Arts Old Video

‘That’s So Raven’ and ‘Formation’: Strypno Fuses Hip-Hop and Jazz Dance Routines

As the lights of the Modern Dance Studio dimmed, four silhouettes – Sabrina Appleby ’17, Hannah Beaudoin ’17, Lydia Paris ’17, and Rosie Poku ’17 – took the stage in neon feather boas, tutus, sunglasses, and sequined tops. Strutting across the stage, the dancers suddenly created a conga line, swaying their hips and rolling their shoulders to the theme song of “That’s So Raven.”

This performance was the opening act of Strypno, a collaborative dance show performed by Blue Strut, Andover’s jazz dance group, and Hypnotiq, Andover’s hip-hop dance group. Strypno took place Saturday night in the Modern Dance Studio in Borden Gym. Because of the incredible turnout, the Co-Heads of the dance groups decided to hold an encore performance immediately following their original show.

Dressed in black, the two dance groups stood in tight rows and performed the choreography from Beyoncé’s “Formation” music video. At one point in the routine, several dancers dropped to the floor and showcased intricate floor work, kicking their legs and thrusting their hips in the air.

Justice Robinson ’18, Hypnotiq Co-Head, said, “There was actually so much controversy with the song and originally we had a different formation with the song, which didn’t involve the [original] message of the song about black femininity and black feminism. We didn’t represent that, and we had to think about the song and the lyrics and adjust the choreography to represent what that song was singing about. It took a lot to put together and obviously, you saw, there were a lot of people on stage.”

The show also included a performance by Blue Strut set to “SOS” by Rihanna. The dancers, wearing bright, colored leotards and black skirts, paraded across the stage with sharp leaps, kicks, and jumps, performing in time to the heavy beat of the music. The routine ended with the dancers lined up against the back of the stage, each striking an individual pose.

“When choreographing a large dance number, like ‘SOS’, it’s important to think of giving the dance a progression to a climax and then coming down from that to the ending so a lot of the choreography tries to work on making the dances dynamic and also allowing them to grow to a big ‘wow’ moment,” said Lizzie McGonagle ’16, Co-Head of Blue Strut.

Set to Christina Aguilera’s “Tough Lover,” Alexa Goulas ’18, Kiki Kozol ’18, and Emma Wong ’18 incorporated props into their jazz routine. Using chairs as props, the three dancers ended their routine by pulling the chairs to the front of the stage, jumping on top of them, and gesturing towards the audience before dropping down in unison.

Claudia Meng ’18, an audience member, said, “I really liked the dance with the chairs because I liked the use of the prop and the interactions with it. They were just having a lot of fun on stage, like it was a serious performance, and they were amazing. But it was less about nailing every single move and more about showing how fun [dance] is!”

Editor’s note: Emma Wong is a Copy Editor for The Phillipian.