Sunday, December 20, 2009

Groovaloos: Groovey?


GROOVALOOS is a fun piece for anyone who wants to see good break-dancing and a lot Hip Hop dance in one sitting. The Show is especially good for anyone who has not seen anyone spinning on their head. I worked with the creators of these moves over 20 years ago, so little impresses me, despite the fact that what they do is impressive, and need be appreciated - finally - for the skill required to do so. Extraordinary.
What was wrong with the Show was the storytelling. Having worked with real Hip Hop pioneers, I didn’t buy any of their stories about struggle. But, none of these kids had any real struggle, as in the creators of the moves they now execute. None of them know what the revolution was. None of these kids understand the art of invention, and where that authenticity comes from. Certainly not joy, but the pain from which joy is found - there is a difference.
This hybrid-show is pretentious from the start. My date for the evening (being from the Broadway community) felt the say way. We really did not care about anyone whose story was being told, they were contrived and trite. And, the insight into dancers didn't come near as insightful as the show it borrowed the idea from - A Chorus Line. Especially I don’t care about someone from an upper class family having problems with their parents because instead of going to college, they are finding the meaning of life dancing with the Groovaloos.
More odd, WHERE was the "live" DJ, and why were the stories on Tape - and presented as voice overs? In a piece of theater I want to hear the actors talk about themselves. The stories got confusing and hard to follow them by the end. The show comes out of an LA mentality, glitter-ally and commercially.
The styles they sought to educate us with....old school Popping and Locking for example looked lame and inauthentic. Styles within the genre blurred. In the end, I thought it strong with dance elements with a narrator tying to be poetic, but very weak as a piece of theater. Def Jam is more insightful, and what ever happened to Jam on the Groove - the first Hip Hop show by Rock Steady Crew (Mr. Wiggles, Crazy Legs, Fabel and company) in 1995 - now that was the real stuff.

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