Last weekend, I had the honor of performing along with 50 other amazing dancers in a tribute to house dance legend Marjory Smarth, who passed away recently. While I didn’t know Marjory directly, I have been taught by so many dancers who have been inspired and learned from her.
I had a relatively small piece in the performance — just about a minute of choreo toward the first third of the 17-minute piece. Still, it was awesome being a part of this entire spectacle, which was led and inspired by local house dancer Lauren Benjamin.
Here’s the entire showcase below. Afterwards I break down the different sections to give you some context for what you are seeing.
The piece opens with individual dancers coming out who were connected to Marjory in some way. As they solo, you can hear their voices telling stories about what Marjory meant to them personally. It’s cool hearing the thoughts of the dancer as she or he dances.
Then there several large choreo pieces created by several local house teachers, including Shinobi, Vid, Rama, and May. I’m in the second group choreo which comes in at 6:12 mark in the video. (I’m on the back left wearing a Kangol, in case you can’t tell.)
After that, local house champ Coflo does an incredible solo that he choreographed in tribute to Marjory. Here’s another higher quality video of that same piece.
After Coflo is a section which starts with just female dancers, and then incorporates more male dancers.
Finally, the performance concludes, appropriately enough, with a cypher featuring more local dancers.
Such a blessing and a treat to get to be involved with this showcase in my first house dance performance. Thanks for Lauren Benjamin for assembling and organizing this motley crew of 50 street dancers. Not an easy feat, but the result is so worth it. And appreciation and love to my friend and teacher Shinobi Jaxx for including me in this program.
And of course love to my fellow dancers in our piece, Johanna, Ernest, Sergio, Shelly, Paul and Amos. We did it! We did it!
Photo Credits: (first photo) Sandy Lee and (group photo) Traci Bartlow