Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Spotlight On: Rhythm City

We're catching up with familiar faces for today's spotlight feature: Rhythm City. Many viewers of America's Best Dance Crew Season 4 will remember a condensed version of this crew representing on that show earlier this summer. But they're a much larger company led by CEO/Artistic Director Alonzo Williams. We wanted to show love to this East Coast crew for carrying themselves extremely well in the public spotlight while on ABDC as well as having a continued influence on dancers in their community. (Photo above is from their myspace site.)

You can see their official website here:

You can see their myspace site here:

And here's a clip of Rhythm City performing at the Main Event:

Since the TV viewing public has met some members of the team through ABDC, we're going to focus more on impressions of Rhythm City before they were on the show. After all, it's no secret that many of us across the country (regardless of our local affiliations) appreciated what Rhythm City brought to the show. We can't speak for the judges or show producers of ABDC for why Rhythm City didn't advance further in that televised competition, but we can show our appreciation for the team. It was hard to see the team leave the show because they appeared to be the strongest contenders representing the East Coast among all the crews. They were a breath of fresh air for the public. And there were many online fans who voiced their support for these guys and gals. They left the show too soon.

If we go a little further back in time, we can recall Rhythm City lighting up the stage at World of Dance NY 2009. They took the stage by storm. Even among the audience, there were whispers of keeping your eyes on Rhythm City for their commanding performances. It seems like their reputation had preceded themselves. With a large number of members on stage, the whole crew displayed nonstop energy and versatility for their entire set. Whether it was incorporating acrobatic tricks, hard hitting moves, bboy flares, or ballet techniques; Rhythm City flowed seamlessly on stage. It was a non-stop spectacle that they put on at WOD and it was just weeks before they were to appear on ABDC. One thing that really stood out about them, as compared to the average West Coast hip hop choreo team, is their aggressiveness across the board. Perhaps it was just the intensity with which they attacked their moves and less about doing tricks. And their intensity didn't seem forced, which only made their performance more enjoyable. At the WOD performance, they also didn't seem locked into one style, which was great because their various members can showcase their unique flavors. In contrast, we may be seeing too much of a popping-inspired choreo trend among some West Coast choreo teams (especially with basic tut sequences and head/chest isolations).

As a performing arts company, Rhythm City has definitely taken the right steps in marketing themselves well online as seen in their websites and organization. Vivid, energetic graphic designs and a cohesive presentation mark their broadcasted image. And they've continued to offer classes as well as community service initiatives that benefit the youth in their local areas. Both sides of their public image can only help their next professional steps, especially after their appearance on ABDC. So what's in store for them now? We hope that Rhythm City will continue to expand their influence across the world. They represent another side of the East Coast scene and people in other countries definitely need to see that. The team seems to have a good sense of their own identity as well as having the administrative skills to create opportunities for their members. Will we see full-on theatrical shows created exclusively by Rhythm City? Or will we see their members being invited to dance studios in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa to spread their unique flavor? Wherever they go, they're an exciting young crew that we hope will continue to make their mark as time progresses.

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