Just looking at these talented dancers makes us feel a little inadequate...

Just looking at these talented dancers makes us feel a little inadequate…

Last night, Staff Writer Becky Novik attended Onyx‘s spring showcase, and was blown away by the talent and energy of the performers. The group’s second performance is tonight at 8:30pm in the Lerner Black Box.

Long story short: I didn’t want it to end and was genuinely sad when it did.

And now the long story:

For their spring showcase, Onyx absolutely killed it with four unique sets of hip-hop dance filled with hair flips, sharp choreography, and thoroughly infectious energy.

Before any dancing started, the hosts of the evening, which included two Onyx dance troupe alumnae, instructed the audience to get as loud as they wanted to in support and appreciation for the dancers.  The second Onyx came on, it was clear that the audience didn’t need any encouragement to get loud for the performers.  The connection that the Onyx dancers made with an audience was, alone, more than enough to elicit screams and cheers. And then the dancing started.

The first set began with a routine choreographed for Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” and set the tone for Onyx’s usual high-energy showcases.  Set 2 was purposefully slowed down a bit, as the audience was rightfully warned that Onyx was about to get hot af.  The dancers, all dressed in solely black for this whole set, began against the wall as Britney Spear’s “I’m a Slave 4 You,” filled the room.  Technically speaking, the lighting during this set complimented the choreography and tone perfectly, with hazy blues, deep reds, and bright highlights shining down on the dancers at precise transitions and routines.

While each set had a different underlying theme, it was Set 3 that completely and unquestionably stole the show. The audience was screaming in appreciation and excitement the instant Future’s “Thought It Was a Drought” came on for a truly astounding performance, building up to Drake’s “Make Me Proud” to close out the third set.  This set was quite simply incredible; there really aren’t enough words to capture the dancers’ energy and amazing presence onstage.  It’s energy was explosive throughout, and each of the transitions between the six routines was smooth and immediate, never losing the initial intensity it had in the beginning.

Each of the 22 routines was choreographed either by one or more Onyx members/alumnae, and each had its own personality that all fit together like puzzle pieces for the performance as a whole.  Each set not only had it’s own unique theme, but also its own cohesive technical elements, costume theme, and highlights.

Onyx does an amazing job at distributing the attention throughout each of the group members with the choreography.  No single dancer ever monopolizes the dance floor, and each shift of attention goes smoothly from a trio, to a short solo, to all the dancers out on the floor together without any gap in between. This skillful element in choreography was especially notable for the final routine of Set 4, a dance to Beyonce’s “Countdown.” For the dancers, each limb and hand had a specific action/movement that corresponded to points in the lyrics, and the intense synchronicity of the dancers in this routine was just one example of the deliberate effort behind every singe routine that Onyx put together for the showcase

Onyx will be performing this spring showcase again tonight in the Lerner Black Box Theater. Three words of advice: Go see it!

Onyx Spring Showcase Promo Shot via Facebook