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CAUSE CÉLÈBRE / TINA DAUNT

'Obama Rock' video celebrates a new president's arrival

Debbie Allen directs a video for the song by the Not So Silent Majority collective.

January 07, 2009|TINA DAUNT

Barack Obama may have put the spring back in America's step, but Debbie Allen has found a way to give it rhythm.

The Emmy-, Golden Globe- and Tony Award-winning choreographer directed the music video -- which made its debut Tuesday on MySpace -- for newly released pop track "Obama Rock." (The video can be seen at www.thenotsosilent majority.com/privatelisten /obamarockvid.html.)

The song was created by musical collective the Not So Silent Majority, which includes musical heavyweights Danielle Brisebois (writer-producer of Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten" and "Pocketful of Sunshine"), Grammy winner Gregg Alexander (writer of Santana's "Game of Love" and New Radicals frontman), Paul McCartney's guitarist Rusty Anderson and Rick Nowels (writer of Dido's "White Flag").

Allen selected 12 children attending her Culver City dance academy on scholarships to participate in the video, which she choreographed.

"It is a celebration and expression of joy," said Allen in an interview this week. "We are celebrating America."

Originally, the catchy tune -- done "poppy" style with a strong dance rhythm -- was set to be released as a protest song. But, frankly, the song was too upbeat. (And Obama won the election.)

As a result the song collaborators termed it a "celebratory anthem."

The creators are hoping it will be selected as the "official inaugural song" by Obama's people. (No Senate confirmation required.)

Allen, meanwhile, wants to take her young dancers back to Washington to perform for the president himself.

She said, "Everyone has been walking around like they're on top of the world."

And dancing there too.

--

Hip-hop's hurrah

Russell Simmons, Valeisha Butterfield, Dr. Benjamin Chavis and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network said Tuesday that they would host a hip-hop inaugural gala in Washington on Jan. 19.

Simmons said the event would be "an upscale party" to welcome the new president. (So you'd better dress up if you want to get in the door.) Also expected to attend are T.I., LL Cool J and Young Jeezy, who helped get out the youth vote during the election.

Heineken and MySpace are sponsoring.

Tickets can be purchased on a first come, first served basis by going to www.hiphop inaugural.org or www.hsan .org.

Black tie is recommended. It also helps if you can dance.

--

tina.daunt@latimes.com

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