Sankofa and NBC come alive with modern moves

As I walked up to the Goodrich entrance on Friday night, I was dismayed to see the long line that was snaking around the building. I was half an hour early for the 8 p.m. show, and it seemed like half of the campus was already there. Anxious students turned to one another as the line came to a complete standstill, asking about the holdup. “I heard it’s full!” shouted one student, while another one responded, “Yeah, they’re not letting anyone in!” and yet another asked, “Should we sneak in the back?” I got ready to push to the front, and to demand entrance to the show on the grounds that I was writing an artistic review. Although this was the truth, the real reason I wanted to get into Goodrich was to see Sankofa and Nothin’ But Cuties  – two of the College’s spiciest dance groups – perform. Fortunately, before I had to take any drastic action and harass Security, the line started moving again and I eventually took a seat.

Goodrich was filled to capacity, and everyone was waiting eagerly for the performance to begin. After a few minutes, the lights dimmed and members of groups strutted in to start their first piece. For the piece, titled “I’m on It,” choreographers Jason Hernandez ’13, Brian Thomas ’12 and Jabulani Blyden ’13 flawlessly incorporated the techniques of both step and hip-hop together in one fantastic piece.

The steppers were stepping and the hip-hoppers were hip-hopping at the same time, and the effect was truly amazing. After this first dance, NBC and Sankofa split up to showcase their individual talents. Despite the fact that the styles of dance were so different, each piece was related, and was a good introduction to the one after. The groups’ transitions were seamless, and as soon as one dance ended, the next one would start without a delay. The lighting was truly amazing as well. It set the mood of each dance, and really added to the overall performance. The show was very interactive as well – at times, the dancers would jump off the stage and practically land in the audience, and at others they would dance mere inches away from the lucky front row. This only helped encourage the already enthusiastic crowd to yell cries of “I see you!” or “Get it!” that were prevalent throughout the entire performance.

NBC was very high-energy throughout the show, and all members of the group looked like they were enjoying themselves. Unlike previous NBC shows, where all of the dances included excessive (albeit impressive) booty-shaking, the choreography in Friday’s performance varied extensively. A piece choreographed by Zorelly Cepeda ’14 showed a whole new side of NBC with a more lyrical style danced to “I Remember Me” by Jennifer Hudson. There were elements of ballet and jazz in the piece, and it was a nice change from more traditional NBC dance movement.

That said, the other hip-hop pieces were equally pleasing. “Everyday we Partyin’” was a one of NBC’s best pieces of the night. Choreographed by Hernandez, it included catchy top-100 songs such as “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO and “Please Don’t Go” by Mike Posner. The moves matched well with the lyrics, and it really showcased the talents of the dancers. Although there were a few moves that are more common to a crazy First Fridays night than an onstage performance,  NBC’s choreography and dancers really added to the performance.

Sankofa was less racy, but still fantastic. Interesting facial expressions aside, there was nothing about their dances that could be criticized. The Kofa men looked super fly in their pink and purple dress shirts, and the women were dressed to impress in their monochromatic shirts and tailored vests. Every piece was clearly well-rehearsed, and all the dancers stepped perfectly in time with one another. Even the “newbies” on the team showed they could keep up with the more experienced members, by choreographing a great piece to “Who Gon’ Stop Me” by Kanye West and Jay-Z. Essentially, whether it was dancing to music, or in silence, Sankofa captivated the audience with every move.

The final piece, titled “Come Alive,” incorporated both types of dance, but this time each dancer did a bit of both, regardless of  group affiliation. It was a perfect ending to an enjoyable performance. Sankofa stayed strong and danced as well as ever, and the NBC dancers put their all into the performance, showing  that they are a force to be reckoned with. In the end, it doesn’t really matter which group performed better; it would be extremely difficult to decide. After sitting through a spectacular show, the only clear winner at the end of the night was the audience.

Emily Calkins/PHOTO EDITOR Nothin’ But Cuties (NBC) grooves to a hip-hop beat during its end-of-semester performance with Sankofa this weekend.