Arts, On Campus

UPrising Dance Crew Heats Up the Robsham Stage

Two feet of snow on the ground couldn’t stop UPrising Dance Crew from holding its “Waves V” showcase on Saturday night. Leaving snowy footprints behind, audience members streamed into Robsham Theater for the high-energy performance, which also featured three other Boston College dance groups—Synergy Hip Hop Dance Company, AEROdynamiK Dance Crew (AeroK), and Phaymus Dance Entertainment.

Two other hip-hop groups originally planned to perform at the show but had to cancel due to the snowstorm: Queens With a Mission (QWAM), an all-male dance team from a dance studio in Malden, Ma., and UPro, a group from Boston University that combines Asian music and American hip-hop culture. 

The two masters of ceremonies, Madelyn Schwartz and Madeleine Bamberger, both MCAS ’24, welcomed the crowd, noting that the show was the fifth annual “Waves” showcase and marked UPrising’s 10th anniversary. 

Red lights bathed the stage in an eerie glow as the UPrising dancers assembled across the width of the stage to kick off the show with a routine from the fall season. The audience swelled with cheers as the bass beats of “ICY GRL” by Saweetie pounded, and the dancers moved in synchronized formations across the stage. 

The first set also included acting elements, as two dancers held umbrellas and played out a romantic scene in the rain. The UPrising team made quick transitions on and off stage, all the while moving mesmerizingly in sync.

Phaymus came onstage next, dancing to “Love Doctor” by Romain Virgo. The group mastered quick transitions, as songs shifted from deep bass sounds to more high-energy tunes. In one dramatic moment, the lights went down onstage so that only the silhouettes of the six dancers were visible against the backdrop.

Synergy started its set with the song “Best Friend” by Saweetie as the dancers created a pyramid formation. Their matching white sneakers shined under the stage lights—highlighting each dancer’s quick and precise footwork. The audience sat mesmerized as the dancers moved in unison with isolated popping motions to the beat of the music. 

The senior dancers in UPrising then performed their own routine to a compilation of popular songs, including “Shot Clock” by Ella Mai. 

The lights went up in the theater for intermission, and the hosts asked for audience members to participate in a dance battle with an El Pelón Taquería gift card at stake. One member each from Phaymus, Synergy, and UPrising showed off their improvisation skills as the audience cheered them on. 

After intermission, UPrising’s rookies performed and gathered around each other as a dance battle unfolded among them. Next up, AeroK took the stage after taking a hiatus from performing together due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The large group exploded onstage, weaving into different formations and switching between powerful, precise movements and looser beats.

Then, the full UPrising cohort returned to perform a set titled “Waves.” With coordinating black and white costumes, the dancers sectioned off into three alternating groups. 

Just when it seemed the show was about to end, Schwartz and Bamberger introduced the last act, welcoming all four dance groups back onstage for a collaborative set. The groups took turns taking the stage for a final dance before members of all teams joined together. Dancers created a circle around the edge of the stage as a member from each crew stepped into the middle to dance to “Don’t Waste My Time” by Usher. 

The music stopped and was replaced by the rhythmic stomping of the dancers onstage as they created their own beat. Cheering among themselves they all danced towards the center of the stage, the performers created their own energy and warmth on a snowy night.

Featured Image by Aneesa Wermers / Heights Staff

January 31, 2022