Check out this great article on my opening act, and good friend, Alonzo Jones, better known as… Turf!
“Do The Twist” – Taken from Vegas Seven, Steve Bornfeld: http://www.vegasseven.com/ae/2013/05/14/do-twist
He was homeless for a while and famous for a moment. Then San Francisco contortionist/dancer Alonzo Jones arrived in Vegas to make the Strip his ‘Turf.’
Somewhere, a chiropractor hopes to hit the patient jackpot.
“Doctors go ballistic when I walk into their office!” says—make that gleefully chortles—Alonzo Jones, a.k.a., Turf, a.k.a. the dancing, double-jointed, human twisty toy knotted up onstage, whose afternoon audience at the Quad’s Q Theater could suffer sympathy arthritis pains just watching him.
“When I go for a checkup or X-rays, they can’t wait. They’re like, ‘That’s the kid! Come right here! Lay right here!’”
Hopefully, no sawbones will buy a yacht off the medical expenses of the highly pliable 22-year-old—a once-homeless San Francisco street dancer-turned-America’s Got Talent semifinalist-turned-Vegas Strip performer.
How can Jones break any bones when, by all visual evidence, he has none? Or at least none stiff enough to snap? Look at him. LOOK AT HIM. Nature didn’t intend for arms and legs to stick up there and slide through there and rotate through there and wind up there.
Has anyone booked this guy for a pretzel commercial—or would he give pretzels an inferiority complex?
“I love the oh-my-God! reaction because it’s so real, it lets me know it’s a talent that people don’t see every day,” he says of his moves, which he’s even named: Meet The X Factor, The Windmill, The Airwalk and The Optimus Prime.
(How about … The Ouch!) Boldly, Jones adopted his stage name, Turf, from the turf-dancing style to which he brought national attention—and garnished with anatomy-defying exertions—on America’s Got Talent last year. Originated in the streets of Oakland in the 1990s (with certain elements tracing back to the “Oakland Boogaloo” movement of the 1960s), turf dancing—which stands for “Taking Up Room on the Floor”—is a stylistic stew of steps. Mostly a hip-hop mash-up, it’s improvisational, free-flowing, everything-including-the-kitchen-sink dancing.
Beyond the moves a culture sprang up, centered on “dance battles,” sometimes to (nonviolently) settle disputes between street kids, sometimes simply to compete.
“You would have the King Tuts back in the day,” Jones explains (paging Steve Martin). “Now you got people [who] do digits with their fingers, and finger-tutting with their feet, and then the contortions getting into the hip-hop scene. It’s very technical. ”