Akil Apollo Davis
Akil Apollo Davis is a full time Performing Artist and Theatre Professor.
He is the Co-Host, Mask Dancer, and MC of The Get Down.
Growing up with Hip-Hop dance in the everyday culture of Memphis TN (there were no “hip-hop dance classes”) and beginning theatre very early on (12 years old), He soon moved to New York City to study and earn his Bachelors in Theatre from the prestigious NYU TISCH School of the Arts. During that time his dance, music, and performance experience exploded and has since worked on many stages and in many classrooms.
He is the teacher of an extremely rare form of Mask work (only 4 human beings teach it) which has many references to Michael Chekhov acting technique. In this work original Masks are used to aid in transformation and are hand carved from wood, painted, and blessed by Balinese Mask-Making High Priests.
When Apollo works with Tasha Blank during The Get Down, he uses the Masks to transform the atmosphere of the room. The intention in his dance, energy, and expression immediately, powerfully, and positively effect the ecstatic dancers traversing their physical and musical experience. Apollo will use Masks for Will, Sexual energy, Truth, joy, or diving catharsis depending on what he and Tasha feel like the collective needs.
In addition, Akil adds sounds, tones, positive mantras (“hydrate yourself! Drink water”), Balinese Monkey Chants and Oms through the microphone to the music to trigger more parts of the body to dance, transform, and become active.
An avid and professional dancer, He has received extensive training in 4 different forms of Balinese dance, 3 forms of Thai Classical dance, Modern dance, Butoh, African, Ballet, Jazz, Kabuki, and Noh. Akil subsequently combined Balinese Thai Classical and Hip-hop to create a new dance form; which he has taught at Patravadi Theatre in Bangkok, Thailand.
He is a playwright, a rapper, novelist, a poet, a healer, director, artist, and choreographer.
Akil has taught Theatre and Dance all over America, in over 7 countries, 2 of which are regular and on-going (Bali and Thailand), and is now a Professor of Mask and Art Aesthetic at NYU and SUNY Purchase. He has trained with Brahmins in Bali and Monks in Thailand.
Akil has also given many lectures (More popularly: The Zen of Alvin and the Chipmunks) and worked with psychologists at Pace University, University of Memphis, and NYU on emotional development, Suicide prevention and awareness, and bridging the gaps between classical knowledge and esoteric philosophy.