"In 2005 MGM (Modern Garage Movement) members Felicia Ballos, Biba Bell, Jimmy Leary and Robert McNeill started developing dances together in a one-car garage to break from the idealized confines of the dance studio. The evocation of a garage band inspired them to take their dances on the road. Using a few props, they transformed non-traditional spaces into arenas for audience mobilizing dances. Dances such as THIS DANCE IS CALLED GREE. IT IS FROM BEDSTUY. (aka GREE) (2007) were designed to be performed anywhere, on any surface, with any music. New Gree (2008) followed the path of the 2007 tour and was performed over 35 times in 15 different U.S. cities, from parks in California, to garages in Michigan, to gallery spaces in New York.
"dajointe & TONIGHT" combine elements of classical and modern dance, with vernacular dance forms that are often little-known outside of the subcultural milieus from which they originate. J-Setting is one such dance form central to (this) performance. Having its origins in African-American cheerleader troupes of the southern United States, the form has since been adopted by black gay men who have taken the dance to their living rooms and nightclubs. Typically J-Setting involves a head dancer who performs a short set that is then repeated by a row of rear-guard dancers. The head dancer improvises a variation on the first set that is repeated by the others once more. The cycle of call and response continues until the set becomes too complex for the rear-guard to quickly pick-up. J-Setting derivations will be enmeshed within elements that MGM has developed over the course of their many performances."
MGM Grand describes these works:
Lay it down TONIGHT.
The swishing sonic underscore.
Dying elephants and mating rituals.
Massaging the mind the body twists and unravels.
Look at her back.
The never-ending surface collecting scents, oils, dust, dirt.
It's another generation of a modern, black, gay update of WALK IT OUT FOSSE.
It's highly choreographed.
It's the Prancing J-Settes.
It's on pointe.
It's call and response. Everybody does that dance down here!
Wed June 24
Jack Hanley Gallery
136 Watts btw Washington and Greenwich
Directions: A,C,E,1 to Canal
Sat June 27
Calicoon Fine Arts
27 Lower Main Street, Upstairs
PO BOX 501
Callicoon, NY 12723
Directions from New York City: By car from the George Washington Bridge, take the Palisades Interstate Parkway north for 17 miles to the New York State Thruway north; continue for 21 miles and, at Exit 16, take Route 17 west for 45 miles to Exit 104; then take Route 17B to the hamlet of Callicoon. Do not turn off toward Callicoon Center - a different town entirely.
For more information about MGM Grand visit their site: