Rhythm & Motion Spring Showcase Heavy on Hip Hop and Enthusiasm


Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.



When tri-co students crawled out of their study spaces and lined up a full hour and a half before a production last Saturday night, it could only mean one thing: Rhythm ‘n Motion’s annual Spring showcase.

The highly anticipated show opened with the traditional Umfundalai piece that ties RnM to its roots as a group that explores African Diaspora dance. The rest of the performance consisted of choreographies from several RnM dancers, including fall “Newbie,” Hannah Joo of 2016. Joo choreographed a modern piece to “Runaway” by Kanye West. The beginning pulse of piano keys established a calmer atmosphere that the dancers dutifully followed, compressing and decompressing throughout the stage. The piece was crafted eloquently with a balance between extension and contraction. It seemed to portray the tension that comes out of unrequited desire.

The spring “Newbies” performance conjured much intrigue from the audience. Choreographed by the spring “Newbies,” the piece began with the dancers dressed as dolls. While originally restrained from moving, they were then wound up to perform a beautifully composed piece. The choreography revealed each new dancer’s discovery of individuality in dance.

While the original intention of RnM was to expose the larger community to African dance, hip-hop, and jazz, the past few shows revealed their knowledge of a wider range of dance styles. However, this semester’s showcase consisted of choreographies similar in genre. Composed mostly of hip-hop choreographies and a few modern pieces, the showcase was absent of jazz and other styles of dance. Compared with the fall show, this show was also absent of partnering and the charged chemistry that close physical collaboration between dancers provides.

However, the audience’s eruptions in applause and cheers throughout each piece exemplified that this more or less homogeneous collection of pieces was exactly what everyone was anxiously waiting for so far in advance; RnM’s ability to elegantly and confidently dance the movements the rest of the campus community is too inept and scared to even try on the Paces dance floor. The way the dancers moved was inspiring and they communicated their passion through hip-hop, exciting the audience.

The spring semester showcase ended with the senior performance that concluded the 2013 seniors’ RnM careers. Opening with “Bang Bang” by Nancy Sinatra and finishing with “Fuc***g Problems” by A$AP Rocky, the show ended on an exhilarating note. While the seniors left their most thrilling moves on the LPAC stage, they now leave their legacy in the capable hands of the current and future RnM community.
Check out our gallery from this weekend’s show below.
Photos by Ellen Sanchez-Huerta ’13

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