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Viral Internet Sensation Kemar Jewel Releases Newest Project: "SOFT: A Love Letter to Black Queer Men"

A scene from Kemar Jewel's SOFT

The acclaimed director and choreographer’s video premieres on YouTube on Friday, June 18.

PHILADELPHIA, PA, USA, June 18, 2021 / -- Viral internet sensation Kemar Jewel, a Black Queer director/choreographer from Jamaica and raised in Philadelphia, is thrilled to release a visual love letter that uses the language of contemporary dance to help Black Queer men heal from trauma and connect as a community. SOFT: A Love Letter to Black Queer Men shows that the greatest power that Black men possess is their softness. Jewel’s newest project, featuring performers and artists who have performed with American Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadanco, and West Side Story on Broadway, premieres on YouTube on Friday, June 18, 2021. Viewers can watch the video here:

“I chose to call the project SOFT because many Black Queer Philadelphia poets and writers, such as Joseph Beam, Essex Hemphill, and Donja R. Love, encouraged me to be soft with myself and others,” notes Jewel. “In society, we are told that Black men must be hard in order to survive. That notion has created toxic masculinity and traumatized people for too long.”

A member of the Legendary House of Lanvin, Kemar, a Drama League Musical Theater Directing Fellow, draws inspiration and technique from the Ballroom scene and infuses it with his formal training from Temple University. He became an internet sensation in 2014 for his Voguing Train video. The video quickly went viral and caught the attention of Huffington Post, MSNBC, NPR, Logo, Perez Hilton, Erykah Badu, Wayne Brady, and others.

His projects have garnered over fourteen million views across various social media platforms and have been featured by TIME, Fox News, and in film festivals around the globe. Additionally, Jewel choreographed and performed in the music video "Feel the Vibe" for international recording artist Bob Sinclar, toured Europe with Sinclar’s Paris By Night tour, and served as a dance consultant for Todrick Hall’s “Wig” music video. Other credits include work with Signature Theatre, FringeArts, Temple University, Helen Mills Theater, The Guggenheim Museum, and LANVIN.

“I’m excited for SOFT because of the amazing team of talented Black Queer men that I’ve gathered together,” said Jewel. “From the talent on screen to the magic happening behind the scenes, I am thrilled to have these incredible artists working on this meaningful project.”

SOFT: A Love Letter to Black Queer Men is choreographed by Will Ervin (American Ballet Theatre). Featured in the video are Otis Peña (University of the Arts), Tristan Grannum (Pennsylvania Ballet), O’Shae Sibley (Philadanco), Malik Berry (Dance Theatre of Harlem), Zaki A’Jani Marshall (Alonzo King Lines Ballet), and Broadway’s Jordan Dobson (West Side Story). Jabari Taylor is videographer while Aaron-Michael Sobers (Temple University) serves as photographer and Creative Director.

SOFT will be released on Kemar Jewel’s YouTube on Friday, June 18.


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