Legends: Towson University Dance Company Performs To Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson And More

Sources: Baltimore Times | Picture by ismaelalvarez| Edited BY – All Things Michael

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The College of Fine Arts and Communication and the Towson University Department of Dance presents Legends, a dance concert on Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 2 p.m. in the Stephens Hall Theatre located at 8000 York Road in Towson.

Legends highlights America’s golden jazz era. Choreographers Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell, Vincent E. Thomas, and Runqiao Du create a series of soulful vignettes to a collection of music by Neil Simon, Etta James, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and other 20th Century icons. Featuring French “chanson” music from the 1930’s and 1940’s, C’est le ton qui fait la chanson opens the concert. Choreographed by D.C.’s award-winning choreographer, Christopher K. Morgan (Artistic Director of Christopher K. Morgan & Artists), this wistful, romantic dance delves in the imagery and atmosphere of artwork in the 2011 exhibit, Snapshot: Painters and Photography Bonnard to Vuillard. The concert features performances by the Ballet Repertory classes and Towson University Community Dance.

In addition to C’est le ton qui fait la chanson, the program includes Legends choreographers Runqiao Du, Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell, Vincent E. Thomas, music by Neil Simon, Etta James, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson; The Chopin Collection, choreography by Runqiao Du and music by Frederic Chopin; Waltz from Act I of Swan Lake, choreography by Marius Petipa (Bolshoi version) restaged by Susan Mann with music by Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky. Lighting design by Rebecca Wolf and original costume design by Kyle Lang.

Dancers from the Towson University Ballet Repertory class include Madison Bonvissuto, Aliyah Caldwell, Rishell Chambers, Gianna Cirillo, Mary Clark, Hailley Miller, Erica Powe, Elizabeth Rumpz, Ashley Thompson, and Anthony Lee. Dancers from Towson University Community Dance include Eleanor Weir, Damontae Bell, Marjorie Bowerman, Tyla Hairston, Sydney Samson, Margaret King, Katherine Nurminsky, Monae Johnson and Ajee Robinson.

Tickets are $20 for regular and $15 for senior citizens; $10 for students. Youth tickets for age 12 and under free with an adult. Tickets are available at the Center for the Arts Box Office located at the corner of Osler and Cross Campus drives. Box Office hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and one hour prior to events. For ticket charges and additional information, please call 410-704-2787. Tickets can be purchased online at www.tuboxoffice.com.

 

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On The Shoulders Of Motown

Sources: The St. Louis American – By Kenya Vaughn | All Things Michael

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“It’s nerve-wrecking, yet honoring,” said Elijah Lewis. “It’s a heavy load to carry, but I feel blessed to be able to share my gift in honoring him as an artist.”

For eight shows a week, Lewis portrays Stevie Wonder in “Motown The Musical.”

The show landed in St. Louis last week and continues at the Fox Theatre through November 30.

Lewis is part of a company charged with the task of capturing the essence of the timeless, iconic music that Berry Gordy used to change the landscape of American popular music more than a half-century ago.

“We played those records every Saturday when we were cleaning up – especially The Temptations because my dad loved them,” said Martina Sykes. She graces the stage as Mary Wells – one of Motown’s earliest stars. “I would love to hear the Jackson 5,” she said, “because we knew when they came on that we were close to being finished.”

Spinning Motown LPs was the standard programming for many Saturday morning chore sessions in households across the nation – and probably the world.

But at the height of its popularity, what would come to be known as “The Motown sound” – and the stars responsible for it – played a pivotal role in permanently dismantling the “race music” status quo.

“I think this musical gives insight on how Motown changed music,” Lewis said. “The music of Motown was not only the soundtrack to many people’s lives, but also the soundtrack for this nation.”

More than five dozen selections accompany the history of the record label that produced some of biggest stars in music history – including Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and Wonder – as “Motown The Musical” relives the journey through the eyes of its founder.

“He had this thing called ‘beat the teacher,’ so everybody had to one-up Mr. Gordy – which ultimately made everyone who they are,” Lewis said. “In this musical you get to really see the love, trust and friendship that they had with each other and how they used that to build something that’s still so iconic today.”

As producer of the original Broadway run and the tour and as writer of the book for the musical, Gordy had his hands in “Motown The Musical” as much as he did the label that inspired it.

“The first few weeks of rehearsal Mr. Gordy flew in and said, ‘I want you guys to know that you are a part of the Motown legacy. You are part of Motown’s history. This is not just another play,’” Sykes said.

“He said, ‘We want to do the same thing with this musical as we did with ‘The Motor City Review’ when we went to these cities and performed.’”

Then, she knew “this is not your average Broadway tour,” she said. “That feeling alone is something I can’t even describe with words. You really feel the weight of what you’re doing.”

Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Edwin Starr Jr. Walker and The All-Stars, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Wells, Martha and The Vandellas, The Marvelettes, Gladys Knight and The Pips, The Jackson 5, Rick James, Teena Marie and Jackie Wilson (via Gordy’s early days as a songwriter) are among those given their respective moments in the production.

“Motown The Musical” includes the highs and lows of the label from its inception to the 25th Anniversary in 1983 – including Gordy’s complicated relationship with Diana Ross and how it impacted Motown.

“He has this saying, ‘The truth is a hit,’” Lewis said while laughing. “I hope that everyone understands that Mr. Gordy did all of this out of love – love for Diana, love for Stevie, love for Smokey and all of them – not even thinking Motown would grow into what it became.”

The show has fared especially well with fans in St. Louis, and Lewis believes heavily relying on Motown’s prolific catalog of hits plays a huge role in the warm reception.

“I hope that the older generation will be taken back to a time where all of their fondest memories and where they were when they heard this music,” Sykes said. “And I hope it shows the younger generation the kind of hunger and passion they had back then. Maybe seeing this musical will gives them drive to create something like Motown for the next generation.”

“Motown the Musical” continues through November 30 at The Fox Theatre. For more information, call 314.534.1111 or visit www.metrotix.com.

 

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Dance Academy Present Annual Charity Concert; Tribute To Michael Jackson Featured

Sources: Manning River Times | All Things Michael

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THE Annie Rose Dancing Academy and other artists will provide a great afternoon of entertainment at the Tuncurry Beach Bowling Club on November 30.

The dancers from Hallidays Point, Taree’s Kate’s Tappers and other local guest artists will present their annual charity concert, with music and dance hitting the stage from 2pm.

Routines from old favourites including Anything Goes, Little Lovin’, Girls, Girls, Girls as well as tributes to Michael Jackson will be performed.

The entertainment continues with the appearance of The Silver Ukulele Strummers and Wingsong Community Choir among the many quality acts.

The annual concert is always a great community event with all the local performers giving their best at the end of a busy year’s rehearsals.

Tickets will be on sale at the door for $15, while children under 12 will be admitted free.

A raffle with many great prizes will round out the afternoon’s entertainment with door proceeds going to the Manning Valley Riding for Disabled.

 

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Bus Trip To “Motown, the Musical” November 20, 2014

Sources: Decatur Area for The Arts | All Things Michael

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This is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, and many more.  Featuring classic songs such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”  You will experience  the story behind the music in this record breaking smash hit.

Tickets are $160 and include bus ride, lunch at the Fox, premium seating for the show, and a snack on the ride back.

Date: November 20th, 2014
Location: Fox Theatre in St. Louis
Time: Thursday, 1 p.m.
Phone Number: 217-423-3189

Decatur Area Arts Council

Madden Arts Center and Anne Lloyd Gallery
125 N. Water Street
Decatur, IL  62523

p: 217-423-3189
f: 217-423-3194
e: arts4all@decaturarts.org

Office and Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday – 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Additional Gallery Hours: Saturday – 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

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The X Factor: What Did The Judges Say About Queen Vs Michael Jackson?

Digital Spy – By Rachel Babbage | All Things Michael

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Week Five saw The X Factor contestants pay tribute to two iconic pop acts – Queen and Michael Jackson.

Digital Spy rounds up what Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Mel B and Louis Walsh had to say about Saturday night’s (November 8) acts – and if you missed the show, you can catch up with all the performances below, too:

1. Paul Akister: ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ by Queen

Simon: “Last week you were like a Dementor, you know, sucking the energy out. But you came out, you were happy, you sang really well.”

Cheryl: “You’re so consistently good, you haven’t had a bad week vocally. Just trust Melanie when she says perform more because she cares more than any other mentor that I’ve worked with.”

2. Jay James: ‘The Show Must Go On’ by Queen

Mel B: “I wasn’t feeling it. I could see you were uncomfortable, that you were stressed out. As a performer, you have to forget what’s gone on and you just have to deliver.”

Louis: “I loved the staging. Consistent and amazing.”

3. Lauren Platt: ‘I’ll Be There’ by The Jackson 5

Simon: “I thought the track was good, the last 20 seconds was fantastic. That’s where I heard what your voice is capable of. You’re better than you think you are.”

Mel B: “Can we all just remind ourselves that you are 17. You performed that song like you’d been doing it your entire life. I heard you’ve got a bit of Tonsillitis going on. To do that with that, wow.”

4. Only The Young: ‘Blame It on the Boogie’ by The Jacksons

Cheryl: “The chemistry between you is so genuine. I can imagine kids at home saying, ‘Mum I want to go see them.”

Louis: “We need this band in this competition. They work so hard, they’ve got great chemistry.”

5. Ben Haenow: ‘Man in the Mirror’ by Michael Jackson

Mel B: “This week your vocals were too exposed. If I was Simon, I would be worried about that choice for you.”

Cheryl: “It doesn’t matter where I go, somebody will always say to me, ‘I love Ben’. It was a massively brave thing to do, to sing it a capella. You seemed emotional and nervous though.”

6. Stevi Ritchie: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen

Louis: “What just happened? You became a rock god, that was crazy. I think Freddie would have loved it if he was alive. You’re turning into the David Brent of The X Factor in a good way.”

Mel B: “You’re genuine, you’re honest and give it your all. I just felt like I took some weird acid and went on a trip. I still don’t feel normal.”

7. Stereo Kicks: ‘You Are Not Alone’ by Michael Jackson

Simon: “Good for you! The important thing is that you bounced back from where you were last week.”

Cheryl: “I don’t how I would have dealt with what you just dealt with [the stage invasion]. It was a real sign of professionalism.”

8. Fleur East: ‘Will You Be There’ by Michael Jackson

Louis: “You’ve been working all your life to get to this point. As a manager, I know you’re ready-made for a career in music.”

Mel B: “You shut me up, again! You owned it, you commanded the stage. You have to stay in this competition. We need you!”

9. Andrea Faustini: ‘Somebody to Love’ by Queen

Louis: “That is my favourite performance of the night and the whole series.”

Cheryl: “There’s never anything less than 100% with your performances. The whole of Britain loves you.”

The X Factor results show airs on Sunday (November 9) on ITV.

The X Factor: Michael Jackson vs Queen: Who did the kings of pop proud?

 

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Hospital Sponsors Thriller Flash Mob To Promote Wellness And Community

Sources: Kinston By Junious Smith III | All Things Michael

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More than three decades later, the zombie dance still entertains the masses — and a group from the hospital and community brought it back to life on Friday.

Employees of the Minges Wellness Center, Lenoir Memorial Hospital and members of the center participated in a flash mob to Michael Jackson’s classic 1982 hit “Thriller” at the hospital. The group dressed up as zombies to recreate the imagery of the music video, with Minges exercise specialist Graham Brown donning the King of Pop’s red outfit.

Brown, who coordinated the dance, said the preparation began early in October.

“We observed other flash mobs and we wanted to bring the community together, along with incorporate physical activity,” Brown said. “We’ve had multiple sessions throughout the month of October where people could learn the steps to the Thriller dance and we all got together (Friday) to dance.”

LMH Marketing Director Barbara LaRoque said the hospital advertised the lessons leading up to Friday’s event, and was in support of the integration the wellness center made with exercise and Thriller.

“We will do anything to encourage physical activity for the community, and what you saw here was people having fun with the exercise,” LaRoque said.

Kimberly Best, an RN education specialist with LMH, said there is an additional benefit for the staff as well.

“It gave us a nice break during the day and helps relieve stress,” Best said.

The flash mob also coincided with the hospital’s annual kickoff of United Way, using a celebration and employee campaign. Elaine Penuel, director of nursing at LMH, said Thriller was a great choice to raise awareness.

“We tie this celebration in each year to attract attention and hopefully, more will be done for the United Way,” she said. “It’s just a good time to be had all around.”

Kinston resident Christen Coan came to support her aunt, Patricia Patterson, who was in the flash mob. Coan said the entire event was put together well.

“It was awesome,” Coan said. “I really enjoyed it and the dancers did a phenomenal job.”

Exercise specialist Barbara Bradshaw said the performance went well and hopes to see more of the same next year.

“I would love to have something like this again,” Bradshaw said. “So many people were involved this time around, and those who watched us might be motivated to be a part of it next year.”

 

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Sonny G Debuts ‘American Music Icons’ Tribute

Sources: The Pueblo Chieftain – By Amy Matthew | Edited By – All Things Michael

Cab Calloway, Elvis Presley, Jackie Wilson, James Brown and Michael Jackson had more than music in common — and Sonny Gonzalez (known as Sonny G.) is ready to illustrate the foot-tapping connection. 

Gonzalez, a Pueblo native, will debut his production, “American Music Icons,” today at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center. The performance will start at 7:30 p.m. After learning some of Jackson’s dance moves for a show while he was in high school, Gonzalez continued expanding his impersonation over the last decade. During that time, he was building his acting career with a long list of parts in commercials and corporate training videos, on TV and in theater.

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Sonny G

As he studied Jackson, he learned through the King of Pop’s own interviews who influenced his dance style. The names that kept appearing wereCalloway, Presley, Wilson and Brown. Eventually, Gonzalez, 28, decided to move behind the camera and develop his own show tracing the timeline of all five performers.michael-jackson-thelavalizard

He went through hundreds of videos and listened to each man’s music to better understand the emotions of the songs, which he said find their way into their mannerisms and choreography. In the show, he lip-syncs to some of each singer’s biggest hits.

“Jackie and Elvis had similar movements,” Gonzalez said. “Between Jackie’s footwork and Elvis’ hips, you get James Brown. Cab Calloway was just way out there with his clothing and his movements.”

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Jackie Wilson

Sure enough, watch Calloway and you’ll see the origins of the moonwalk, a little Elvis hip shake and arm windmill, the frenetic, all-over-the-stage dancing of Brown. “Michael was all four of the other characters rolled up into one,” said Gonzalez. “When you see him at the end of the show, you’ll understand where he derived his hip movements and his beats.” Gonzalez’s Elvis moves even got him a job last year in an Starz/Encore movie channel promotion for Elvis month. He had to be approved by Elvis Presley Enterprises, which controls every facet of The King’s legacy.

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Cab Calloway

“They’ve invited me to Graceland for their big Elvis impersonation contest they do every year,” he said.

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Elvis

Developing his own show provided Gonzalez with an enormous lesson in music history. “I was surprised at the connections,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know who Jackie Wilson and Cab Calloway were, but if you watch the videos I watched, they’re still relevant today. The music, dance moves and energy — you see them in everyone from Justin Bieber to Usher to Lady Gaga.”

Though he’s lived in Denver for nearly a decade, Gonzalez said he wanted to premiere his show in his hometown.

“We’re all about the arts in Pueblo,” he said. “I want to let people know Pueblo’s a positive place and you can make it if you have a dream and the tenacity to get it done.”

The performance will be filmed by Pueblo company Luminous Media Arts. Tickets for “American Music Icons” are $20. They are available at the arts center box office.

The evening will include a Halloween dance party and a costume contest with cash prizes.

IF YOU GO:

WHO: Sonny G.

WHAT: ‘American Music Icons’

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today

WHERE: Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center, 210 N. Santa Fe Ave.

TICKETS: $20 at arts center box office

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Reserve And Cinrg Present: The Kiss 957 BOOBASH

Sources: Connecticut Reserve | All Things Michael

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Join us for a sinister evening for Connecticut Biggest Halloween Event The Kiss 957 BOO BASH, taking place right in Central Connecticut at the Reserve in Meriden.

Get ready for some spooktacular entertainment, as well as an eerie environment as we turn Connecticut’s finest Reserve into a ghostly haunted scene!!

Joby Rogers will be bringing the Ultimate Michael Jackson Xperience to Reserve alongside United Rhythms Dance Studio as they preform THRILLER to get the night started!

Multiple performances to follow throughout the evening all leading to Moodswing’s Very Own DJ DSTAR!

Supporting music by Connecticut’s own, Dj Leon Corzo aswell as NYC’s Dj Levek..

Three levels of mystery patiently await you so please dress in your most extravagant costumes for great prizes and drink specials!!

You Don’t want to miss out on this incredible night!!!

Get tickets here