Choreographer Amy O'Neal & Brysen Angeles at Marcie Sillman's "And Another Thing" Oct 16, 2014

by Erin

"Amy O’Neal’s newest dance explores gender and race from a different angle. Opposing Forces is a work for five acclaimed Seattle area b-boys: Fever One, Alfredo "Free" Vergara Jr., Brysen "JustBe” Angeles, Mozeslateef, and Michael O’Neal Jr. It's the first dance she's created for an all-male cast.

O’Neal says this new dance initially came out of her desire to work with male dancers. But she was also inspired by her increasing affinity for hip hop culture.

'I had been thinking a lot about the value systems between competitive dance, commercial dance, contemporary dance,' she says. 'B-boy battling and hip hop specifically.'

Her ideas started to take shape when O’Neal met Brysen Angeles at The Beacon, a dance studio and school Angeles co-founded with other members of his award-winning Seattle dance crew, Massive Monkees. Angeles had seen one of O’Neal’s dances, and he was intrigued with her idea to create a work that would fuse hip hop and contemporary dance styles.

'I wasn’t completely sure what it was gonna be,' he confesses. But he was intrigued by the questions O'Neal asked him, both about movement and about race and gender identity in hip hop dance."

Read the rest at Marcie Sillman's culture blog "And Another Thing."