Last Friday and Saturday, countless Ephs whipped out their best attempts at hip-hop dancing at a variety of tent parties and dances, but the real moves were on display at the Adams Memorial Theater as the College’s resident hip-hop group NBC rocked the house in their show “NBC Returns.”
NBC integrates aspects of funk, jazz, modern and African dance styles into their hip-hop moves. The performance incorporated many elements of lighting, costume and dance to create a show particularly interested in the silhouette – an effect used numerous times throughout the performance.
The show began with a dance choreographed by NBC’s director Betsy Assoumou ’09 entitled “H-2-Da-Double-O-D” to the tune of DJ Khaled’s “I’m So Hood (Remix).” The blue background highlighted the dancers’ NBC sweatshirts of the same color. Dance moves were used to emphasize gunshots in the song as “gangsters” filled the stage.
The next number was choreographed by Colbye Prim ’09 to the songs “On and On” by Missy Elliot and Kelis’ “Blindfold Me.” At the end of “On and On,” a few dancers were “kidnapped” and appeared during Kelis’ song with blindfolds and tied hands. The dance began with a silhouette of the bound girls on chairs against a red background dancing provocatively as the lyrics describe “getting sexy on.”
Later in the show, students from the NBC dance workshop joined the cast, including Sankofa’s Johannes Wilson ’11, to perform a piece choreographed by Amy Steele ’08 and Assoumou to Joe Budden’s “Pump It Up.”
The next section, called “The Way I Anthem,” was choreographed by Rebecca Alschuler ’11 and Alexandra Coleman ’11 to Timbaland’s “The Way I Are” and Pitbull’s “The Anthem.” The changing background colors accentuated the two sections of the dance. During the first song, girls used sexy poses as a starting point for dance moves, while the second song was more of a party scene that incorporated Bollywood head and arm movements into the dance moves.
BeyoncÃƒÂ©’s “Hip-Hop Star” was then featured in a dance of the same title, which was choreographed by Lyndsay Lau ’09. The dancers appeared in black and white outfits, complete with suspenders and involved elements of jazz in dance moves as well as clothing.
The next sequence, called “How to Get the Girl,” was choreographed by Emanuel Yekutiel ’11 and incorporated the songs “Help Me” by Chris Brown and “Go Girl” by Pitbull. During the first song, NBC members playing gangster boys tried to show off for the girls by performing elaborate dance moves, such as leaping off the knees of other members. The second song featured the ladies as they strutted their stuff and, after landing a few more slaps on the guys, they left the stage with the boys. The funniest exit involved Steele coyly backing up off stage towards a boy.
Between most dances there was a pause in music as the house lights turned back on, which shook me out of the mood of the show as the audience discussed what they had just seen, but I recognize these transitions were necessary for costume changes.
The show also contained three guest performances. The Springstreeters sang a hilarious rendition of Jagged Edge’s “Where’s the Party At?” with a solo by Mijon Zulu ’09 and beat boxing by guest Andrew Dominitz ’11. Eugene Won ’09 performed breathtaking tricks with his Chinese yo-yo to the pounding beat of Darude’s “Sandstorm.” The Warrior Poets, a rap group composed of Ifiok Inyang ’11, Taylor Fitzgerald ’11 and Jamal Jefferson ’11, rapped with an impressively professional sound.
Overall, the NBC show was a demonstration of creativity and precision with dance elements from many different styles impressively rolled into a very entertaining performance.