Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Join me in shared DANCE kinship

#DANCE nzo.califa510 class co-teaching w/Dance-kin [Sun.Nov.27] Afro-Cuban with Emese: M.O.T.A.D. w/Asatu Musunama Hall-Allah and [SAT. Nov. 26 & Mon. Nov.28] w/ Isaura Oliveira for "the offering" this Season; where WE shall invoke the #DANCE to tell Our story and we shall ALL be shared DANCE Spirit. ~nzo.califa
photog: Alan Kimara Dixon | design: nzo.califa

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

in vigil and vigilante...Georgia on my mind

#wRiteOn...what does it mean to STAND in the face of adversity, fame, divinity or death! My Grandmother Georgia says,  "don't let 'em make you fall!"  when you face obstacles in your way, no matter what -you just STAND! 
      Spent a good deal in Georgia - And it certainly would be on my mind to this date for several reasons- Genealogy and I have always loved the area.  Troy Davis convicted of the August 19, 1989, murder of Savannah, Georgia State police officer, is denied clemency even with the outcry from the most impressive protest of injustice to date.  And while "on the path"  I'd come across a protest at Georgia State University, Fri. Sept. 16th and felt compelled to join if only for a moment. This after I'd spent a great deal of time immersed in the Martin Luther King Jr, Visitor Center's exhibition and stood at the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church. Such a dichotomy of circumstances surrounding "Justice"- if only for Just US!  Such looming characteristics of the times yielding a myriad of opinions, but for those who can't afford any idle time - it's the same ole sh*t different day and been time for a CHANGE! 
As the Universe watches, the people speak and began to march, protest and resist - it is a Global movement and Global cry! And, I remain in vigil for the preservation of precious Black seeds still breathing...I got mo', but gotta go' | ~nzo.califa

song dedication: Curtis Mayfield - "People Get Ready"

Thursday, April 28, 2011

When "Kawo" knocks -- It Roars and POURS!

#wRiteOn Today, "Kawo" came knocking at my window. I was awaken by an earthshaking thunderous roar amidst the towers, at the crossroads of urbanity-noire. Normally I yell out a praise name or so...this morning I was deeply humbled. It seems the citizens of heaven threw out their mop water, dumping it upon the pour souls who happened to be on the streets this morning- yellin', screamin'-- aghast cause they are now drenched, without any warning of a light rain or partial shower. It was like water dumped on yo' head and now you're drenched!  
     "Kawo" kept knocking on my window, even 6 floors high to remind me who's the greater, and that I'm but a mere Human - "Remember that!" Yet, it was is in that still moment that I inquired quietly, what are my tasks for today?! I do this daily and expect a litany of things to do and vibe off of keeping busy - BUT this morning, it's about sitting and doing the mundane; cleaning and preparing and finding these tasks to be priority, making lighter those things on your heart that sit like an unwanted guest.  Turn up the bitters to finish Spring rites of cleaning and cleansing, including your blood, your mind - YOUR ROOM!
     So today, with a myriad of tasks I could do, things happening and projects undone - I KIZZY- "stay put". And it would be then I'd receive an all important call that "the gates are officially opening at Congo Square, NOLA" and its name will FINALLY be on the books" - Sounds like THUNDER to me!

Musical dedication:  Donald Byrd - "A New Perspective"  
Muse: Ella Fitzgerald
Listen: WWOZ 90.7fm Every Sunday, 8p-10p Spirits of Congo Square w/Eugene Thomas aka Baba Geno

Friday, April 15, 2011

...wee hOUR work: bursting out the blocks!

AT TOP SPEED - My performance best is wee-hour work!
"from burnin' the midnite oil to turnin' the mornin soil"

#wRiteOn ...Started running track at a tender age-- fromt the neighborhood streets, at school meet playgrounds, Parks and Rec grass areas, upon gravel and rocks at Highschool competitions, to  College track courses and out-of-the way field/forest areas of the burbs and valleys. But  in a minute, I'd accept many-a-challenge "to race"! Down the streets of 26th avenue and Courtland Avenue in Oakland; my Brothers and I were "those track kids". Then, we aspired to be in the Olympics by "1980" and Jessie OwensEdwin MosesReynaldo NehemiahEvelyn Ashford, Florence Griffith [iba'e] were our [s]heroes - and my Manzanita Dragon spirit ushered by Miss Peggy Loughlin, saw promise in me as a sprinter / middle distance runner and she was right-- got records on the books to prove it!

1980 team leader Sherifa Sanders [lft]

I was quickly recruited to train for competition in sanctioned meets under the aegis of Ellis Jones - "train don't strain or you won't stand the pain". An esteemed member of the powder blue & gold-stripe, I trained with seasoned track Sisters, like Sherifa Sanders who competed with the likes of Jackie Joyner in state Championships, National Competitions and Pre-Olympic trials; Yvonne Boone, was my cheerleading Teacher and celebrated record holding Pioneer status at Cal-State East Bay. I remember the Harris sisters, Cherice, Aaron and local community members of select talent from the 
Coach Ken, Me & Bro. Terry
<1980 Track club archives>
neighborhood, Community centers and eventually High schools.

I participated in the beginnings of the newly organized AAU [Amateur Athletic Union] sanctioned meets - the highlight for me was running on the same track as Olympic legend  400m hurdler Edwin Moses at the San Francisco's Cow Palace; I ran like a wild banshee, baton-twirlin', eyes-bucked and no form. [lol]  My track team would ultimately transcend into a track hub, silver-and-black inspired, like our beloved Oakland Raiders of the 70's-80's, and coach Ellis Jones had passed the baton to Ken Yamada to form the 1980 Track Club and we were "mob deep" for which I hold esteemed membership as a founding member of this legacy. 
Coach Ken was a Man who's commitment was long and whose dedication was deep - I mean he would take us ALL home in that gray van from the west to the north, back-track to the east to the south - and he knew everybody's Mama, Daddy, Auntie or Grandmother. With staunch parent support, we traveled to places all throughout Cali, to Arizona, Utah, New Mexico - Eugene Oregon, some went to Canada, others made the Olympic trials...for me it would prove to be my training grounds for building character, developing leadership and organizing.
Inaugural member of 1980 Track Club of  legacy organization instrumental
in building character and Leadership

Inspirational Dance Teacher & Mentor
Paula McCullum
Celebrated Coach Willie White
After a life-defining track experience at Berkeley High School under the aegis of NCAA Track and Field Sprinter, Cal Berkeley Hall of Fame and celebrated Coach of the nation's "Who's Who" of High school runners of Track and Field, the infamous Coach Willie White, I took a leap into my heart's passion and Soul's release, #Dance. Coach White brought to my attention that training track and field had to be my passion and priority -- Dance became that for me on that very same campus, crystallized through my mentor and now #Dancestor , Ms. Paula McCullum. *rest in sweet ascension*. 

YES!  I ran track for over 17 yearseven  encouraged to run independent in College in the residue of  "Track City" hey day of San Jose State - where the iconic "raise your fist" went down in history  to  UPhold my civil rights - yup, I'm talkin' about that historic event at the '68 Mexico City Olympics. And now bestowed with honorary doctorates, a bronze statue  permanently stands in "Sculpture Garden" at SJSU in honor of my martyr/mentors Tommie Smith and John Carlos...Rite on!

I've always had a deep desire to DANCE! and it's been to my benefit to bring into my #Dance life my running trek, building character, endurance and leadership, invoking a consciousness of health and wellness responsible for my vitality today. I'm so grateful for the phenomenal mentorship that has served me in a way that qualifies my unique experience of service and mediumship today. #RiteOn

Monday, January 31, 2011

Arts Technical Workshop - Viable Venues Series

Viable Venue Series: 
Producing at the Malonga Center - Oakland, CA

Malonga Casquelourd C.F.A. A treasured ARTS producing hub in the country; cultural cradle place for African Dance Drum & Culture, housing legacy African Dance Companies & the launch pad for many!
 We must participate in making better OUR own for today and the next! Be part of the solution, engage and BUILD UP!  [only solutions please]
Focus: "Producing at the Malonga Center" [Theater] Stage Craft | WED | Oakland, Preservation Park 
7p-9p | $10-$15 sliding scale| 510.464-3082