The Dynamic Duo
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The Dynamic Duo

Denver, Colorado, United States

Denver, Colorado, United States
Band Spoken Word


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Slam Poetry to promote Awareness"

If you thought spoken poetry doesn't mix well with live music and comedy, think again. A new duo's creative style will try to continue the traditions founded by the great ones before us while still having fun and highlight important issues.

The Dynamic Duo, a slam-poetry performance group, consists of Panama Soweto and Ken Arkind, two poets who wish to raise awareness of the problems our world faces through their live shows.

"Our performances are very high-energy with a lot of dual work between Ken and me," Soweto said. "We range on issues from various politics to childhood, and over the years, we've developed a comedy act to balance the seriousness."

The Dynamic Duo will perform at T-Spoons, 301 E. Market St., at 10 p.m. today. The live shows consists of spoken poetry, live music, and comedy surrounding a form of performance poetry, slam poetry.

"Slam poetry was invented sometime around the 1980s," Soweto said. "It's a style of live poetry that's more like a competition among other poets, in which poets can get on stage without using any props, and the audience judges the performance. It combines poetry writing and spoken word, along with using your body and hand gestures to emphasize your poetry."

The show is sponsored by the Campus Activities Board, and Emily Becker, the group's variety and entertainment director, witnessed the Dynamic Duo in action and quickly fell in love with the two.

"I saw them at the national convention I had to go to, and I immediately thought to book them to come here," she said. "They're very upbeat, they talk about things that people our age are interested in, and at the same time, they can make it funny. I remember they talked about video games, such as making fun of how kids our age depend on video games, and then they're able to relate them back to popular culture, politics, and what's happening in the news."

While Soweto is content in raising awareness on key issues the Dynamic Duo feels strongly about, he also wants the audience members to leave the performance with a sense of self-confidence and motivation about themselves.

"There are a lot of issues we want to enlighten students about, like sweatshop labor, immigration reform, and other social issues," Soweto said. "But the main thing I want the audience to walk away with is to understand that self-awareness is the key. I want the audience to know that everyone is special, and that everyone has something to offer."

Becker believes that audiences will not only find the Dynamic Duo funny and entertaining, they will leave the show enlightened and with something to talk about.

"I think they're definitely funny, and students will have a good laugh," she said. "They also might change your perspective on a few things and make you think about current events in a different viewpoint." - The Daily Iowan

"Dynamic Duo Brings Slammin' Rhymes"


Think about the term “dynamic duo.” Who comes to mind? Batman and Robin, Thelma and Louise, Mario and Luigi? Well, move over Batman because at Binghamton University there’s a new duo: slam poets The Dynamic Duo.

The duo, Ken Arkind and Panama Soweto rocked the Old University Union on Tuesday night with a show that can only be described as “dynamic.” Leaping off the stage, beat boxing, weaving through the crowd and even singing, Arkind and Soweto transformed the vapid room into an empowering opinionated haven.

Blatant and raw, topics covered everything from family and politics to sex and video games.

Aaron Butler, a member of the Student Association Programming Board, and organizer of the performance, described them as “energetic and good” and always promising of a “good performance.”

The Dynamic Duo have been together for three and a half years, but the best friends and self-proclaimed nerds have only been touring universities since the beginning of the year. Loud and boisterous, the men invite booing and even encourage shouting. Taking turns at the mic, they bring their words alive with gestures, tones and facial expressions. Every poem, each a story in its own right, is performed by heart.

Soweto began with roots in hip-hop, but said he felt that his message was too restrained by the confines of beats and rhythms. He believes that the controversial medium of slam poetry is one of the only ways today where “you can say whatever you want.” Arkind, a vegan chef, has been writing poetry since he was a child.

Their ability to connect with the audience comes from their lack of inhibition. They slam about absent fathers, familial guilt, fears, love, racism and the state of our nation. Their politically charged poems question our president, materialistic nation and rapidly growing corporations. Poems are speckled with perfectly timed curses, and clever lines such as “Crayola’s best selling color is terror alert orange.”

The sheer performance and conviction of delivery makes you absorb the words in ways not possible through simply reading. Certain slams can give you chills, such as the vocal mimicking of a dull public service announcer as they critique the media. Others will crack you up, such as the beat-box-driven haiku slam like their poem “The Virgin.”

When not touring, both men work together with the youth, empowering struggling young poets and giving confidence to young writers. At the end of the show, students crowded around the pair and sought advice, bought CDs and one man even performed his own poem.
Stefanie Blejec
- Stefanie Blejec

"Nerds Rule at SES Slam"

On Friday night you walk into the dimly lit College Theatre to find a thin crowd, scattered between rows, and find a seat. While you sit waiting for the show to begin, you start to wonder what to expect. Posters have been hung around campus advertising The Dynamic Duo and slam poetry for about a week, but the objectives of the show were not clear. The lights brighten a bit, The Dynamic Duo walks onto stage, and the show comes to life.

The Dynamic Duo is Panama Soweto and Ken Arkind. They have been touring together for about two years and have performed at over 200 colleges. The Duo has been featured in documentaries such as SPIT! and Slamplanet. The Dynamic Duo's material seemed to be influenced by everyday life. Subjects such as gaming, love, politics, growing up and the unconventional use of a Bic pen, were brought up. No stone of influence was left unturned. There were even moments of Potsdam school spirit where performers and students alike would throw up their hands as bear paws and growl at moments of applause. It is easy to say that nerds owned the night.

Posters that were hung around campus simply stated that the show was about slam poetry, but it was so much more than that. The Dynamic Duo brought passion, art, music, comedy and wit to the stage. The opening of the performance was brilliant. Together the duo recited a poem they dedicated to nerds, comparing life to video games. The Dynamic Duo encouraged audience participation. With every sip of water Panama Soweto took, the audience was instructed to scream "Nerds Rule!" at the top of their lungs. During his short comedy skits and poetry, Ken Arkind would laugh at his own jokes, eliciting more laughter from the audience.

The Dynamic Duo had the audience standing at the end of the set performing the poem titled "Uhuru." The poem sent a sense of unity throughout the students. Chills ran up spines and tears welled in eyes as the message of changing the way things are with this generation swept through the room. At one point Panama Soweto said in his poetry, "don't forget to dream big, because nothing in this world is impossible." The poem was strong, passionate and powerful. It was poetry that every student, young and old, freshmen to seniors, could connect with.

The Dynamic Duo sold merchandise sold after the show. They offered CDs on which the Duo performed together for $10 and solo CDs for $5. If you bought all three CDs, which was a wise investment for any poetry lover, the total only came to be $15. You can find The Dynamic Duo on Facebook, as well as the performers' personal pages.
- Amber Nelson - Suny Potsdam University

"Poets Nerd Out With Word of Mouth"

"We write poems, travel across the country and yell them at people. And fortunately tonight you get to be the people we yell at," shouted Ken Arkind of slam poetry act The Dynamic Duo. The duo performed for nearly 70 people Thursday at 7 p.m. in the basement of the SUB.

The Dynamic Duo, Arkind and his best friend Panama Soweto of Colorado, spewed poetry about topics including consumerism, video games, pop culture and politics. They performed humorous pieces that offset the serious poems.

"We like to write our poems about nerdy things like video games and comic books," Arkind said.

The poets, both self-proclaimed geeks, started with a poem dedicated to all the nerds in the room, which judging by the applause, was most of them. The poem related video games to real life while glorifying Mario, Pong and the gaming lifestyle.

"I thought it was awesome. They kept the audience involved so I felt entertained most of the time. I liked the first poem about Mario. I'm a Mario fan for life," said Ian Velikoff, 18, a business major from Boise.

Despite low attendance, the audience was very vocal. Each time Soweto sipped his water, audience members shouted "Nerds rule!"

"[The crowd was] rowdy and awesome. It was like a mosh pit of noise," said Arkind. "It was really exciting. Very aggressive nerds down here. It was rather impressive."

The tag team combined beat boxing with a string of clever haikus during the "Haiku Jamboree" and recited poems like "Sarah Palin is a bulldog in a dress. Thank God for Michael Vick." and "Robots will have sex and we will pay to watch them. GM stock rises."

The duo also performed a poem called "Uhuru," where the poets stood on chairs and chanted encouraging words of change and unity.

"For this poem I need you guys to give me some energy," Soweto said. "So what I'm going to need from you guys is a slow clap. The energy I give you guys, I'm going to need it back. It's an interactive poem. You are now the poem."

The audience kept rhythm by clapping and stood for the performance.

"It was definitely really good. I like when they interacted together," said Kati Taylor, 18, education major from Phoenix.

Soweto began performing a poem about his grandmother. However, he stopped mid-sentence to address a woman in the crowd to say, "I'm sorry, I have to stop this poem. You have the most amazing smile. Can I nerd out and do a nerdy love poem?"

Soweto delivered a charmingly cheesy poem to her and others.

"First it was kind of awkward but then I thought it was very beautiful and I loved it," said Katie Kemp, 19, sociology major from Boise.

The duo ended the evening with a poem about the induction or ridiculous words into the dictionary asking "Why in the world is 'bootylicious' a word?"

"It was stimulating, it really made you think," said Charlie Roberts, 21, from Wallace. "I like the political-minded poems more. I'm interested in that sort of thing."
- Kelsey Kuhnhausen- North Idaho College


Still working on that hot first release.



"If you thought poetry doesn't mix well with live music and comedy, think again." -Daily Iowan, Iowa State

"The best thing to happen on that little college stage." -Sammantha Lemmerman North Dakota State College of Science

"It was something that every student, young and old, freshman to seniors could relate was clear that these nerds ruled the night." -Raquette, SUNY Potsdam NY

"These artist of words put their hearts and souls into their work then pour them out on stage. The Duo works off each other for a lightning fast, rapid fire performance that is unlike anything that you have ever seen before!" -Minnesota State University

The National Poetry Slam Championship Team, The Dynamic Duo, burst onto the college performing circuit in 2007 with an unprecedented 4 NACA Regional Conference showcase selections in their first year submitting. Panama Soweto and Ken Arkind performed at over 70 Colleges and Universities in their first year and the Duo was the Highest Booked Poetry Act at NACA Nationals 2009 and have now performed for over 300 schools nationally!

Fighting Crime across The Untied Sates for the better part of the past 2 years The Dynamic Duo are poetry’s favorite crime fighting pair. Heralded for their high energy live performances involving complex dual voice work, comedy, and emotionally raw poetry Panama Soweto and Ken Arkind have brought their show to both coasts and all points in between. From The Nuyorican Poets Café and The Bowery Poetry Club in New York City to Da Poetry Lounge in Los Angeles, World Famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Yale, Rutgers and numerous universities, slam venues and high schools across the country.

They have been featured in the documentaries “SPIT!” and “Slamplanet” and have been on a combined eight Denver area slam teams including the 2006 National Championship Team.

Panama Soweto is a two-time member of the Mercury Café Slam Team (home of the 2006 National Championship title) and a founding member of the Slamnuba! Team. He was the 2005 and 2006 Pablo Neruda Poetry Festival Barrio Slam Champion. He has worked as a Teacher for The Denver Housing Authority and has spent many years working with underprivileged youth as an art teacher and educator.

Ken Arkind is a five-time member of the Mercury Café Slam Team and 2 time National Poetry Slam Finalist being on the 2004 2nd place Team and The 2006 Championship Team. A 2004 Barrio Slam Champ and 2005 Denver City Slam Champion. He is the current project coordinator for the Denver Minor Disturbance Youth Slam and has taught workshops in numerous high schools and Juvenile detention centers throughout the Midwest.

They have shared stages with notable performance poets The Chicano Messengers of Spoken Word, Mike McGee, Pulitzer Prize winner Yusef Komunyakaa, Andrea Gibson, Blair, and New York’s Jive Poetic Falu, Rainmaker, and Mahogany Browne. Musicians such as The Flobots, Zebra Junction, and Sage Francis as well as World Famous Last Comic Standing winner Josh Blue.

Their work covers subjects as far reaching and broad as politics and video games, depression and comic books, racism and relationships proving that poetry can be about whatever you want it to and that it can be enjoyed by anyone.