Rhythmic Blue, in its spring dance show “Get Busy,” stays true to its fun and funky tradition. The group, created as Yale’s first hip-hop and contemporary dance ensemble in 1991, offers diversity of performers, dance styles and attitudes. And they do it with a hell of a lot of style.
The opening number, “Rhythm Nation” by Janet Jackson and choreographed by Camele-Ann White, is a great show-starter. It’s sassy, stylish and artistically impressive. The dancers clad in all black with traditional “Janet” newsboy hats have a polished and funky demeanor that translates into slick sensuality.
From that explosive beginning, the first act gallops onward rather like one long MTV video — the energy is pumping, the audience is screaming and the dancers are sweating. The dancers are so much fun to watch because they obviously seem to love what they do, and it shows. Standout performances include a lyrical take on Prince’s “When Doves Cry,” choreographed by Cheryl Davis ’03, and a lot of hot moves to “Blowin’ Me Up” by JC Chasez, with the spicy Cara Drewes ’03 as choreographer.
With typical flair, Rhythmic Blue doesn’t just do intermission: they perform it, using part of the time to introduce their members to the audience, including three graduate students and impressive newcomer Elliot Greenberger ’05. And audience interaction doesn’t end there. A “Free Stylin'” segment of the show, where members of the audience can come up on stage to show their stuff, makes the RB show a total-immersion experience. The club atmosphere is enhanced not only by the great dancers, who have incredible facial expressions, but by the audience members themselves. It seems that everyone gets into the fun, yelling out dancers’ names and cheering with abandon.
The second act is offers a notably wider range of styles. “African Rhythm,” choreographed by Alex Jean, is a contemporary and poetic dance that conveys an interesting cultural context. White, in her second choreographed piece to “B.O.B. (Bombs over Baghdad)” really shows her stuff. The innovative dance moves are complemented with thoughtful and sensitive political and social messages. White manages to use dance as activism without sacrificing any of the fun.
All in all, the high-energy show is full of different viewpoints that converge into one main theme: having a blast. Anyone who likes to get up and dance will hardly be able to sit in their chairs during this red hot performance by Rhythmic Blue.