NBC entertains at Goodrich with fun, spirited ‘Throwback’

NBC provided two fun, enthusiastic performances last weekend in Goodrich Hall. Photo courtesy of Zorelly Cepeda-Derieux
NBC provided two fun, enthusiastic performances last weekend in Goodrich Hall. Photo courtesy of Zorelly Cepeda-Derieux

Last Friday and Saturday, the College’s hip-hop dance group, Nothing But Cuties (NBC), performed in Goodrich Hall. The free performance marked the 15th anniversary of the group’s presence on campus, and appropriately had a “Throwback” theme, whereby the first half of dances paid homage to earlier eras in music. As this was NBC’s spring concert, it marked the last weekend that the group’s seniors would perform with NBC at the College. As always, the performance was energetic and fun, featuring a number of crowd-pleasing hits, along with plenty of stopping, dropping and booty popping.
The first half of the show worked its way backwards from 2013 to 1999, paying tribute to some of the biggest hits in the last 15 years of hip-hop, R&B and pop. The first dance, choreographed by Marieme Sall ’16 and Renée Marcellus ’14, was set to “King Shit” by Yo Gotti and “Pour It Up” by Rihanna. Setting an appropriately sexy tone for the evening, the dance featured a combination of fluid, sensual movements punctuated by abrupt pauses, in which the group’s dancers wasted no opportunity to pose. Isaac Johnson ’16 choreographed the next dance, which featured Santigold’s “You’ll Find A Way” and another Rihanna hit, “Disturbia.” This dance had a far greater emphasis on sudden, jerky gestures. Often, every casted member of the dance would move extremely close together, seeming to move across the stage as one entity.
Taking a completely different approach, Chanae Williams ’16 choreographed a dance set to “Hollaback Girl,” by Gwen Stefani, “Kiss Kiss,” by Chris Brown and “Lip Gloss,” by Lil Mama which took the form of a high school pep rally, adapting many moves from cheerleading and making use of the songs’ brassy, quick beats. The dance for music from 2004 through 2002, choreographed by Zorelly Cepeda ’14 and Madelynn Taylor ’16, was a real crowd pleaser, giving way to screams of approval as the dancers moved to the hits such as “Work It” by Missy Elliott, “Ignition Remix” by R. Kelly and “Yeah” by Usher. The final throwback piece entered the 90s, as Emily Fox ’15 choreographed to TLC’s “No Scrubs,” “Ms. Jackson” by Outkast and “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” by Eve. These songs’ slower paces allowed for a completely different tone to the dance overall, giving the dancers time to savor each motion without sacrificing any of the crowd-pleasing energy immediately derived from a hit song.
A series of videos accompanied the dances, acting as a framing device for NBC’s “time-travel,” as well as highlighting the members of each class and paying special tribute to each of the group’s five seniors. While such videos are not uncommon at such performances, these were uncommonly well-edited and thoughtfully put together. While the first-years worked their way to the top of NBC to the Rocky theme, the class of 2016 duked it out, complete with their own taglines, on “The Real Sophomores of NBC.” Juniors lamented the fact that most of their NBC classmates are abroad, and added some interesting trivia about the three remaining members (yes, Becca Staff ’15 was once a champion Irish step dancer). Seniors met up post-graduation to discuss how NBC had given them some unorthodox expectations in terms of partying and twerking that did not translate well to working in an office environment. The hilarious senior tributes poked fun at everything from the chronic lateness of Randy Reyes ’14 to very vocal love of everything, from lacrosse, to her family, to chocolate, of Grace Wilson ’14.
After the throwback portion of the evening was over, Alex Ting ’15 took the dances in a different direction with her piece, choreographed to Frank Ocean’s “Pink Matter.” This dance featured less of the quick, aggressive moves some would expect from NBC, instead featuring slow, deliberate gestures with an emphasis on dancing in pairs. More than simply hip-hop, this dance had some of the elements one might expect to see in a CoDa show. Though different, the dance was still very well done, and featured some of the best performances of the evening from those on stage.
The dance to James Blake’s “Life Round Here” with Bailey Edwards ’16 and the dance to Drake’s “From Time,” choreographed by Sofia Benares ’16, featured similarly laid-back tenors, especially in comparison to the rest of the especially lively show. Reyes’ choreography to Azealia Banks’ “212” as well as Cepeda’s choreography to “Talk Dirty” by Jason Derulo took the show back to its energetic roots, often featuring nearly the entire cast of NBC on stage at the same time as the audience screamed and hooted in approval.
The show ended, as always, with NBC’s dance to Missy Elliott’s “Ecstasy,” which always features every member of the group’s cast, as well as any inactive members in the audience. Like every other NBC show, this 15th Anniversary Throwback was an excellent showcase of the group’s considerable talent, and was a fun night for all in attendance.