Kendrick Bros’ “Overcomer” Review Coming This Spring

This August, the Kendrick Brothers will release the follow-up film to their 2015 box office hit “War Room”, and that movie is  “Overcomer”. It promises to inspire moviegoers with the story of a struggling coach and a young runner conquering obstacles. Little known fact, author Chris Fabry teamed up with Kendrick Bros. LLC to create the brand new novel scheduled to be released before the film. BTSCelebs plans to read the book behind the moving film this Spring and deliver a complete review!

Stay tuned in the coming months for my honest opinion of the story everyone is highly anticipating this year.

*BTSCelebs sends a special thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for the photo and review copy.*

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Arirang Radio Evolving

Isak and Eddy Oh

A couple of months ago, I gushed about the must-hear radio programs on Arirang Radio. Unfortunately, those two shows abruptly ended their run weeks later. It seems Arirang periodically changes their line-up drastically to keep listeners on their toes. Concrete recommendations are very hard to give. I highly suggest searching through the current  list of programming and their weekly segments to see what interests you the most.

Last week, I returned to Isak‘s “K-Poppin” to listen to TMA with Eddy (which airs every Friday at 1pm KST). I’m still a big fan of those advice segments with a hint of “Dear Abby”. I look forward to more DJs offering this to listeners in the future.

Photo Credit: Arirang Radio

 

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Jennifer Hudson Shares Celeb Filled Photo Featuring Mariah Carey, Taraji P Henson

Photo Credit: Jennifer Hudson’s Instagram

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Dance Review: The Joffrey Ballet’s “Winning Works 2019″

“Winning Works 2019” Joffrey Academy Trainees and Studio Company (LINEAS_by Edgar Zendejas) Photo by Cheryl Mann

Winning Works” gets more refined year after year!

This year, exceptional choreographers Edgar Zendejas, Tommie-Waheed Evans, Xiang Xu and Marissa Osato brought their ingenious art to the Chicago stage. Loving and accepting yourself seemed to be the message resonating in different ways in each piece. “Lineas” (Zendejas), “Coup De Grace” (Evans) and “Give The People What They Want” (Osato) illustrated the struggle to overcome society’s limitations placed on everyone and discover your own path. “Vessels Bearing” (Xu), on the other hand, gave the audience a chance to appreciate the necessity of rice itself through a haunting performance.

I believe the dancers did an incredible job conveying the raw emotions in each piece. Their teamwork was phenomenal! The stand out performances this year were “Lineas” and “Give The People What They Want”. “Lineas” used the simple idea of lines to tell the story of people following certain directions in life. I liked the bright outfits and idiosyncratic dance moves. “Give The People What They Want” started off strong with a fun fashion show. It slowly explored the need to break out of society’s strict life rules and ponder the life meant for you. This particular piece opened my eyes as well. Again, I loved the chic ensembles the dancers wore.

“Winning Works 2019” Marin Soki (GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT by Marissa Osato) Photo by Cheryl Mann

The attire in each performance was stunning. This is “Winning Works” BEST year when it came to choreography and clothing (costume designers Martha Chamberlain, Luis Razo and Michael Slack). Congratulations once again to the choreographers on their thought-provoking and entertaining dances.

9th Annual “Winning Works” runs through March 10th at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

*A Special Thanks to The Silverman Group and The Joffrey Ballet for the press passes*

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[Interview] 8 Questions with Courtnè Alyssa Moran


Rising talent Courtnè Alyssa Moran is on the move and ready to achieve her dreams! The active actress and dancer traveled from her southern home to one of America’s biggest cities to perfect her craft. Along the way, Courtnè realized that she could pursue two of her life’s passions (acting and dancing) right here in Chicago.

Check out BTSCelebs’ exclusive interview with her now.

BTSCelebs: Who is Courtne Alyssa? 

Courtnè Alyssa Moran: Courtnè Alyssa is an American actress and dancer. Most known for her work in ‘Burnt Year’, ‘The Girl on the Bridge’, and ‘Ghost Finder’.

What sparked your interest in acting and ballet?

I’ve always just loved storytelling. I loved dancing even before I’d ever even seen ballet, and I loved portraying a character long before I even thought of the idea of ‘acting’. It has always just been something that has been inside me.

My favorite thing about ballet is the expression and being able to portray different emotions and characters, which directly ties into my love of acting. I love showing real and genuine human connection and emotion, and making people feel something.

Tell us what lead you to leave your home in Kansas and move to Chicago? 

Actually, before I moved to Chicago, I moved to Mississippi! I moved from Kansas to Mississippi for ballet school, then from Mississippi to Chicago for a traineeship with a professional company. It was while I was in Chicago that I realized I could actually pursue a career in acting as well! Growing up in a farm town in Kansas, being an actor wasn’t ever something that seemed at all possible. So when I moved to Chicago and actually met and saw people who were pursuing that career path my whole world changed, and I immediately knew that was what I wanted to do.

You have a new movie called ‘A Taste of Change ‘.  Please tell us more about the film and your role in it. 

‘A Taste of Change’ is a beautifully written film that deals with the sudden death of a loved one and the incredible pain of the grieving process. My character, Lena, is a complex and deeply hurting individual who unknowingly enters someone else’s life at just the right time.

Describe a typical day for you on the filming set.

Call time is usually pretty early in the morning. The first thing I do when I get to set is check in with production, then go to hair and makeup. After I get all prettied up, I go to wardrobe where I get changed into the first outfit of the day. We have a call sheet so we know what scenes we are shooting and in what order. So after I get changed, I usually go over the first scene by myself or with whoever is in the scene with me while the crew sets up the shot. We do a rehearsal, and then we shoot the scene multiple times, usually getting some feedback or further instruction from the director. When we wrap a scene, we may change location and/or wardrobe and makeup and then we start all over again. And if I’m not shooting a scene, odds are you can find me at the crafty table haha!

Is being a ballet dancer everything you expected it to be? 

Dancing wise – yes pretty much, but the company aspect… not really. I’m very thankful to be with the company I am contracted with. I’ve come to realize that your experience as a professional ballet dancer differs greatly depending on the company environment you are in. I never really thought about that aspect of it before. Enjoying the people you are with and being in a positive environment where your peers encourage you VS a very divided, manipulative, competitive, depressing, and unhealthy environment (think the movie ‘Black Swan’). I’m very thankful I ended up in a great company, because companies that are the latter description are actually quite common.

Is it as glamorous behind the scenes as on-stage?

Absolutely not. Ha. You definitely have to love what you are doing. The daily grind is very hard on you both mentally and physically (hence why a professional ballet dancers career is so short). Aside from the incredible stress ballet puts on your body, the rigors of learning and executing choreography and being on your mark in your spacing, on the right timing, all the way down to making sure your head is on exactly the correct angle. The challenge of seeing yourself in the mirror everyday, and it actually being your job to pick apart and critique yourself, seeing of all the flaws and imperfections and trying to improve them, is very draining.

What advice would you give to rookie ballet dancers?

A professional career isn’t for everyone. You really have to love it and have a thick skin. There is no shame in dancing for recreation instead of making it a career. But if it is absolutely what you want to do, go for it with all you got and give it 110%. You have to be extremely passionate. And make sure you really take care of yourself, physically as well as mentally.

Learn more about Courtnè by following her on Instagram (@courtnealyssamoran).

BTSCelebs sends a special thanks to Courtnè Alyssa Moran for the interview and images.

 

 

 

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Tamron Hall Is Married & Pregnant

Photo Credit: Tamron Hall’s Facebook

Tamron Hall made the happy announcement on social media today:

“I’ve wanted to share this news for many months and now finally my doctor has said I am in a safe place, at 32 weeks, to share my joy with y’all. So, it’s clear a daytime talk show isn’t the only thing I’ve been trying to produce! There have been many tears, but today I embrace the smiles. My husband Steven and I are beyond excited! We’re in constant prayer, so if you pray, add us to your list; if you meditate, send calmness our way; and if you believe in luck, we’ll happily take that too. More to share in a few weeks when the baby arrives! Next chapter! Blessed and Grateful.”

Congratulations!

Photo Credit: Tamron Hall’s Facebook

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[Interview] Fabrice Calmels: An Artistic Master

Credit: Cheryl Mann

Recently, BTSCelebs was given the honor of interviewing Joffrey Ballet veteran Fabrice Calmels. The artistic master, who hails from France, has been apart of the Chicago based company since the early 2000s.  Through dancing, he continues to set a great example for rookie dancers year after year.

Check out BTSCelebs’ exclusive interview now.

BTScelebs: Who is Fabrice Calmels?

Fabrice Calmels: Lead dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, Guinness World Record holder, actor, and entrepreneur with one mission in mind, changing the way people think about Ballet.

How does The Joffrey Ballet compare to ballet in your home country?

The Joffrey Ballet is an avant-garde Ballet company always looking to be creative and a leader in evolving Ballet.  Ballet in France, however, is much more classical and traditional.

Please give us one word you think best describes your 17 year career with The Joffrey Ballet. Why did you choose this particular word? 

Perseverance.  I chose this word because it describes my persistence in my career in the face of roadblocks.

How do you stay connected to family and friends in France? Do they attend your performances here? 

I try to stay connected with my family as best as I can.  Technology has definitely made this much easier than it used to be.  It is hard for my family to fly in for my seasonal performances because of their own heavy work schedules. However, they have attended Othello and Nutcracker separately; my mother would make it during the spring while my father would join me during the fall.

Which show is your favorite this 2018-2019 season?

Anna Karenina

What will be your next performance?**

A tour in California, then the world premiere of “Home” choreographed by Andrea Walker.

Is there any advice you would give rookie dancers anxious to join Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet? 

Learn from your elders.  A career at the Joffrey is not a 100-meter dash, it is a marathon.  It is important to pace your work, take care of your body, and invest in your health because once the body says “enough”, you are done.

What heights will you be poised to accomplish in the foreseeable future?**

Create an international brand that will change the way people think about Ballet.

Credit: Cheryl Mann

A Special Thanks to Fabrice Calmels, The Silverman Group and The Joffrey Ballet for the exclusive interview and images. 

** Questions courtesy of a Ballet Enthusiast with an undying love for the art.

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