A film festival with a twist will hit the big screen soon here in San Antonio, and Urban 15 puts it on.
“The Josiah Media Festival is a film festival exclusively for young people 21 and under,” said Jonathan Anderson, the festival’s project manager.
“It mainly receives submissions that are from the states, but we are getting an increasing number of international entries each year," he said. "We received more international submissions this year alone than all of the previous years combined, and this is the eighth year that we are doing this festival."
Urban-15 is hosting a big event on Sunday and the layout of talent coming to perform is quite impressive. Urban 15’s George Cisneros details it:
"George and Aaron Prado, we have Ken Slavin, Bett Butler, Juan Tejeda is coming in, Bryce Milligan, Carmen Tafolla, Sheila Black, Laughing Gravy, which is the improvisational jazz group that’s working out of the High Wire Arts Center," he said.
Those performers and many more are coming, including Urban-15's drummers. The name of the event is Up From the Ashes. The reason behind the name?
“Urban 15 is a music and dance ensemble and training center here in San Antonio. You might think that we’re San Antonio’s ambassadors of rhythm and motion," said Urban-15 Music Director George Cisneros.
The group is known for its public performances in parades. Their pounding drums, wild costumes and rhythmic dancing have been seen in San Antonio since 1974.
But now something new is brewing and Urban-15 is looking for a few good men, and women.
"It’s open to people who are in shape, and like to move," said Cisneros.
A new stage work by the Jump-Start Performance Co. called "Tales of Lost Southtown" documents one of San Antonio’s legendary neighborhoods. The production has a preview this Sunday, February 23, at 3 p.m.
“An insight into the quirky and funny, and sometimes disturbing, aspects of the strange characters that live in the Southtown neighborhood," said Erik Bosse, who created the work.
San Antonio's performing arts group Urban-15 is known for its driving drumbeats and wildly creative costuming. Their longevity and unique calling has made them one of the city’s iconic puro San Antonio aspects. But every December they put away the drums and costumes, put on holiday music, and turn on the lasers.
"The holiday laser show is multiple lasers that are choreographed to some of the holiday favorites," said Urban-15 Music and Media Director George Cisneros.
Known for their pounding drums and creative, lit-from-within costumes, Urban 15 is planning a uniquely San Antonio-centric Dia de los Muertos celebration. Music and media director George Cisneros reveals what their event Carnaval de los Muertos will look like.
"What Urban 15 has developed is what we call the moving altar," Cisneros said. "And that’s using dancers and drummers, and we are basically a commemorative altar, and that moves through the streets."
Urban 15 is 100 dancers in bizarre, lit-from-within costumes marching and dancing at the insistent beat of dozens of drummers. Best known from their parade participation, Urban 15 is like nothing you’ve ever seen.
"We like to poke your imagination," says Music and Media Director George Cisneros, who also talked about what the dancers wear, and why it's significant.
Ground-breaking avant-garde composer and musician Morton Subotnick has been called the father of electronic music and is a visionary who predicted the age of non-linear interactive media.
Subotnick is in San Antonio for a series of concerts and workshops and he continues to educate and enlighten audiences around the world with non-traditional structures of music.
"Silver Apples on the Moon" was released in 1967 and was the first time that someone produced an album almost solely in post-production. It was certainly ahead of it’s time, and may even be ahead of our time.