Blue Strut & Hypnotiq Dance Show

Imagine football turned graceful. There were the sweaty, panting athletes. The cheering crowd. The players dashing on and off the field. But the crucial difference was that these athletes happened to be dancers. Last Thursday’s Hypnotiq-Blue Strut Show was the result of “a tremendous amount of time and effort,” according to one of the Hypnotiq heads, Renee Amilrault ’07. Hypnotiq and Blue Strut, as well as two beginner hip-hop and jazz groups, practiced for over a month to prepare for the show. The performance itself took place in the sweltering-hot Modern Dance Studio. A throng of students and teachers started queuing up outside the doors as the dancers went over last-minute logistics. At 6:30 p.m., the crowd swarmed in and took over everything that could be conceivably called a seat, including the floor in the front of the bleachers. While nobody had quite as much elbow room as they liked, holding the performance in the modern studio did make the show a lot more intimate. Miguel Tavarez ’08 said, “I was really impressed by how many people showed up. I wasn’t expecting quite so many, especially since last years’ crowd was much smaller.” After everyone had settled in, the music cranked on and the show began. The first piece was Hypnotiq’s Grasshopper Night dance. Wearing shirts proclaiming “We takin’ over,” Hypnotiq went full-out from their very first moves. And the audience loved it. “Even though the dancing was physically exhausting, the energy from the crowd made the experience both exhilarating and memorable,” said Blue Strut member Casey Aylward ’09. Next up was the Blue Strut Dance Open piece. Performed to the song “Glorybox” and entitled “A Reason to Love You,” it was much quieter compared to Hypnotiq’s opening dance. However, the gracefulness of the performers was almost hypnotizing. Afterwards, the beginner hip-hop dancers took the stage. The beginners all seemed to be very aware of everyone else on stage and gave an outstanding performance for their level of experience. Then came the jazz beginners. They performed an interesting sequence of moves to the song “Big Spender.” It was followed by a piece choreographed by Nkem Oghedo ’08 entitled “Circles.” Blue Strut’s Grasshopper Night dance, “Shake Break Bounce,” was a favorite of the audience and performers alike. Head of Blue Strut Farah Dahya ’08 said, “It had a lot of energy and was technically demanding. The combination of its difficulty and eye-catching choreography made it a blast to perform.” “It was a fun, funky upbeat performance with an energy that the audience really responded to,” agreed Aylward. After such an amazing piece, Hypnotiq had a lot to live up to, but they were prepared for the challenge. In their Dance Open arrangement, they started out in a circle, moved into lines and then dispersed across the stage. There were technical difficulties with the music during the performance, but the dancers managed to get back into the rhythm fairly quickly after the music started up again. Next, Blue Strut members Kiara Brereton ’09 and Mikaela Sanders ’08 performed a duet. The two made excellent use of the performance area and really gave meaning to the phrase “strutting your stuff.” A piece entitled “For My People,” was next up. Choreographed by Delia Tepozan ’07, Hypnotiq threw every last ounce of energy into the piece. The finale of the show was a Blue Strut dance choreographed by Dahya to Bobby McFerrin’s song, “Thinkin’ about Your Body.” After the dance ended, the performers from all the different groups danced back onstage and bowed to tremendous hooting and applause. Dahya said, “I could not have asked for a better show. It was informal, which is what we wanted, but maintained a sense of professionalism.” Maybe the Hypnotiq-Blue Strut show wasn’t exactly a football game. But if not, that’s only because it was so much more.