Arts and Music

If Cities Could Dance

Every city has its rhythm—every dancer, their street. Step into the shoes of dancers from across the country who dare to imagine what it would look like if their city could dance. Performing on street corners and other unconventional settings, each episode tells an intimate, personal story about the artists and their deep-rooted connections to community.

Boogaloo: The Dance That Defined Oakland's Culture

8m 33s

Inspired by James Brown and the Black Panthers, the Black Resurgents are one of the dance crews who pioneered Oakland's boogaloo dance, the foundation of many other funk styles. However, their cultural contributions are little-known outside of the Bay. Meet these veteran dancers passing on their tradition to a new a generation, bridging the gap between boogaloo, pop-locking and turf dancing.

Episodes

  • Boogaloo: The Dance That Defined Oakland's Culture: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Boogaloo: The Dance That Defined Oakland's Culture

    S3 E9 - 8m 33s

    Inspired by James Brown and the Black Panthers, the Black Resurgents are one of the dance crews who pioneered Oakland's boogaloo dance, the foundation of many other funk styles. However, their cultural contributions are little-known outside of the Bay. Meet these veteran dancers passing on their tradition to a new a generation, bridging the gap between boogaloo, pop-locking and turf dancing.

  • LGBTQ+ Choreographer Amit Patel is Changing Bollywood Dance: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    LGBTQ+ Choreographer Amit Patel is Changing Bollywood Dance

    S3 E8 - 6m 54s

    Dancer Amit Patel is reinventing Bollywood dance and making space for queer expression in the South Asian community. At 10, he began Bollywood dance training with Mona Khan Company and later started contemporary dance. He realized he could express himself outside of Bollywood’s traditional male roles. Today, he teaches "Bollywood Heels," a mix of Kathak gestures and jazz performed in 5-inch heels.

  • J-Setting: From Southern HBCUs to the Clubs of Atlanta: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    J-Setting: From Southern HBCUs to the Clubs of Atlanta

    S3 E7 - 5m 12s

    J-Sette dancers bring energy, precision, and stunts to the floor and the Dance Champz of Atlanta want to take this underground LGBTQ+ art form to the next level. J-Setting’s roots are from Jackson State University’s Prancing J-Settes who added African American and jazz dance styles in majorette dancing. Leland Thorpe and his team’s mission is for J-setting to be taken seriously in the dance world.

  • Zydeco in Houston: Black Cowboys, Trail Rides & Creole Roots: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Zydeco in Houston: Black Cowboys, Trail Rides & Creole Roots

    S3 E6 - 5m 58s

    In Houston, Zydeco brings joy. In this episode, we explore Zydeco’s deep roots in Creole culture and music. Once known as La-la, it became Zydeco in Houston with Clifton Chenier’s rise, the ‘King of Zydeco’. Zydeco thrives in Houston, reaching a broader audience around trail-riding clubs who dance together. Zydeco has grown popular worldwide, but it still brings communities together in Houston.

  • Albuquerque's Native American Hip-Hop Dance: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Albuquerque's Native American Hip-Hop Dance

    S3 E5 - 6m 3s

    Described as “Indigenous futurism,” Albuquerque’s hip-hop and freestyle dance scene is driven by Indigenous dancers from many tribes, Pueblos and communities. A strong sense of solidarity holds it together, say dancers Anne Pesata (Jicarilla Apache) & Raven Bright (Diné). Randy L. Barton, a dancer, DJ & artist (Navajo) created The Sacred Cypher, an event where Indigenous art forms & hip-hop link.

  • Dancers Across the U.S. Unite in Chain Letter: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Dancers Across the U.S. Unite in Chain Letter

    S3 E4 - 4m 1s

    Sixteen dancers from across the country, representing a range of dance styles, move as one being, with each dancer's moves flowing naturally into the next. Poet Chinaka Hodge narrates each dancer’s steps from all around the United States as we shelter-in-place. Inspired by Mitchell Rose's Exquisite Corps chain letter, each dancer begins in the last pose of the dancer before passing the movement.

  • Puerto Rico's Bomba, A Dance of The African Diaspora: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Puerto Rico's Bomba, A Dance of The African Diaspora

    S3 E3 - 6m 33s

    Witness the unstoppable joy of dancing bomba, Puerto Rico’s Afro-Puerto Rican dance of resistance. Meet sisters Mar and María Cruz who are dedicated to the dance and its legacy of survival, and trace some of the communities where bomba is at its most vibrant, from the Santurce area of San Juan, to Loíza, the bastion of Afro-Puerto Rican culture across the Rio Grande.

  • San Francisco's Dance Crew Blends Tap and Mexican Footwork: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    San Francisco's Dance Crew Blends Tap and Mexican Footwork

    S3 E2 - 5m 59s

    La Mezcla dance company, founded and led by Vanessa Sanchez, uses dance and song to tell stories of Chicana history, culture and resistance. Blending tap dance and son jarocho zapateado (traditional footwork from Veracruz, Mexico) Sanchez describes this unique dance style as “zapatap.” Watch these dancers perform dynamic choreography in front of iconic Mission District murals and landmarks.

  • Go-Go Music Inspired This Street Dance in Washington, D.C.: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Go-Go Music Inspired This Street Dance in Washington, D.C.

    S3 E1 - 6m 57s

    John “Crazy Legz” Pearson, founder of the Who Got Moves Battle League, is breathing life back into Beat Ya Feet -- the bouncy, fast-moving dance found in the streets, backyards and go-go clubs of Black D.C. At the heart of the dance style is the music: go-go, a blend of funk, call-and-response and Afro-Latin rhythms, ubiquitous in D.C.'s Black neighborhoods.

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