FIYAH a dancehall production by Jessica Phoenix premiered for the first time in Brooklyn on Friday, Nov. 8 and Nov. 9 at The Roulette Theater in Brooklyn. Ms. Phoenix, along with her co-choreographers Blacka di Danca and Yaminah Legohn, all seasoned veteran dancers of today’s dancehall culture, managed to put together a production that was fiery, entertaining and full of energy.
Phoenix a great storyteller, managed to show us in 12 scenes the origins of dancehall culture that took us on a journey from the beginning of dance that reflected how it originated in Africa. It embraced Caribbean life, life challenges and gave the audience a playful, colorful look into dancehall’s roots and culture. RayShawn Williams, a professional dancer especially loved the opening act “Dancing to the Roots,” which was choreographed by Yaminah Legohn. As a dancer, “I loved the energy of the dancers, and the choreography was immaculate. I was entertained from the beginning to the very end, the theater performance production was innovative and fresh,” said RayShawn.
Many of the dancers were proud to be part of such an amazing production. Jasu Sade, a second generation Barbadian and one of the dancers that grew up in Dancehall and Soca said, “joining the cast of FIYAH Productions was a brilliant opportunity that I was blessed with. During the audition, I felt the passionate driving force of strong innovative dancers who were dedicated to elevate and grow Dancehall culture. Jessica, Blacka [Di Danca] and Yaminah’s emphasis on and positivity and innovation through the project really sealed the deal for me; I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.”
Janell Garvey who is a also big fan of Dancehall culture knew Jessica for about a year, was referred through a mutual friend to try out, and when she was asked to be part of the cast, naturally her answer was an astounding yes!
The audience certainly felt the enthusiasm and energy of the dancers; it was an authentic and vibrant show. It was said best by Jasu, “like music, dance is a universal language, which proves that if someone who did not grow up in the culture recognizes the richness of the dance style, then let dance like love be appreciated by all.”
Look out for more FIYAH coming to a city new you.