Do you think Q-Pac girls can get it? Then you haven’t been to a Groove dance show. The members of the company dance, seduce and grind. They even do the splits.
If Yale is all about diversity, then Groove’s dance show sums that motto up in their hour-long performance, GrooveTube. The company, which was founded in 2002, aims to incorporate a vast array of dances into their shows: jazz, hip hop and modern, but mostly, any dance that the members want to perform. The company takes pride in involving every dancer’s idea in the shows. This attitude has resulted in a varied perfomance that comes at you from all sides. Literally, the audience is pulled into the show. From the Glee version of “How to Find Somebody to Love” to Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie,” the fluid, well-choreographed performances were executed with passion and zest.
The show broke most of the conventional norms of dance by weaving “groove” into narratives, like the story of Cinderella. Later, in a number entitled “Us,” members of the troupe even incorporated a dinner party into the performance complete with wine and full splits across the dining room table. The scene was meant to depict the dancers (in the future) reminiscing about their times in Groove. Though the story line gets lost in translation, the dance itself was executed phenomenally.
But the most memorable performance was “Mirrors,” a powerful number in which four dancers depicted Vanity, Sex, Love and Control. Some dancers fornicated, others resisted, but each perfectly embodied the role he or she was playing. Distinctions were clear: Love was seen as Love, nothing else. Groove’s former president, Murad Khan ’11 played Sex and was, to say the least, unforgettable. It’s hard to imagine how the dancers moved so flexibly and with constantly painted facial expressions: smiles, anger, sorrow. You name it. They even had a very emotional and sexy portion that seemed to emulate the Moulin Rouge — dancers in seductive, black attire captivated the audience while bathed in an intense red light. The scene had a very powerful impact as the dancers glided around, jumping and twirling in stillettos.
But the show’s strengths went beyond just dance. There was a remarkable play between light and sound. Often passionate scenes started with an intense red or blue light, whereas the classical ballet scenes were depicted in a softer, more naturalistic glow. Mostly clad in black and white, the dancers contrasted well with the extreme and varied lighting. At times it was a bit distracting, but overall it gave the performances an almost surreal quality.
This student-run production is full of energy and passion and caters to a varied audience — there seems to be something for everyone. You don’t have to love a particular kind of dance to enjoy Groove. In fact, chances are you will find the dance type you love because it’s so varied. And not only will you be awed by the fabulous, capable dancers but you’ll be singing the songs when you leave. Now you don’t need to YouTube; you can “GrooveTube.”