjaye received the title of OBE (Order of the British Empire) from the Queen for services to British architecture. Also, he currently holds a Visiting Professor post at Princeton University.

Adjaye´s work spans exhibitions, private homes and artist collaborations.

Just to list a few of his buildings:

–          home for the designer Alexander McQueen

–          The Upper Room for Tate Britan Museum

–          Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver

–          the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo

–          National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington

THERE IS SURELY NO JUJU (BLACK MAGIC) BEHIND HIS ACHIEVEMENTS. YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

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Journey to Madame Jojos

A sleepless night before the battle begins. It is the topic of town. The dance battle House Dance UK  in the club Madame Jojos, near Piccadilly Circus station. The place to be, as a dancer in the underground scene. The dance itself is an element of urban dance from the hip hop culture. Invented by the gay community of Chicago in the 1980s. This social dance is a combination of complex foot oriented steps with fluid movements of the upper body to give the dance a flow. All dance battles are marketed with flyers around the City. All my thoughts occur about that night.

10 pm. It´s time to leave. I grab the Oyster card and go. Getting on the tube, realizing again how it is packed. No time to be upset. Lost in thoughts for quite a while, I note down scribbles, which I take out from magazines, newspapers, everything readable around me. Tabloids are standard like Metro, Evening Standard. But on lucky days, a forgotten serious newspaper can be found and straight on read by me.

I get attention through funny moments that occur on the tube. Capturing such kind of incidents with my second best half – my iPhone. Travelling around the city as it is is always a great experience. These moments make you realize how adventurous, a commute around London can be.

Getting off the tube and walking through Soho, the heart of London, a place favoured by gays and lesbians. I enter the club. Urban life meets urban dance. I experience the transformation of human experience. Diversity in the club. The same as on the tube and central London. The center of metropolitan life style. The genre of music played in the club is a mixture of house, funk and hip hop. All dancers are trying hard to be different. Serious fashion statements are made here.

My turn to enter the competiton is soon. Heart beats. It´s time to stretch and warm up. Almost done and I hear my name to enter the battle. Get set ready and go. I dance with all my passion and feel so good. The beat, the crowd, the full package. 30seconds up. I danced my part. I did not win. You win one day and lose the other. It’s the nature of the game but the real winners are the people who can take the positive aspects and learn from them. The experience was worth it.Image

House Dance

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Dance Addict < Click here!

As you can see in this video, me and my friend are dancing to house music.

House Dance is a social dance primarily danced to house music. Dancing house is improvisational in nature, and started with New York and Chicago´s community based dancers back in the post disco era in the US. Dancers, who were orginally not looking to create. ended up becoming an influencial part of the dance vocabulary used internationally today.

Fast and complex foot – oriented steps, combined with fluid upper body movements, as well as floor works, are the main elements of house dance. In the vocabulary of dancers, the elements are referred to, as “Footwork” – “Jacking” – “Lofting”.

The source of house music derives from Jazz, African, Latin, Soul, R&B, Funk and Hip Hop. The other source is the individual bringing his or her characteristic, ethnicity and origin to the dance.

The main feature, that distinguishes house dance from dancing done to electronic music nowadays, is an emphasis of subtle rhythms and riffs.

Although, it could boldly be said that House Dance, actually orginates from the Caribbean island – Guadeloupe.

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Yes, I said it. This is my opinion. Well it is true, that the Americans dancing to house back in the days, were of course living in America and did not either really know what they were dancing – but they went down in the clubs, taking by surprise of what the music was doing to them in the clubs in that era.

Rural Guadeloupeans used to dance to gwo ka (french creole for drums) in communal experiences. Their music was created with drums and is a major part of Guadeloupean folk music up to today. So, dancing to gwo ka, was a form of the Guadeloupeans telling their folk stories and their dance definitely shows all elements that were created unconsciously by dancers in America´s post disco era.

A discussion about its proper origin could go on forever. However, I am not aiming to do so and would like to leave it up to each and everyone to do their research and compare or rather explore for yourself. All that counts at the end of the day, is how it makes you feel and I can say: It makes me feel good. I love house music and its dance!

Plenty of the American dancers that were key in the progression of this social dance, are still doing great things by contributing, teaching and inspiring dancers in all art forms around the world.

By interest, you can look up couple of names that were big in this movement, that has poisoned us with love and affection for house music and its dance.

You can start with dancers as Ejoe Wilson, Brian Green, Marjory Smarth, Caleaf Sealers, Terry Wright and Shannon Mabra. This is JUST the beginning of more to find on further information about this great art form.