spotlight: 2014 MTV VMA’s a.k.a the #BeyMAs

beyonce video vanguard 2104(2)

I’m not surprised that it would take the power of Bey to get me back to blogging…but she did it so let’s jump in it!

Last night, the incomparable Beyonc√© Knowles was presented the MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award.¬†The Video Vanguard Award, also known as the Lifetime Achievement Award, is given to musicians who have made a profound effect on the MTV culture. Beyonc√©’s influence is one of the strongest in the music industry today. With sold out tours, record-breaking music debuts, and successful endeavors amounting in a multi-million dollar net worth, ¬†Beyonc√© is the reason, the blueprint, and the design!

Since¬†I haven’t down a rundown in a hot minute, why not breakdown Bey’s 15-minute mini set of songs from her self-titled album that dropped like a thief in the night last December. You ask “Why?”, flip the page and let me show you.

 

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inspirations, beliefs, philosophies: is a dance career a *REAL* career?

dpg_0286A¬†while back as a¬†colleague¬†and I¬†were talking about a¬†company we work for, the topic of conversation moved from our usual dance-related musings to our availability for some upcoming gigs. Our boss is a generous and understanding man who cut his teeth in the corporate world and then transitioned to the artistic one, but he¬†doesn’t often understand the life of artists and people in non-corporate fields. A week or so before, I sent my schedule of availability to the corporate office which¬†included all dates I could accept gigs as well as dates that I couldn’t. It just so happened that this year¬†I was unavailable for a gig that I usually make myself available for and my boss was highly disappointed. He took it upon himself to go ask my colleague, “Why is Bryan not available for this event? He usually works it. He’s not doing anything new and he doesn’t have a real job, so I don’t understand why he’s not available!”

I’ll admit, when I heard this, I was low-key offended. “A real job?!”, I thought to myself – “what on Earth am I out here doing everyday and night?! Playing?!” After I settled my nerves about the shade of it all, it got me thinking,¬†“Is a dance career a “REAL” career?”¬† Why wouldn’t it be? For those of us in this career path, there’s no other answer but YES.¬†We throw our bodies around rehearsing and performing, tax our minds planning and codifying¬†lessons,¬†shrink our wallets training and keeping up with what’s next…sounds like a career to me! Although that’s¬†my¬†reality, I wanted to get the consensus from the¬†other side, from people who aren’t dancers or in the arts industry. Flip the page to see what I found…

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Aside

it’s a celebration – my 2 year blogiversary!!!

It’s¬†my blogiversary!!!¬†#TURNUP!!! Just in case you’re a little confused: On this day¬†two years ago, I published my first blog post and said hello to the world through the chanel-logo-cake-2loveliness of WordPress! From then to now,¬†I’ve published¬†77 blog entries, which encompass everything from¬†my biggest loves to my biggest insecurities and so much in between! I’ve enjoyed sharing my experiences living this dance life with you and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about them! Here’s to many more years of blogging and many MANY more posts!

much love to you ALL!  ~b

choreo demo: will.i.am, justin bieber, mindless behavior – power mashup (featuring hte dance staff)

camp dance grid

I was so excited last year when I was asked to choreograph HTE Dance’s annual Camp Dance, this year was no different. I’ve explained it before but I’m always super grateful to be asked to choreo something that will be showcased all summer. I again collaborated with my partner from last year’s dance, the lovely Carly Kingston, and with the help of other Senior Staff members, put our heads together to tackle this year’s performance.¬†Last summer we used Adam Lambert’s hit “Pop That Lock”, but this year we wanted something with power and passion – a song to motivate the masses. The first song that came to mind was #ThatPower by will.i.am and Justin Bieber, but it debuted a week before our Staff Retreat and we KNEW it’d be everywhere in no time (and we were right). Thus started our quest to find a song to combine it with. We tried Rihanna, other will.i.am songs, Britney, but nothing fit. Our VP threw “All Around the World” by¬†hip hop guy group Mindless Behavior. I won’t lie, I wasn’t feeling the song itself, it was a bit too teeny bopper for me, but at the VP’s insistence I went ahead,¬†imported it in Audacity,¬†added it some spinbacks, and extra song for a big end, and¬†mashed it up. What resulted was magic…

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spotlight: the top 10 dance-based music videos of 2013

top 10 collage22013 has been¬†a different year¬†for music, but the dependency on the music video has grown. Much like Beyonc√©’s recent example of concurrently releasing music videos¬†alongside her newest¬†album tracks, the music video remains one of the few ways an artist can guarantee a response to the release of a single.¬†Though not as prevalent as in recent years, dance is still¬†the keystone of lots of pop music’s visual rep.¬†Many of¬†this year’s releases¬†focused on introspection, leading to a lot of midtempos¬†and sonic experimentation with artists like Lorde, Ed Sheeran, and Imagine Dragons leading the way. Uptempos¬†from Robin Thicke, Daft Punk, and Britney Spears¬†kept us all moving, but it took me a while to compile¬†a list¬†of 10 worthy videos to present.¬†I don’t know what to expect as we head into 2014 as I’m still reeling from the¬†surprise release of Beyonc√©, but something tells me she’s started a trend we’ll see many other try to top. On to the countdown!

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choreo journal #10: a personal challenge

me (far left) in Lorelei Chang's "Colors"

So….I’ve been finding myself in a bit of a transition lately. That’s a lie –¬†it hasn’t been lately, it’s been for a while now.¬†I absolutely love what I’m doing, but I’m wanting more. More opportunities to learn and develop professional skills with companies and dancers, more desire¬†to create and present larger projects, more chances to work with others to share ideas, movement, inspiration. Though I feel like I already¬†do a lot of this daily,¬†it’s¬†never to the extent that work is created or something tangible is left as a result. It’s always been my goal to have success in¬†the two most well-known¬†realms of the dance industry¬†– concert dance and commercial dance. They often juxtapose one another, but at the same time hold a lot of similar features.

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repost: the evolution of my musical tastes

NOTE:¬†To get myself back into the swing of posting, I’ve decided to revisit one or two of my older posts. This was first published on February 29, 2012 and was my 9th blog post ever, but I wanted to revisit it as it’s a good one that has some connections to my upcoming posts. I hope you enjoy this re-read and if you missed it the first time, it’s new to you! Enjoy friends!¬†¬†¬†¬†-B

Three words. I. love. music. I love meandering across bridges, traversing choruses, pausing to rest at a verse, and really letting loose when the beat drops (seriously, I will knock a hoe out with the elbows I throw when the beat comes in!) But the funny thing is, I was never hardcore into music growing up. Let’s talk.

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