Amy O'Neal is a dancer, performer, choreographer, movement director, and dance educator equally participating in Street and Club Dance culture and Contemporary dance and performance. She is passionate about the intersection of these worlds and how they connect, while honoring their cultural differences. A sought after artist for seventeen years, she has taught and performed nationally and internationally, choreographing for stage, commercials, rock shows, galleries, dance films, and music videos. Her work is an amalgam of her diverse movement and life experiences presenting social commentary with dark humor and heavy beats.
Rennie Harris' Lifted. Photo by Brian Mengini, courtesy Harris
Dance Magazine reached out to us with the questions: Over the years, how has increased acceptance and visibility on concert-dance stages affected hip hop and its artists? And how has hip hop influenced concert dance?
Our response? Whoa! Acceptance? Visibility? Immediately we knew that any conscientious attempt to unpack these questions would easily exceed the maximum word count. But we also acknowledged that questions like these affect what we do as dancemakers and artist-citizens.
So we interviewed our colleague Nicole Klaymoon and mentor Rennie Harris to contribute to a conversation. We are all multilingual dance artists with our own unique voices in hip hop and street-dance theater. We are from different backgrounds and generations whose work is presented as concert dance and builds on the groundwork of Rennie Harris Puremovement.
Amy O'Neal's Opposing Forces. Photo by Bruce Clayton Tom, courtesy O'Neal