Arts

Going Through Af-Lat-Am’s ABCs

The well-known dance group SLAM encountered fierce competition during the Af-Lat-Am Coffeehouse when their counterpart Man SLAM arrived on the scene. The Masters of Ceremony Claire Voegele ’07 and Akosua Ayim ’07 directed the show, which ranged from deep, profound poetry to crazy synchronized dance moves. This year’s Af-Lat-Am Coffeehouse’s theme was the ABC’s. A was for Af-Lat-Am, but the first act started with B, for beautiful music. Max Meyer ’08 played piano in the background while Hailee Minor ’08 sang a heartwarming love song. C was for civil rights. Kelicia Hollis ’08 spoke, screamed, whispered and cried passionately during her monologue. Although it was a long performance, the audience was on the edge of their seats the entire time. Some members of the audience were even in tears when her poetry finally came to a conclusion, at which point Hollis received a standing ovation. Devon Zimmerling ’07 said, “There were some really profound and deep speeches, especially Kelicia’s. I’m really glad she got a standing ovation.” As comic relief, J was for Michael Jackson, because, as Voegele ’07 says, “No show is complete without a little Michael Jackson.” Peter McCarthy ’07 played the saxophone while Dacone Elliott ’08 did the moonwalk across the stage. Although their act only lasted 20 seconds, it served to lighten up the atmosphere after Kelicia’s deep, heartfelt poetry. K was for “Kollaboration.” Tessa Pompa ’08 on vocals, Meyer on piano, and Hank Williams ’08 on drums all “kollaborated” to play “Seasons Change,” a compassionate song that moved the audience, both literally and figuratively as members of the audience began to sway back and forth in their seats. N, as Ayim said, was “Not for the n-word because we’re trying to move past that.” Ayim performed her own act for O, which stood for ’07. She dedicated a touching poem to the Class of 2007, describing all the good times they’ve had and all the hardships they struggled through together, ending in the statement, “Class of ’07, I love you.” S stood for sex. Britney Achin ’08 read a poem on the subject of sex, addressing topics such as grinding and the fact that teenagers are becoming increasingly promiscuous. Achin stated that in today’s world, “Sex is like social currency.” V was for vandalism. A work of art done by Muhammad Ali, titled “Non Sibi” was displayed. Recently, Phillips Academy hosted renowned artist Muhammad Ali who used a unique artistic style, combining calligraphy and graffiti in artistic masterpieces. After the ABC’s were finished, the spectacular SLAM, Hypnotiq and Man SLAM stormed the stage. First to perform was SLAM with a brand-new routine. Their act was amazing and, as we have all come to expect, they made the beat drop. Hypnotiq was equally well-choreographed and synchronized, and their act was new as well. During this performance, Hypnotiq danced to a much faster techno song than usual, but they pulled it off and their act was met with cheers. Ashley Kim ’07 said, “We’ve been working on this new act for about a month now. It’s definitely faster than usual, but I think it worked well.” The final act was Man SLAM, and they caused a commotion. Man SLAM began during this year’s Alternative Spring Break trip to John’s Island, South Carolina, a community service trip during which 45 students and faculty helped repair homes of the impoverished citizens of St. John’s Island. It all began when Carolyn Chica ’08 decided to teach Dave Holliday ’08 and Dan Pouliot ’08 a few steps from SLAM’s routine. It then spread to include Jordan Lemmons ’09 and Mike Donelan, Matt Cranney, Dave Koppel and Ian Accomando, all ’08. Chica has continued to instruct and choreograph Man SLAM to prepare them for their first real performance during this past weekend’s Af-Lat-Am Coffeehouse. Decked out in wife beaters and ghetto-fabulous gear, this new dance group pop dropped and locked shamelessly and definitely made the beat drop. Watch out SLAM! This new sensation promises to provide fierce competition in the future.