Category Archives: Dance

TBW Movies For Lovers of Movement & Sound – “VENGO” (Spain)

Vengo is simply one of the dopest movies ever!  Tony Gatlif brilliantly directed a perfect movie.

Imagine Romeo & Juliet mixed with Scarface, but instead of Montagues and Capulets you have a family of rivaling Gangster Gypsies in Spain.  Not only that, their crew has dancers, singers, and the dopest musicians ever.

After seeing this movie in 2004, Flamenco music and dance became an energy that has stayed with me till this day.

Off the jump, the movie begins with my favorite song in the movie.

Every song is my favorite and have is own special flavor. You not only feel the culture in every scene, but become immersed in a time and place that is no longer your own in less than 5 minutes.

The contrasting backdrops and long shots, the colors, the sound again.

Just watch it.

Oh and there are no sub-titles, but fear not.  You feel like you speak the language and understand everything within the first 5 minutes.

Time to watch, quite surprised the whole movie is on youtube… amazing.


That was pretty dope right?

Check how the energy of the music inspired this mix, circa 07′.

TBW Test To See If You Have Rhythm – Malinke/Mandinka Edition

Your goal is to keep the beat without being distracted and adjusting to it.  These are the sounds of the Malinke Tribe.

  1. Play the above video and follow for till the end.
  2. A nod of the head, a tap of the foot, a clap of the hand either is suffice.  
  3. Now try to create your own rhythm in between the rhythm of the people.  Bonus points if you create a vocal sound in between the rhythm. 
  4. Continue on till the end with an open mind.  

Complete, think about your ability to maintain a constant tempo and try again another day.

Dancers can add sound and movement to the rhythm of the video.  The result over time will be an evolved sense and connection to rhythm.

The more styles of music you embrace, the more you are able to interact with deeper levels of sonics and it’s energy.

A valuable tool for dancers, artist, musicians and really any creative.

Sidenote:  Last night, I hit my father up and asked about the word.  He said Foli in Mandingo is to gossip.  The poster of the video mentions a story about rhythm.  I’ll have to send him the video to translate for me.  It’s something about finding out for myself and not just trusting the stories of others.

However, the energy of the video speaks for itself, no translation needed.  The company did a dope job with the visuals and sound.

The connection is close as my father is full blood Mandinka.

Wiki Defines Mandinka people as an African ethnic group with an estimated global population of 11 million. The Mandinka are the descendants of the Mali Empire, which rose to power in the 13th century under the rule of the Malinké/Maninka King Sundiata Keita.

…and that’s #thebrooklynword.




One night, my daughter and I were chilling.  When the perfect idea came up!

Let’s have a “Just Dance Challenge”.  Now I’m not gonna front, i’m an old man in the dancing game.  I just don’t move like I used to, it is what it is, regardless this little challenge was actually inspiring.

It was pretty dope to see my daughter naturally pick up the love for dance.  Now as a parents, we hint and make it extremely accessible to her (since she was born), yet allowed her to explore it on her own.  I’m proud to say that she loves to dance and is self motivated.

I already knew it would happen, when was the answer that I didn’t know.  Now that I see her little body absorbing movement like a sponge, I will dance more around her and teach her my philosophical beliefs on movement.

I want her to understand the limitless possibilities of expression with the body.  How to push past her boundaries and develop a sense of self with her movements.  This is gonna be fun and something that I’ve always dreamed of.  I didn’t have a son to teach it to, but she’s more than enough and way tougher.  She’s perfect and will know the secret art of The Kuyateh dance!

So FYI, i’m seeing these dances for the first time and they show up mad quick.  No excuses either way, she beat me.