Blue Strut and Hypnotiq Finish the Year With a Flare

If Andover were to ever experience an earthquake, it could never match the tremor of the clapping and cheering in Tang Theatre last Friday during the Hypnotiq/Blue Strut Show. Tang Theatre filled up instantly. The collaboration of the two dance groups turned out to be one of the shows this year. “This is one of the fiercest performances… from every group. The choreography was amazing and it was so creative and precise. They really put together an awesome show,” said Nneka Anunkor ’11. The Hypnotiq group set the stage on fire with their opening dance, “Shots” choreographed by Caroline O’Sullivan ’10, one of the co-heads of the show. The crowd became even wilder when twelve girls showed off their talent in “Hip-hop Community Service All-stars” choreographed by Stephanie Xu ’09, Mandisa Mjamba ’10 and Jasmine Stovall ’10. These girls worked hard with the PA dancers to put together a routine that no one in the audience would forget. The amazing dozen strolled onto the stage in brightly colored outfits and gave it their all, with each move full of energy. “I think that the kids from the community service were so good. They had so much personality! I liked that they brought them in and gave them a chance to perform,” said Thea Raymond-Sidel ’12. Next up, Brenna Liponis ’10 and Sayer Mansfield ’10 performed their routine to “Telephone.” The two shone under the spotlight, flawlessly but effortlessly weaving a beautiful pattern on stage with both artistic and technical abilities. After a brief intermission, the show returned with Blue Strut and their “Assassin’s Tango,” performed earlier this year in Dance Open. Although no longer in black with red roses, the group still managed to pull it off perfectly, taking the audience with them into the mysterious sways of the tune. Dancers from Hypnotiq also revived moves from Grasshopper Night, presenting “Reformed Criminals” choreographed by Mandisa Mjamba ’10, Amber Quinones ’11 and Caroline O’Sullivan ’10. Although there were many dancers on stage, they all moved as one, perfectly in sync. Then, there was no more music. The stage was empty and the lights dimmed. Suddenly Mjamba appeared on stage with a microphone and calmly announced that “one of the girls need[ed] to take a breather,” which got the crowd chuckling and giving loud cheers of support. While on stage Mjamba also alerted the audience of a Commons worker whose house had burnt down recently and encouraged people to donate. As the lights returned, five dancers were flicking their heads to the beat of “Yes”, a piece choreographed by Brenna Liponis ’10 and Liz Lavin ’10. The piece showcased each dancer individually, but at the same time united them. The last dance, “Bounce That,” combined Hypnotiq, Blue Strut and Slam in one piece. “I loved it. They’re three different styles of dancing, but it’s amazing how they can come together and put an awesome show together like that,” said Ej Ejiogu ’11. The last song showed the amount of time and effort all the dancers put in, from their smooth transitions between the fast paced and difficult movements to their meticulous technique. Chioma Ngwudo ’11 said, “I thought it was really creative and the girls did a great job putting this together all by themselves. I am so proud of all my friends and everyone else who was in it.” At the end of the show, flowers were given to the graduating seniors and next year’s heads of the dance groups were announced. Next year’s head of Blue Strut are Juli Brandano ’12 and Carolyn Harmeling ’11. Hypnotiq’s heads for next year are Katie Fanikos ’11, Sheya Jabouin ’11 and Amber Quinones ’11. These announcements were a surprise for everyone. Brandano said, “I didn’t even know that they were announcing them tonight, but I’m super excited for next year.” Jabouin said, “It hasn’t sunk in yet, but it’ll feel more real next year when I have to take on all the responsibility. But right now I’m really excited.” One of the co-heads Caroline O’Sullivan ’10 finished by saying, “We are all really proud of ourselves. I think that this last week everyone has put in so much effort – more than we could ever ask for, and we are really appreciative of that and grateful for all the effort that our dancers put into the show to make it happen.”