They were discovered by Michael Jackson’s choreographer while freestyling at a Southern California club. Then they skyrocketed to dance fame. Brothers Rich and Tone Talauega have since danced with Madonna, Usher, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, The Backstreet Boys, Gwen Stafani and Black Eyed Peas, among others. They are probably most famous for rocking Madonna’s Super Bowl XLVI halftime show at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in 2012. On April 26, the Taluegas will present highlights and give a live demonstration of their choreography at the Museum of the Moving Image. Their performance is part of Spectacle: The Music Video, an exhibition celebrating the art and history of the music video.
There’s a lot of buzz about Studio Square’s upcoming Smoke festival in LIC. Our interest was piqued until we took a look at the price tag. It’s $114 just to attend! That seems a little high, especially since that same day you could hop on the G and attend GoogaMooga in Prospect Park for half the price. But then we found out what you get for it and, well, it’s a relative bargain.
There once was a place called “Queens.” In the early 2000s, this borough became home to a growing — and growing — community of choreographers and dancers. By April 2007, it was a hotspot, and Green Space Blooms, a festival celebrating local dance and music talent, was born in LIC. Just like the borough, the festival grew and grew, and this year, the seventh annual Green Space Blooms features 40 diverse choreographers. On April 20 and 21, the festivities will include such talent as LatticeWorks Dance Collective, Ballet International Africans and ArtBark International. Plus, Green Space‘s founder, Valerie Green, and its resident company, Dance Entropy, will participate. Each evening will end with a post-performance party with sounds curated by Open Music Education.
If there is a playlist for raking in millions in investment capital, the guys at Songza probably have it queued.
Based in Long Island City, Songza is a free music streaming service which offers playlists organized by mood or occasion. So if you’re feeling cocky, you can play the “Eye of The Tiger: Confidence Mix“. The site recommends “Take it Sleazy” if you’re in the mood for stoking loose morals.
While Amazon has long been an “unconfirmed” investor listed on AngelList, it parlayed its investment in the earlier Aime St vehicle into Songza. In late 2011 the startup closed what was reportedly a ‘seven-figure’ round of financing led by investors, including Deep Fork Capital, as well as an “undisclosed strategic investor.” Also participating in the round was Geoff Judge, co-founder of 24/7 Real Media.
The Entrepreneur Space is running out of space! On April 11, the LIC-based food-and-business incubator received more than 20 boxes of cookware, silverware, bakeware, cutlery and just about everything else a kitchen could want, thanks to a donation from Princess House, a party-plan, direct-selling company that promotes female entrepreneurship. Located at 36-46 37th St., the E-Space is a 12,500-sq.-ft., NYC Economic Development Corporation-sponsored hub with a fully equipped commercial kitchen, offices and classrooms that entrepreneurs can rent at below-market rates as they build their businesses. Consultant Kathrine Gregory (at right in photo with Princess House President and CEO Connie Tang) noted that this donation — valued at over $12,000 — will be put to extremely good use as the E-Space currently has roughly 170 clients who make everything from gluten-free baked goods to Greek garlic dip to designer marshmallows.
Combining storytelling, history and the arts, the Five Boro Story Project seeks to strengthen community connections, preserve local history, and boost pride in NYC neighborhoods. The nonprofit’s newest series, I’m Tawkin Here: Storytelling with a New Yawk Accent, kicks off on April 10 at the New York Irish Center before traveling through the five boroughs on five consecutive Wednesdays until May 8. The show features Broad Channel native Tara Clancy, a fifth-generation New Yorker and the Moth GrandSLAM storytelling champion whose solo show “Channel Rat” was featured in the NY Fringe Festival. LIC’s Kambri Crews, a storyteller, public speaker and author of Burn Down the Ground, is scheduled to perform, as are Rockaway’s Ed Shevlin, an Irish speaker, Fulbright Commission for Summer Language Study winner and part of the heroic sanitation team that that cleaned up the Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy, and Howard Beach representative Angel Yau, a comedienne extraordinaire with Upright Citizen’s Brigade and Mortified! storytelling. Jamaica’s SoSoon of Mi-6, an emcee, songwriter and the self-proclaimed “Spike Lee of hip hop” is in charge of the music.
Much of the world knows him as Furio on the HBO series The Sopranos. But Federico Castelluccio is also a renowned realist painter, art collector and connoisseur of the baroque genre who received a full scholarship to the School of the Visual Arts. Tonight, April 4, the Naples native takes his act to LIC’s Diego Salazar Art Gallery, where the month-long Diverse Visions of Reality exhibit opens. Presented in conference with another respected artist, Nelson Shanks, the show features two works each from 11 painters — co-curators Shanks and Castelluccio, plus Humberto Aquino, Christopher Pugliese, Steven Assael, Mario Robinson, David Brega, Scott Nickerson, Patricia Watwood, Katie O’Hagan and Will Wilson. There is yet another reason to party hearty at this opening as this show also marks the Salazar Gallery’s one-year anniversary.
Breaking into the comedy scene is funny, but it’s not all fun and games. Up-and-coming jokesters need perseverance, focus, creativity and energy. But now they have some good news: The Big Thing at the Laughing Devil Comedy Club. Starting April 3 and repeating every Wednesday until May 8, the LIC venue will host talented performers who will compete to be the next Big Thing. Bringing their A-Games to show off for the audience and the club bookers, these performers have been vetted by the club. Those who bring down the house earn the coveted position of club regular. The show also features some special guest headliners.
When it comes to expansions, this group breaks the mold. On April 2, the SculptureCenter announced a renovation of its LIC facility that aims to improve the quality of the exhibition spaces and the visitor flow. The undertaking will create a 2,000-sq-ft. addition to the existing Purves Street facility, and the renovated facility will comply with all current building codes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
SculptureCenter will remain open during construction with some modification to its exhibition schedule and public hours. With an expected completion in fall 2014, the rehab includes the following:
6,500 square feet of flexible interior exhibition space that will accommodate work of diverse
forms and scale;
a 2,000 sq.-ft., one-story entrance lobby with bookshop, coatroom, seating area,
an elevator and stairway to the lower level galleries;
a 1,500-sq.-ft. enclosed courtyard for outdoor exhibitions and events;
upgrades to electrical and mechanical systems; and
office and storage space improvements.
Seen at the groundbreaking ceremony are (from left) Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall, City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, SC Executive Director and Chief Curator Mary Ceruti, SC Board Chair Sascha S. Bauer and NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin.
Video killed the radio star! Get all the details at the Museum of the Moving Image. On April 3, the world famous Astoria/LIC cultural venue will launch Spectacle: The Music Video, an exhibition featuring more than 300 videos, presented alongside artifacts and interactive experiences, in the 4,000-sq.-ft. changing exhibitions gallery, amphitheater gallery and other on-site spaces. Patrons will get behind the scenes via a mixture of interactive installations, projections, video, objects and immersive environments. Of course, Madonna (above in “Express Yourself” mode) will be there in spirit. Ditto David Bowie, the Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails and even Lady Gaga. As part of the fun, there will be SONOS PLAYGROUND, an immersive music visualizer, as well as a series of special events with invited artists, including music video releases and conversations, in the Fox Amphitheater.