2024 Season

Pyramid – In Process Excerpt

Friday, February 23, 2024

(In-process excerpt)

Calvin “Cal” Hunt, Choreographer, Artistic and Program Director, It’s Showtime NYC!
Johnathan “Akuma” Moore, Cellist, composer, bonebreaker/flexN dancer 

Dancers and Co-Choreographers: 
Aubrey “Ski” Primus, Tyrik “Blank” Johnson, Jamil ”Stein” Aleem, Nazier “Bless” Morales,  Quinn “Qu” Brown and Drew “Jumbie”  Smart

New Yorkers are, by nature, archaeologists. Be it graffiti, hieroglyphics, or freestyle dance on the street, lived stories are shared to those willing to pause and take in the messages. Commissioned by Works & Process, see an in-process performance of Pyramid featuring It’s Showtime NYC!, a company of dancers with a history of performing on New York’s streets and subways, in collaboration with composer and cellist Johnathan “Akuma” Moore. Facilitated by a Works & Process LaunchPAD creative residency at Bethany Arts Community, both the original music composition and dance work embody an artistic trade-off. They represent a collaboration between composer and company dancer as each investigates the notion, “This is how you sound to me.” Moore’s composition animates each dancer’s daily struggles and triumphs as live building blocks of the pyramid. As the pyramid deconstructs, choreographer and It’s Showtime NYC! Artistic Director Cal Hunt asks, “How do these stories get back into perspective?” As Moore incorporates innovative techniques typically employed by funk bassists and layered electronic loops into his cello composition, he frees himself to join the performance as a bonebreaker or flexN artist.

Special thanks for residency funding from New York State Council on the Arts with support from the office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. 

Pyramid is commissioned by Works & Process, Artists Community Alliance, Howard Gilman Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Bethany Arts Community, Bridge Street Theatre, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature with special thanks to NOoSPHERE Arts, Herbert Von King Cultural Arts Center and City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation.


Calvin “Cal” Hunt, Artistic & Program Director, It’s Showtime NYC!

Brooklyn born Calvin “Cal” Hunt began dancing at age 5 and has been practicing flexN for 15 years. During his early years as a dancer, Cal performed on the subways but dreamed of moving from the trains to the planes.  As a teen, he immersed himself in flexN and learned the culture, mindset and essence of the flexN style from OG’s and pioneers includuding Reggie Roc, Jay Donn, Gutta, Kareem Baptiste, Shaneequewa Samuels, Bryan, Storyboard P, Vibez and Deidra Braz. Over the years, Cal has been competing, winning battles, and performing with the street dance platform Battlefest, owned by Kareem Baptiste. In 2015 Cal performed at the Park Avenue Armory with the flexN dance company Dream Ring, and then toured the world with the company.  In 2017 he worked with the Shed in a teaching artist partnership where he instructed students all over NYC, teaching dance and conflict prevention through the arts. Cal trained further as a teaching artist at the National Dance Institute, Lincoln Center Summer Forum, and at 92nd Street Y with Dr. Martha Eddy. He continues to teach private and group classes at notable dance studios. As a dancer, Cal has performed with Wu Tang Clan at Radio City Music Hall, and as a dancer/talent producer for music videos with Lous and Yakuza. In 2019 Cal was honored, at the high recommendation of his mentor Peter Sellars, to perform and choreograph at the Opera National De Paris, resulting in a Cesar Award nominated documentary. During COVID, Cal brought his vision for creating programs to the French Institute Alliance Francaise, in New York, where he created a dance program for young street dancers utilizing the Institute’s theater space.  

Johnathan “Akuma” Moore 

Photo by Tiana Correa

Cellist, composer, bonebreaker/flexN dancer John Moore was a featured soloist with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. He won the Yale/New Haven Young Artists Solo Competition. He is also a leader in the street dance community in his home state of CT. As a flexN artist/bonebreaker, Jonathan has trained extensively with leading practitioners in NYC. Furthermore, to share street dance culture and opportunities with young dancers in his New Haven community, Jonathan continues to produce street dance battles for local dancers. Johnathan teaches youth workshops in cello at Music Haven in New Haven. He also teaches kids and teens bonebreaking, a form of street dance related to flexN dance.

Aubrey “Ski” Primus, Rehearsal Captain and Dancer, It’s Showtime NYC!

Aubrey “Ski” Primus, born in Brooklyn, of Guyanese descent, first started dancing in 2017. He was introduced to dance through his cousin who is a member of a flexn crew, Main Event and the tv show Flexn Brooklyn on BCAT-TV. He was also surrounded by flexn culture in Brooklyn. After high school, life was rough for Ski. Life was calling for a necessary change, and Ski didn’t expect it to be dance. He chose the name Ski, which signifies the way he wants to dance, with the effortless gliding movements of a downhill skiier and also for the iconic ski mask that he wears in performances that symbolizes suspense and mystery; a core element of his artistry.  Ski joined IST in 2018 and progressed quickly in his chosen freestyle form, flexN. Ski performed at the MET Museum, Abrons Performing Arts Center, HarlemStage, Red Hook Festival, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Bridge Residency, Jacob Javitts Center, University Settlement,  Park Avenue Armory with Bill T. Jones, Barclay’s Center, Jamaica Center for the Arts, and taught at Gibney Studio, Poster House Museum, Poe Park in partnership with the City of NY Department of Parks, and corporate campaigns for New Balance and Bacardi. He is actively battling in NYC, and won Brooklyn based exhibition battles including OTG (Off the Grid) and KOBK (Killed or Be Killed). He’s also been featured as a dancer/model for the acclaimed photographer Carol Dragon. His work in the IST digital dance piece I Still Love NY  in collaboration with director Kash Gaines is featured on Yak Films YouTube channel. As a member of It’s Showtime NYC, Ski was nominated for a Bessie Award for Outstanding Breakout Choreographer in 2020. In 2023 he was promoted to Rehearsal Captain of It’s Showtime NYC where he also offers choreographic contributions. 

Tyrik “Blank” Johnson 

Born in Jamaica, Blank  started dancing in high school in his home borough of Brooklyn. He first discovered flexN from fellow dancers who worked with him at a skate shop. They formed a dance crew which included Stein. Castro, and Anrki. His main dance form is  flexN and he also embraces  gliding, tutting, and bruk up. He is drawn to street dance, particularly to freestyle dancing, because there is no right or wrong. To Blank, freestyle dancing empowers  him as an artist to create whatever he wants. Dancing is therapeutic for Blank, and he admits that when he’s not feeling himself, dancing is his remedy. He finds dancing, on his roof, calms him down and centers him. “The love that I have for dancing is so strong, I just can’t stop.”  Street dance battles Blank has won include: The Vybe, Channel Flex and Rounds of Flamz. He’s performed at Dancers’ Therapy, Barclays Center, NOoSPHERE Arts, Sybarite Love is Love.  His mentors include Cal Hunt and MainEvent’s Slicc and Dre Don. He performed in videos for DJ Webster, Shortyjah, Reignmusic and taught flexN at High School for Arts and Business in Queens. 

Jamil ”Stein” Aleem

Raised in Decatur, Georgia, and now based in Queens, NY, Stein has been dancing his whole life. He learned how to shuffle in high school and on the streets. While working in a skate shope, he learned flexN from It’s Showtime NYC alum Anarki. He equates dance with freedom and is drawn to flexN’s less formulaic and innovative qualities. Highly inspired by Asian culture, Stein is influenced by tai chi and slowing down his movements and energy, also incorporating anime and karate into his work. Dancing has helped him mature; teaching him patience in life, helping to clear his mind and stay grounded. Throughout his dance journey he has learned to be empathetic to others’ challenges, as he too has been discouraged and stopped dancing. Stein understands others’ motivational challenges, and seeks to help dancers make their way back to dance and find their style. Stein is proud to have learned the connecting style of flexN from Dre and Cal. He has won battles: Rounds of Flamez, The Vybe, For Honor, and was a Channel Flex finalist. Performances include at NOoSPHERE Arts and Sybarite Love is Love.

Nazier “Bless” Morales

Bless is a professional street dancer from Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, who specializes in a dance style called flexN. Cultivating his skills over 8+ years at block parties and other social gatherings, Bless has now performed at Crossing The Line Festival, The Met Museum, Weeksville Heritage Center, the Barnes Foundation, and has won competitions such as BattleFest and Zilla Madness. He has also worked with brands such as Target, Bacardi, and New Balance, including a prime feature on Times Square billboards. He is a core member of It’s Showtime NYC!, a City-funded program for NYC street dancers.

Quinn “Qu” Brown 

Qu’s interest in dance was sparked when he started recognizing how litefeet in his home borough of the Bronx was truly developing into a technically advanced art form. In his discovery of litefeet, he realized how important his own cousin was to the litefeet community and was also considered a legend in the culture. While Qu got his start in Harlem-originated litefeet, it was at Martin Luther King Jr. High School where,  he got into bonebreaking. He joined an after school program, run by City Kids Foundation,  including with litefeet pioneer Esolo. Qu then went on to dance with Team Rocket alongside Kinen, shoe-trick pioneer Richie Rich, ESolo, Harlem Shake pioneer Kshakes.  Qu also trained and developed teaching artist skills with litefeet pioneer Chrybaby Cozie. Past It’s Showtime NYC performances include: Lycée Turgot  and LAX studios (Paris, France), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center, The Shed, in partnership with the NY Philharmonic, Abrons Arts Center, Jacobs Pillow, SummerStage, Sybarite Love is Love, Breakin’ Convention, and with Bill T. Jones at the Park Avenue Armory. As a member of It’s Showtime NYC, Qu was a Nominee for a Bessie Award for Outstanding Breakout Choreographer. Qu won street dance battles including: Level Uppercut competition, EXPG Return of the Lock Exhibition, and EXPG No Holds Barred Exhibition, and was a litefeet finalist at the Rep Your Style battle. He battled pioneers and legends such as Mr. Youtube and Larry Smoove. He continues to serve as a mentor to the next generation of litefeet artists including Shorty Q, D Villian, and Boy Q and regularly teaches from NY City’s public schools to major museums. 

Drew “Jumbie”  Smart

A moko jumbie is a healing spirit, often represented by stilt walkers in Carnival, who spread peace, prosperity and happiness to the people. Having grown up in both Trinidad/Tobago and Brooklyn, Jumbie considers himself the dancing version of this spirit. Dancing first came to him when he was haphazardly placed into a tap class, while waiting for piano lessons, in his youth.  What truly struck a chord with him was when he watched his older brother in a ballroom duet in high school. At age 13, he started learning flexN,  heavily influenced by his Brooklyn neighborhood where dancers were everywhere.  He feels he was at the right place at the right time. Gizmo and Snow were Jumbie’s flexN superiors and taught him how to connect. The rest he learned himself, including contortions and freeform.  He also went to Harlem every Saturday for a youth empowerment program, and surrounded by litefeet dancers there, he also developed a critical eye for the blueprint of the Harlem-based dance form. A big believer that knowledge is power, Jumbie brought litefeet back to his dancer circle in Brooklyn.  He and his friends would break into dancing on the subway, out of sheer spontaneity. Jumbie has performed at: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NOoSPHERE Arts, Midnight Theater, Barclays Center, Syabrite Love is Love at Racket, Abrons Arts Center and he’s won battles including: Roundz of Flamez, NY Link 1, NY Link 2, Slaughterhouse and KOBK. 

Special thanks for residency funding from New York State Council on the Arts with support from the office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. 

Pyramid is commissioned by Works & Process, Artists Community Alliance, Howard Gilman Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Bethany Arts Community, Bridge Street Theatre, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature with special thanks to NOoSPHERE Arts, Herbert Von King Cultural Arts Center and City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation.