Arts, On Campus

BC Dance Groups Serve Up Sizzling, Hip-Hop Moves at ‘The Drop’

As stragglers made their way into Robsham to the few seats left, the air was as packed with anticipation as the theater was with spectators. Aptly titled, The Drop was a heavy, rampant, and abounding series of hip-hop inspired dances from the immensely talented choreographers and dancers of UPrising and Phaymus. This dance performance housed raw energy in every abrupt turn of the face, lunge of the hips, and drop of the beat. The performers in The Drop knew, through every confident stride on stage, that they were extremely talented, but it was through this confidence that they made this fact known to all lucky enough to be in Robsham last Saturday night.

The progression, from song to song and from performance to performance, allowed for the strengths of individual members to shine through, as well as the different capabilities of each dance crew to be recognized.

To start the night, UPrising began with the eclectic “Jungle Juice,” which contained a compelling mix of ground work as well as snappy upper-body motions. Effortlessly transitioning from standing positions to knees allowed for the dance to fluidly move downward. This dance, as with many other dances of the night, was marked by a keen attention to transitions. In the various songs used in each dance and in the movements about stage, both groups efficaciously guided the audience along in both regards.

A special focus was put on the newcomers of UPrising in “Rookies,” which was choreographed by the freshman members. The short, succinct piece showed that these freshmen have certainly been endowed with skills of their own, as well as their adoption of UPrising stylizations. Additionally, this dance encompassed the emphasis on past and present prevalent throughout the show, as many alumni from both groups cheered on from the crowd, looking on at the newest embodiment of their respective groups.

In “Wassup,” UPrising was seen as especially forceful in its use of collective movement used to enhance the movement of an individual. Several times within this dance, a single member would be the focus. As other UPrising dancers remained motionless, a single dancer moved with the song. Occasionally, other members behind the paramount dancer would also move in unison. These were often very brief and pointed, but their presence made the move of the main dancers all the stronger.

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“Sexed Up,” as would be expected from the name, was a smooth, sensual, and sexy dance. Apart from being clad in white, there was nothing innocent about this dance as hands delicately brushed about dancers bodies and a flirtatious air was adopted by each member of the crew.

Phaymus welcomed the crowd with “Stay Woke.” Coming out swinging and pulling no punches, Phaymus unleashed an onslaught of shoulder movements and sharp hip thrusts in every direction. What was most impressive in this opener was the group’s ability to integrate the upper body. The arms of all dancers never ceased to embellish the moves the feet and hips were engaged in.

The next dance, “Phaymus Goes to Hotlanta” reiterated this troupe’s intent on not stopping for a moment. Symmetry was brought to stage through the use of the black or white tops, and red hoodies worn by the dancers. A mirror image about centerstage, this dance made the symmetric division more visual and brought power to the execution of its moves as each side moved.

“Meet Me at the Club” adopted very strong images as Phaymus formed a straight line across stage. All wearing jackets, the group looked like one and moved as one. This dance was stern and imbued with a certain amount of fire as the dancers moves methodically about the stage, loftily choosing their steps.

If there was one performance that solidified the talent of Phaymus, it was “Betcha Can’t Do it Like Phayum.” Many might be inspired to step on the dance floor after watching these groups perform, but “Betcha” will have even the most confident recognizing that they lack Phaymus’ speed and precision. The concise footwork was synchronous and dizzyingly fast. The fervor with which the dancers moves proved their place truly is on the stage.

The guest performances scattered throughout the program also showcased the talents from other BC dance giants. AEROdynamiK put its numbers to good use in a impressive display of synchronized hand work. The striking visual beauty of the group was most fully seen when they threw their hands about the air in a strong, yet graceful union to Chainsmokers “Closer.”

Fuego del Corazon brought the fire in the way only Latin dance could. Punchy, fast, and skillful, Fuego used deft footwork and simple stage movements to impressive ends. One such visual saw the ladies in their signature red dresses part as the men advanced into center stage. Ending with a powerful lift, the audience was cheering even before the lights went out.

Synergy certainly knew how to use the stage in its guest performance. As the dance progressed, the lights gradually faded out, leaving the dancers in darkness. Then the stage adopted a natural light, with no backdrop. The troupe was then seen dancing sharply as a single block. In a night filled with colorful light, this performance without vibrant colors was a brilliant choice that stood out effortlessly.

With this hip-hop showcase, The Drop has set a strong precedent for future incarnation of the dance style on campus. Brought to fruition after many years of dreaming and collaboration, The Drop represents the expanding talents of Boston College. Phaymus and UPrising have brought an invaluable new kind of dance showcase to Robsham. Though the wells of talent are continually being tapped, it would appear that they are not drying up anytime soon.

Featured Images By Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Staff

January 29, 2017

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