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October 25, 2005

BGB Gathering TONITE +


Click Here for LINK to Ordway Website

DECADANCETHEATRE is an all-female hip-hop dance company based out of New York City, with members from the U.S., Columbia, and Japan. Check out some ways you can be involved with DECADANCETHEATRE...

Public Performance and World Party
Friday, October 28th
World Party begins at 6:30pm, Ordway Center Marzitelli Foyer (Free to ticket holders)
Performance at 8:00pm, Ordway Center Main Stage

The Public Performance will feature Decadance Vs. the Firebird (a modern hip-hop interpretation of Stravinsky's Firebird ballet) paired with the world-premiere of Gamon. (DECADANCETHEATRE's new work based on a traditional Japanese story, the Earless Lute Player.) The pre-performance World Party will include highlights from PYC High School, Juxtaposition Arts, and Teens Rock the Mic.

$10 tickets available with this email.
Call Ordway Center's Box Office at 651-224-4222 and ask for the ' D ' code discount.

Workshops and Master Classes with Decadancetheatre Company Members
Hip-Hop Master Class
This master class, led by DECADANCETHEATRE, is designed for participants with hip-hop experience. Open to the public, Ages: high school and up.

DATE: Monday, October 24th, 5:30-7:30 @ Ordway Center
COST: $10, or free for ticket holders.
Call 651-282-3025 for more info and to register for the master class. Pre-registration required.

Intro to Hip-Hop Workshop
NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED! This workshop, led by DECADANCETHEATRE, is designed for participants with little or no hip-hop experience. Ages: high school and up.

DATE: Wednesday, October 26th, 5:30-7:30 @ Ordway Center
COST: $10, or free to ticket holders.
Call 651-282-3025 for more info and to register for the workshop. Pre-registration required.

Hip-hop Party with Decadancetheatre and B-Girl B
Tuesday, October 25, 2005; 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Meet the members of Decadancetheatre...Refreshments...DJ

Hosted by Juxtaposition Arts, B-Girl Be, and Nubia, at
Juxtaposition Arts, 2007 Emerson Avenue
(Broadway and Emerson, North Minneapolis)
Juxtaposition Phone - 612-588-1148

Hope to see you at one of the DECADANCETHEATRE events. Questions, please call David Shack, Community Engagement Coordinator at 651-282-3017, or dshack@ordway.org.

To learn more about hip hop and DECADANCETHEATRE, check out the study guide on ordway.org
Check out www.decadancetheatre.com

Do you know LIZA RIOS?


Dear Activist/Artist/Hip Hop Community:

I’m trying to locate Liza Rios and I hope that you can help. We, the Progressive Women’s Caucus (PWC) of the National Hip Hop Political Convention, recently nominated Ms. Rios for an award to recognize both her courage and contribution to educating and healing both the general public and victims of gender violence via the documentary Big Pun: Still Not a Player (2002). We are pleased to announce that she has received an Arte Sana National Latina Victim Advocate Award for the category Artista Activista - Empowerment Through the Arts.

Arte Sana is a non-profit organization that “promotes healing and empowerment through the arts, professional training, and community education.” They have been “nationally recognized as the innovative leader in the field of Latina/o sexual violence prevention” (directly quoted from their website, http://www.arte-sana.com/about.htm).

We need to reach Ms. Rios as soon as possible, as these awards will be presented during a special luncheon at the Arte Sana National Training Institute (a 2-day conference) on Thursday November 3, 2005 in Austin Texas. If we can locate her in time, we will do our best to make travel arrangements and accommodations for her so that she can accept this award in person. Because PWC (http://www.geocities.com/progressive_women/) is a small network of women with limited access to funding, we are currently raising money to fund Ms. Rios’ trip. Thus, if you can assist with locating her or are interested in making a donation, please email Dr. Angie Colette Beatty at beattya@umich.edu or Dr. Miriam J. Petty-Adams at ndantie@hotmail.com.

On behalf of PWC, I wish to say to Ms. Rios that we are only a handful of women and girls who have been moved by your courage to publicly expose your wounds and allow us to be part of your healing process. As women of color, we are aware of the expectations in our racial/ethnic communities to remain silent on issues of sexism and gender violence and harassment. We are aware of the cultural imperatives to be strong—to be a volcanic island—to be fierce when it comes to raising and protecting our families, and defending our communities against outsiders, yet suffer in silence. As you are probably aware, compared to white women, women of color (especially the working and non-working poor) die and suffer disproportionately from a host of physiological and mental illnesses not only because of structural inequality, but also because we do not properly care for ourselves. And we (both women and men) teach this behavior to our young girls.

Liza, in Still Not a Player, you redefine strength in a healthy way for adolescent and adult Latinas, as well as for other women and girls of color, thus, exemplifying what it means to be a true warrior. Sista, we know that you have traveled a rough path for quite some time, and though there may not be any shortcuts, perhaps we can give you a lift. Just know that you are not alone. We celebrate you. We respect you. We love you.

In solidarity,

Angie Colette Beatty, Ph.D.

Progressive Women’s Caucus

National Hip Hop Political Convention


October 23, 2005

ask and she shall receive

so a few hours ago i ask for someone to give me a beat and my call is answered. i received a copy of La Bruja's Brujalicious. indeed, it is both deliciosa and the classic bruja that i've loved over the years. this sista is an amazing talent - the rap, the song, the shows, the onscreen skills. i have to make a narrative film just to cast her and show the world.

boricuas and beats, something to ride with (and for)


gimme a beat

trying to get DVD of nobody for Japan finished. need to finish a little editing and a bit of transcribing (for subtitles). working on music permissions. not having a terrible time of it, but still it's a bit of stress. then, reading2-pop to discover FCP sync issues i'm having lately (which i still haven't been able to figure out. still working on it. but, reading this, i get a major headache -

The Hidden Cost of Documentaries

By 2-pop Staff

Oct 20, 2005, 13:05

An article in the New York Times by Nancy Ramsey explores "The Hidden Cost of Documentaries." The unexpected costs of clearing music rights can send small budgets skyrocketing. That was the case in "Mad Hot Ballroom," a documentary that follows New York City children as they learn ballroom dancing.

During filming, one of the children, Michael, received a call from his mother and the ringtone on his cell phone was "Gonna Fly Now," the theme from "Rocky." EMI Music Publishing, which owns the rights to "Gonna Fly Now," wanted $10,000 to use those six seconds.

Producer Amy Sewell ended up negotiating the cost with EMI down to
$2,500. (Total music clearance costs for "Mad Hot Ballroom," which featured songs of Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee, came to $170,000; total costs over all were about $500,000.)

Today, anyone armed with a video camera and movie-editing software can make a documentary. But can everyone afford to make it legally?

Click here to read the complete article.

+ + +

what do you think? should artists donate to poor doc filmmakers? should poor doc filmmakers pay because every artist deserves payment?

how should we deal with music and music rights for our docs? i understand that artists need to get paid for their work (i'm still trying to advocate for this for my own photo and video work - i still get tons of "can you", "will you" / i have no $ calls (tho i am doing a much better of saying "no" or "fuck u pay me", depending on the situation). still, many artists in my opinion, should contribute for the exposure and promotion. i've done that with my videos for years. freestyle has lots of my footage in it and mixtress x (and i still have never met dante, the director, in person). dante called and said he was making this doc about female djs and heard that i had footage of kuttin kandi, symphony, dj shortee and a few others. i made him some dubs, he sent some blank stock as an exchange and it's been all good.

+ + +

what i keep listening to:

"outside the box" - miri ben-ari from "the hip hop violinist" album

love this girl! i wish she had more tracks on this album WITHOUT fabo-loon and the other [c]rap clowns. she has skills and i love to listen to her on those strings

"planet (remix)" - desdamona off of her album the ledge (produced by sly & robbie)

this is one of the songs that i really want on my japan DVD, we shall see. (fingers crossed)

"act too... love of my life" - the roots featuring common
(even tho this cover SCARED me for real!)

check some of the lyrics, it's how i been feeling lately:
"Yo, yo I was speakin, to my guy 'Riq and
How she was desperately seekin to Organize in a Konfusion
Usin, no protection, told H.E.R. on _Resurrection_
Caught in the Hype Williams, and lost H.E.R. direction
Gettin eight/ate in sections where I wouldn't eat H.E.R.
An under the counter love, so _Silent_-ly I _Treat_ H.E.R.
Her Daddy'll beat H.E.R., eyes all Puff-ed
In the mix on tape, niggaz had her in the buff
When we touch, it was more than just a f**k
The Police, in her I found peace (like who?)
Like Malcolm in the East
Seen H.E.R. on the streets of New York, trickin off

Tried to make a hit with H.E.R. but my dick went soft
Movin weight, losin weight, not picky - with who she choose to date
To confuse the hate, with her struggle I relate
Close to thirty, most of the niggaz she know is dirty
Havin more babies than Lauryn, she started showin early
As of late I realized, that this is H.E.R. fate
Or destiny that brings the best of me
It's like God is testin me
In _Retrospect_ I see she brought _Life_ and death to me
Peace to us collectively, live and direct when we perform
It's just coffee shop chicks and white dudes
Over H.E.R. I got into it with that nigga Ice Cube
Now the fight moved to in life, makin the right moves
Besides God and family, you my life's jewel
Like that y'all

+ + +

i've been really sad on some "hip hop is dead" shit. after a few bad "hip hop festivals" and bad club experiences in the last few years have me feeling like everyone needs to go home and work on some shit. like asia says on some strictly skills type ish. go home work on some beats, push that pen across that pad and let's reconvene in a year or two. maybe there will be less money and less ego and something i can really feel. i need some damn tissues.

then i get my copy of We B*Girlz and i feel more hopeful. not just cuz my face is printed on those pages but cuz there are so many girls out there doing it, strictly on some love. we need some more love like this.

asia's daughter yasmine is growing up so beautifully. this is the future. thanks to yahweh. eternal is my word.

October 19, 2005

Mohanty Reading

WGS 194 -

Download, Print and Read this!

October 13, 2005

On New Orleans


On this blog I found this interesting document about New Orleans. It's an open letter from Eric Mann, a leader of the Community Labor Strategy Center and Bus Riders Union in Los Angeles, has written a comprehensive and must-read document for leftists about Katrina / New Orleans.

Letter in Support of the Movement in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast: Notes on Strategy & Tactics is available for $3 each for a hard copy from Front Lines Press. It is also available as a free download in pdf form.

The document puts the current situation in a historical context of the oppression of African-Americans in the U.S. South, going through the battle to end slavery, then Reconstruction, then the racist backlash through the early to mid-1900s, the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s and finally the current backlash from Reagan to Bush. Mann also clearly and correctly views African-Americans in the South as an oppressed nation, which is key to understanding the dynamics of oppression and resistance and the key role that the South plays for both reactionaries and liberation movements in the U.S. Anyway, I highly recommend reading this document.

October 10, 2005

sixty one.


sixty one years ago this earth was blessed with my old Earth. my mother was an incredibly beautiful, sharply aware, stronger than i can even know, and protected herself under an armor of prescriptives.

born in san juan, puerto rico. raised on the streets of spanish harlem. died in middletown ny. ashes - interned at arlington national cemetary in dc with my father (he's was military and a war vet) and a piece sitting a top my dresser near this photo (above). i thought i had to keep a piece of her, she couldn't rest in one place because, like me, no one could hold her down. she may have come off to strangers as quiet, subservient, a dutiful wife... but she was a women whose ideas and strength traveled.

her death certificate doesn't even say the right day because no one can pin you down. your story is still unwritten. it is remembered by many people in many different ways. i think about telling my version often but have enough conflict with blood i think. still i hold the memories and filmed moments. knowing i will speak on it all soon.

so today i remember. holly and phinny haircuts on the back porch. power walks through randall hikes. more than a decade of days of our lives - the time of the day when no questions, comments or needs would be addressed. sitting on the floor in the bathroom while you bathed. tuna caserole. dancing in the kitchn with the dogs. those 7 layers bars and sex in a bowl. the way you dressed. the way you laughed. the last movie we saw together - why do fools fall in love? the frankie lymon story.

i'm becoming just like you. i talk to tiana the way you talked to me. i cook one meal and we eat it for days. i won't buy unless it's on sale. i buy basics - clothes that can all mix and match. i need comfortable shoes. i need good friends to talk on the phone too. i laugh loud. i embarass my daughter in public. i dance with the cats. i sing stevie wonder loud and off-key. i love fully and completely. i have little patience but stand with a smile. i shrug off embarassment. i believe in myself.

thank you mom. i remember you today and always.

October 5, 2005

feeling blessed

tiana and i are acutally ready for school, early! we've got 20 minutes to spare, so i blog. this is not like us. well, since it's raining in our living room (don't ask, i move dec 1!!!) we are both eager to get out of here today.

was honored and blessed to be a guest speaker yesterday in hip hop performance class at macalester. the course is co-taught by leola johnson (she's written extensively on racism and misogyny in rap and has book about iceberg slim) and harry waters jr. (he's been in lots of tv, film and stage shows and even got a gold record for singing "earth angel" in back to the future soundtrack). great students, great questions. good to see hip hop being taught at the college level by folks who are invested in discussing many facets of the culture - including women and hip hop feminists like me!

read cnn. not good. so not good. and lately the ny times has had 2 articles about prison. this one and this one.

i am thinking through some coursework on the representation of prisons in popular imaginations - on tv, in film, in books... ill get it together and maybe somewhere progressive like macalester will allow me to teach it. we'll see. ill post some ideas and hopefully ill get some good ideas and suggestions from you all.

tonite - eve ensler's "the good body" one woman show. am bringing a handful of my macalester students. will probably have something interesting to say following the show and q&a with ensler. not my favorite - vagina monologues is soooo flawed and what i want my words to do to you - like she's staging a broadway show in prison. ill get it together and do a full post about that too.

also, am looking for some great third wave feminist blogs / sites. please, please please post some links. i've got the "popular" ones but am seeking more of what is out there.