Thursday, August 9, 2012

How far can folk reach?

This week, Urban Artistry’s Executive Director, Junious Brickhouse, is teaching hip hop and house dance classes in Elkins, WV.   

Junious was awarded the honor of being named a Maryland Master through Maryland Traditionsa partnership with the Maryland State Arts Council and the Maryland Historical Trust in 2009 for his work with Desmond Howard and other apprentices through Urban Artistry. He understands the importance of urban dance styles being recognized and included in folk dance intensives.  For house dance especially, the movement and culture is clearly a descendent folk dance culture. Urban Artistry has found great opportunity and collaborative spirit working with genres that relate to house dance, such as Appalachian flat-footing, West African Traditional, Lindy Hop and Tap.

The convergence for Dance Week at Augusta Heritage Center of Davis and Elkins College is a key place not only for its deep commitment to preserving regional folk cultures, but also because it is part of a University that prides itself in doing just that. The Augusta Heritage Center’s mission is to encourage the wider understanding and practice of artistic expression found in local, regional, and ethnic traditional folk cultures.  

In the past year the relationship between Good Foot Dance Company and Urban Artistry, has grown tremendously. Urban dance and percussive folk dances are working together now, more than ever and these two groups are at the front of the line for that collaboration. 
In order to get a better understanding of the work that is being created through the sharing of folk dance cultures, master/ apprenticeship relations and collaborative projects, take a look at the spotlight Interview of Mr. Brickhouse by journalist Michael Lipin of Voices of America.

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