“I was initially against it,” says KG Dynasty director Gabriel “KG” Ash, by phone from Los Angeles. The “it” is Pittsburgh-based KG Dynasty’s first-ever mainstage dance showcase, Infinity. Ever the perfectionist, Ash was concerned there wasn’t enough preparation time to assemble a showcase that would meet his expectations. His staff convinced him otherwise.
“The longer we continue to wait and think we are not ready, the more room that leaves us to not actually do it,” says KG Dynasty spokesperson Sean W. Green.
Ash, a star on the Pittsburgh hip-hop dance scene, has been the face of KG Dynasty, which is perhaps best known as a semi-finalist on season 7 of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. Today, Ash splits his time between Los Angeles, where he works as a choreographer and dance instructor, and Pittsburgh. For Infinity: A Dance Showcase, which premieres May 26 and 27 at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, he says he will take a backseat to KG Dynasty’s other talented choreographers and dancers. “The showcase’s focus is about the company and establishing all our choreographers,” says Ash.
The 90-minute showcase in four acts, hosted by Los Angeles-based actor, dancer and comedian Terrence Green (a.k.a. @RawSwagger), will feature a bevy of dance works by dancer/choreographers Green, LJ Duncan, Antwane Younger, Sharnell Younger, Ash and more. Set to music by artists such as Jay-Z, Kanye West, Erykah Badu and Chris Brown, the numbers will highlight KG Dynasty’s dancers and various crew members, such as the Dynasty Hitmen in Ash’s 2016 work “Initiation,” about a new dancer looking to join the Hitmen, and “Orange Is the New Black,” a new work by Sharnell Younger and Green for an all-female cast about female empowerment.
Also on the program is “Hypnosis,” a piece about a group of women taking control of a group of men, choreographed by Green, Akela Bey and Sharnell Younger, and a series of dance medleys set to the music of Drake, Missy Elliott and Rihanna.
The showcase will close with Ash and Sharnell Younger’s “Humility,” a work for the production’s entire cast of 20 reflecting how the company has overcome obstacles, set to Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble.”