Oct 02, 2014
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Dance

Blacka’s World: Bringing Dancehall to the Theater in NYC

Words by Blacka Di Danca, Photos by Ukay

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New York City-based dancer and choreographer extraordinaire Blacka di Danca has been traveling the world spreading the gospel of dancehall through classes and appearances at top dance studios and clubs from Mexico to Siberia. For his latest adventure, he’s tackled a project much closer to home: bringing the first full dancehall theater production of its kind to the stage, right in his backyard in Brooklyn, NYC.

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Blacka’s World: Wining and Dining in Mexico City

Words by Blacka Di Danca—

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New York City-based dancer extraordinaire Blacka Di Danca has been traveling the world spreading the gospel of dancehall through classes and appearances at top dance studios and clubs from Latin America to Siberia (yes, Siberia). For Blacka, it’s not just about teaching steps but serving as an ambassador for his culture: at just 23, he’s broken down barriers, and introduced people to the ethos and history of dancehall in places where the genre has only previously been experienced via computer screen. As Blacka’s journeys have grown increasingly frequent, we thought it was time he held down his own column on LargeUp. Here, he reports back from his latest excursion, to North America’s largest metropolis: Mexico City.

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Tundra Tun Up: Blacka Di Danca Brings Dancehall to Siberia

Words by Emily Shapiro, Photos by Dmitriy Shtifonov and Denis Rossiev—

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If you’re a regular Large Up reader, you already know all about our friend Blacka di Danca. We’ve been following this super-talented dancer and choreographer as he travels the world spreading his infectious love of dancehall and good vibes. A frequent visitor to Europe, where he just spent the summer teaching dancehall steps to students from England to Italy, he’s currently in the midst of his fourth trip to Russia.

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BOIS!: Reviving Trinidad’s Stickfighting Traditions

Words by Tishanna Williams—

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Kalinda is a dance-like marital art brought to Caribbean slave plantations from the Congo and Angola, fought with a specially-crafted and spiritually-prepared stick or ‘bois’ (bwah) of about 4 feet in length.

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Throwback Thursdays: Dancehall Queen Carlene Conquers Cuba

Words by Jesse Serwer—

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Yesterday, we acknowledged the original dancehall queen, Carlene Smith (a/k/a DHQ Carlene), as one of the baddest Jamaican gyals of all-time. While doing our research we turned up something rather fascinating about the Butterfly creator and former Beenie Man flame (happy birthday, Beenie Man!)  that we never knew: in the ’90s, Carlene and her signature dance were even bigger and more celebrated in communist Cuba than at home in Jamaica. As Carlene bluntly puts it in this Jamaican news segment, “When I got to Cuba, over 30,000 people turned up to see me do the butterfly… There wasn’t a stageshow, there was just me, Carlene from Jamaica.”

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Pon Tour: Blacka Di Danca Makes A Splash in Europe


Words by LargeUp Crew, Photos by Enrico Miglietta—
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