Trudging through the snow last night, I passed a girl mouthing the words to “Lean Back.” An iPod’s white cords ran from beneath her stocking cap to the pocket of her coat, and her walk had a steady bounce that shook her overloaded backpack with each step.
In her head, she must have imagined herself to look like one of Britney’s backup dancers, but in reality, her movement was reminiscent of a dromedary bobbing its way toward an oasis. Before I turned the corner, I looked back to witness her attempting a very Lindsay Lohan-esque move, slipping on the wet snow, and landing ass-first in a bush.
For some Yalies, dancing should be left to professionals.
For the members of Groove, however, this is not the case. These 19 students prove they can move with grace and poise — and sometimes downright shake it — in their winter show. Blending jazz, ballet, hip-hop and modern dance with contemporary music, Groove’s show has something for everyone.
From the show’s start, with the captivating and haunting “Elegy of a Seaman,” to its conclusion with the jazz nightclub inspired “Chateau Marmont” (both choreographed by Natalia Duncan ’06), Groove presents the audience with captivating tableaus of color and movement.
The dancers break the mold of the traditional dance show. Though it may sound out of place to end Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” with a series of ballet turns, when placed within the larger choreography of the piece and the greater themes of the show, it comes across very naturally.
The song “Mad World” from the film “Donnie Darko,” alternates between painfully sad verses and an uplifting chorus. This poses a special challenge to any choreographer, but Sarah Woo ’06 took it in stride, placing her dancers like three pairs of puppets and a puppet master. The dancers’ emotive expressions in the soft blue light as they assume the positions of lifeless puppets produces haunting images. By mimicking the wavelike phrasing of the song through movement and fully utilizing the space, the dancers make this piece one of Groove’s best.
In “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme,” Megan Quintana ’06 and Lucy Wang ’05 play homage to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair” with a piece that illuminates the lullaby elements of this folk classic. With two pairs of red and black clad dancers and classical ballet positions, the two choreographers fashion a sprightly dance that reminded me of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and made me think about the song in an entirely new way.
Proving their versatility and creativity, “The Cat’s Meow,” choreographed by Will Cornwell ’06, transported a hip-hop dance from the Roxy to the OBT. With clean, quick, movements and plenty of attitude, this piece, along with Antoine Jumelle’s ’05 “Street Style” show that Groove has the talent to undertake multiple styles of dance without compromising quality or precision. These songs also perfectly complement the pacing and rhythm of the show.
The well-paced repertoire runs approximately 45 minutes, allowing you plenty of time to shake your groove thing afterwards. And after seeing their “Groove,” you won’t be able to resist finding your own.
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