The massive Broadway Show, “THE WIZ LIVE”, aired December, 3rd, 2015 on NBC and the ratings were phenomenal! The landmark production not only captivated 11.5 million viewers (and is growing now that you can watch it on NBC.com), but it was reported as the most-tweeted live special program on record. From the visually intriguing costumes to the well-rehearsed choreography, “THE WIZ LIVE” gave us an unforgettable Vogue dancing scene once Dorothy, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and The Tin Man arrived at The Emerald City. Partaking in the groundbreaking moment, legendary Vogue dancer, Dashaun “Evisu” Wesley conversed with Kontrol Magazine for a few moments to give us an inside glimpse of what it was like voguing live on stage, and in front of millions of viewers. He also shared a few secrets that are exclusively available here at Kontrol Magazine. These exclusives detail how his life changed after the show, how the show has impacted the Vogue community, and his upcoming project.
Dashaun Wesley, or Evisu, as his friends and family call him, took center stage on NBC’s “THE WIZ LIVE” as a prominent Vogue dancer. His work has been recognized in Magic Mike XXL, where he taught Channing Tatum how to Vogue; and on Fox’s twelfth season of So You Think You Can Dance. He was also a former member of Vogue Evolution on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, and has risen above difficult challenges to become the face of Ballroom Vogue Dancing. The list of companies he has campaigned for include MAC and Smirnoff; and his repertoire of celebrity clientele boasts stars like Fergie and FKA Twigs. More importantly, however, his passion for international travel, teaching, and humanitarianism is what makes him an overall leader and a game changer!
Evisu’s flawless performance on “The Wiz Live” was intensely exuberant and artistically creative. This led us to ask how focused was he on the night of the event? “Well, I…I… focused?! I was really focused because it was live. So, It was a very hard, no it wasn’t hard it was just that, you know, after you’ve done it and rehearsed for it so much, the live… it makes you nervous when you have to do it live, when the show time comes, but you have no choice but to just, you know, complete your task. So, although it was nerve wrecking and you never know what people may say or how they view things, if you mess up, it’s being seen right on camera, but you just go full force. It was nerve wrecking, but it was still awesome.” He shared about the experience.
We can only imagine the level of nervousness and excitement going on at the same time when they say, “Lights, camera, rolling!” Have you ever wondered how many hours it takes to prepare for a show that’s live and on the magnitude that “The Wiz Live” was presented? Well, wonder no more! In fact, there’s more preparation than you would have guessed. “Well, um I think they had the ensemble dancers who had to be there for three months ahead of time, but I know I was there probably like a few rehearsals before the actual week of it taking place. But then when rehearsal week came, it was like a brutal rehearsal week. So, you know, we were there at the location, and we had to stay at the location and rehearse every day from morning all the way through the night just to make sure that everything looked good. Because you know it’s so weird to see something like a stage live performance on television so cameras had be corrected to make sure those angles were right. So, there were a lot of dress rehearsals which was fun.” Speaking of dress rehearsal, how could we not mention the creative genius of the costume designer? When asked who designed the costumes? Evisu discloses, “Oh my gosh, Tazewell (Paul Tazewell)…He designed everything. Still to the…you guys are watching it live, and he was still in the back working on outfits. So, it was right on.”
As most of you may know, Evisu recently made Los Angeles his new home which is also a major outlet for dance. Evisu’s dance base is also located there. “It’s pretty good. I just…Well, I don’t want to say I just got out here, I’ve been here for a year, but I don’t seem to sit still. I do a lot of traveling out of the country. So, I moved to LA, trying to do the Vogue thing out here so slowly but surely I’m working but you know I travel a lot so it’s kinda awesome.”
We are sure he cannot sit still, especially now that he is known as the face of Vogueing. After performing on such a large main stage, one can assume the type of impact it has had on his career therefore, we asked Evisu how his life has changed since the show’s debut. “Well, since it’s been aired, the opportunity to have been a part of it was just epic. It’s something that’s going to be remembered forever. It has just been the number one thing. But, after everything happened and after everything went on and you know, I have just gotten a surge of people wanting to go to Emerald City,” Evisu laughingly commented, “So, everyone wants to go to Emerald City, whether it’s a club or they wanna dance or wanna do something. So, you know, it’s been really good for my style and my community. It just puts it on a different platform now than where it was before. So, it has actually been pretty awesome.”
We are sure the Vogue community appreciates what he is doing and how he continues to create awareness about the art of Vogue dancing. Evisu is definitely a man on the move with a few upcoming projects. “I am doing something! Oh gosh, I wish, I can say something that’s happening, but you know when you’re bound to a contract, you have to keep quiet. It’s difficult. Oh! But, I am doing something else that’s getting ready to start in January as well and it brings up the opportunity for Ballroom in LA. It’s gonna show case some talented stars out here. It got picked up by a very good network, which I can’t say what and who. When it does air, for sure, you’re gonna see it.”
The talk with Evisu was fun and it felt like we were just chatting over a cup of tea! “The Wiz Live” by far was the best show that we have ever seen. However, you can still catch it on www.NBC.com As for Dashaun “Evisu” Wesley, he is basking in the moment of his heightened career, but he is not stopping there. His work ethic will never fail him. He will work closely with other parties, even in other countries, to bring awareness to Vogueing, and ensuring it remains a part of our culture. Good luck Evisu!
By Rosvie Style