Cover Image: One Step Beyond with Kenny Dope ©AMNH/C. Chesek
Review: As more people poured into the AMNH’s Hayden Planetarium, the crowd began to swell near the front of the DJ booth. The buzz from the audience reached full pitch when legendary house music icon DJ Kenny Dope began his set.
In the world of house music, Kenny Dope is a New York City legend. A native from the Bronx rooted in the dance scene with a career spanning over decades, everyone came to hear him drop some classic house beats. For many who are unfamiliar with the name Kenny Dope might still know his music from the House production team duo “Masters At Work” with house godfather Louie Vega. Together they have created countless classic house records and remixes such as “St Etienne – Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Masters at Work Dub)” their take on Michael Jackson’s “Can’t stop till you get enough” and their own original title “Work”. This night, Kenny Dope brought One Step Beyond into a dancing frenzy, while the light show synced up the house beats.
The show’s other headliner, Eli Escobar, also a New York City native and big in the underground DJ scene, kicked off the evening with classic house tracks creating the perfect mood. Escobar has also worked with many different artists and remixed several pop songs. Thanks to their previous collaboration, both Escobar and Kenny Dope there was flawless synergy between the two sets, perfectly woven together.
The music coupled beautifully with an incredible light show thanks to Benton Bainbridge from Moving Pictures Gallery, who has been working with One Step Beyond since its inception nearly a decade ago. His lighting team includes final year students at the School of Visual Arts, where Benton teaches “New Forms in Media” at the MFA Computer Art department.
The visuals cascading above the planetarium dance floor were impressive and really added to the whole entertainment. Like many of the previous after-hours DJ shows at the Natural History Museum, the crowd was diverse with younger and older house fans and dance freaks alike. It was an unforgettable and rare treat to see two house legends: Kenny Dope and Eli Escobar perform the perfect set under light shows and galaxy stars of the Hayden Planetarium.
For information on upcoming dance parties at the American Museum of Natural History, visit One Step Beyond.