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Illstyle & Peace Productions: Philly’s Dance Ambassadors.

June 5, 2014

IllstyleSmall12Text by Shauna Bannan. Images by Michael Bucher.

If you looked up any definition of dancing, you’ll find that most dictionaries simplify the term to moving rhythmically. But for Illstyle & Peace Productions, the art form isn’t only about movement. It’s about inspiration.

Founded in 2002 by artistic director Brandon “Peace” Albright, the multicultural company incorporates contemporary dance with hip-hop moves, along with West African steps and a variety of other dance styles – from tap to ballet and beyond.

“Movement can make a difference,” Albright says. “Movement can make change. Movement can make a career out of somebody. Movement can bring forth peace, love and respect for everyone.”

Picked by the U.S. State Department’s Dance Motion series in 2013, Illstyle & Peace Productions represented the country as a cultural ambassador in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia last year.

Albright, who has danced for artists including Will Smith, LL Cool J, Run-DMC and the Beach Boys, brought Illstyle to critical national and international acclaim through his most recent work, “Same Spirit Different Movement I & II and IMpossible, IZZpossible,” a sundry fusion of locking, popping, modern jazz, hip-hop, belly-dancing, African dance, singing and tap.

His overall mission? To inspire and motivate the world through the rhythmic expression of spirit and dance.

The dancer, choreographer and actor also offers high-energy workshops, master classes and educational program shows like “Become Your Dreams: The History of Hip-Hop,” “Hip-Hop Add It Up,” a math lecture demonstration program, and “No Bullying, Stop-Bullying,” a lesson that teaches students about positivity, fairness, working together, acceptance and communication.

Albright says his work is about sharing each other’s spirit and providing an opportunity not just for a moment, but for a lifetime.

“You can achieve it,” he says. “Dreams can come true.”

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