The Jabbawockeez and Super Crew deliver an electrifying performance at the Glorietta mall
Written by Jamie Ortega
Photos by Kris Rocha
America’s Best Dance Crew champions The Jabbawockeez and Super Crew delivered a spellbinding performance complete with mind-blowing dance moves, fierce stunts, and a little dash of humor at the Glorietta mall last January 18, 2013.
The world-famous dance crew began the show with several members, clad in black, performing on top of the stage that was shaped like a boom box. When they froze, another Jabbwockee, clad n brown, performed a solo routine at the bottom part of the stage. The entire stage was then swathed in red, making the texture of the dancer’s costumes also look red, as one member brought a radio out and placed it at the tip of the stage. As the music picked up, so did the crowd, as a voice from within the song shouted, “Make some noise!” The voice then instructed the audience to copy them, which the crowd did by shouting “Oh,” and “Ah,” every few seconds.
When this was done, the dancers left the stage, making room for them to be formally introduced via a video that was flashed to the audience. The video showed the names and photo of each member as they played billiards and card games in Las Vegas. It was a pretty good way for the audience to be more familiar with the group and their dance style while still giving props to Vegas. This was, after all, M.U.S.I.C, the successful dance show that originated in Vegas.
After the video played, the dancer that was wearing brown a while ago walked out and playfully pulled off some moves with a broom. He then pretended to fall on the stage, stood right back up, and did some mime movements. He then crouched on the floor and covered his ears as the rest of the dancers bounced onstage. As this was all happening more and more people in the audience, entranced by the music, got to their feet and cheered.
As the rest of the dancers disappeared, the member wearing brown walked over to another part of the stage where a living room set was set up. He tried to switch on a lamp shade, but unfortunately the lamp shade would turn off on its accord, irritating the dancer. While all this was fascinating for this writer, it also got a little bit confusing. I didn’t understand the story, if there was any. That is, right up to this point, when a voice explained, “This is the audio-visual story of life brought to life by the harmonization of sound and movement. Ever explained what music looks like? Have you ever seen the colors of sound? The melody of modern words, the warmth of your favorite love song, all very familiar experiences we share in the soundtrack called life.”
After the introduction, the crew launched into several routines full some of the most popular hits from different decades. To my interpretation, the show was depicting the effect of music or the emotions brought by music to its’ listeners. The group began the journey by launching into a comical interpretation of Mama Mia complete with funny ballet steps, amazing headstands, air guitar, and two dancers almost trying to kiss each other! After the majority of the dancers left the stage the two members that were left were trying to outdo each other with their exaggerated and hilarious moves! It’s one of the things I love about the Jabbawockeez, how they are able to convey emotions without showing their faces, by their dance moves alone the audience can easily understand and imbibe the vibe of the routine and the message of the song.
Mama Mia was followed by a fun rendition of Michael Jackson’s Pretty Young Thing. As soon as it ended, the voice over declared, “Welcome to a series of determining your masculinity. This is audio tape number one, getting a grip.” The only dancer that was left on the stage responded to each factor by fashioning little gay poses which made the audience whoop and burst into laughter. “We’ve come to the last factor, dancing,” The dancer then began to dance Single Ladies, followed by the rest of the group. Some members did the infamous “Ocho ocho,” which made the audience scream even louder! The Disney fan in me burst out of my body when the group performed Little Mermaid’s Kiss The Girl as a member of the audience was brought onstage. I marveled at how they were able to make every song danceable, from rock to r and b, to hip hop, to even John Legend’s Selfish, which they performed next.
When it came to the arrangement of their songs, I liked how they were able to put the more popular songs near the end of the show to make it end with a bang, like the infamous Opna Gangnam Style, Viva la Vida, and my personal favorite NKOTB’s The Right Stuff (yes, the boyband fan in me died again!) Clearly, since their major concert in Manila back in 2010, the crew hasn’t lost their touch. I remember during the 2010 show how, amid the performances of Kris Allen and Boyce Avenue, they stole the show and brought the crowd to their feet with their stupendous dance moves. If during the past dance crews were seen as only support acts, thanks to groups like Jabbawockeez they’re now given their time to shine as headlining artists.
To add to that, another thing I've admired about the group is how they make it a point to give back to the people who’ve helped them get to where they are today. At the end of the show, after they bowed and removed their masks, the crew requested for a moment of silence for founding Jabbawockee member Gary Kendall who passed away in 2007 from pneumonia and meningitis at the age of 37. The one finger the group holds up at every performance is for him because of his moniker, Gee One, aka The Truth. The Filipinos in the group, namely Chris Gatdula, Phil Tayag, Rainen Paguio, and Joe Larot were given special recognition as well. “Thank you so much guys for doing what you’ve done to me and my whole team up here, we appreciate you guys,” expressed Phil. “You Filipinos are so original, so unique, we love you all from Supercrew, Jabbawockeez, we just want you guys to know that we love you and keep us in your hearts forever,” he added, Judging by the overwhelming response the boys get every time they visit the country, we feel exactly the same way.
See more photos from Jabbawockeez at Glorietta here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151639389048032