Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spotlight On: Ridonkulous

For many years, Boston has been a hot spot in the East Coast for street dancers whether they're bboys or poppers. So, it's not surprising that a hip hop choreo team would spring up nearby at MIT. Today's spotlight feature is on Ridonkulous. Starting in 2005 and according to their website, they recently revamped to bring dance to their local surroundings. Plus, they just took third place at Elements X in Boston. (Photo above is from their MIT website.)

You can see Ridonkulous' myspace site here:

You can see their Youtube channel here:

And you can see a video of them performing at Elements X in Boston here:

Ridonkulous' members seem to draw from many of their members' diverse dance training whether it be ballet, tap, jazz, street dance styles, or bhangra. But it's their quirky sense of humor which also helps them to stand out. At World of Dance NY 2009, they took the stage wearing outfits that looked like retro-fitted radiation protective lab coats. Rubber gloves and goggles were included. At Elements X, they started their performance by dancing to the theme song from the U.S. version of "The Office." Why hasn't anyone else thought of using that before? Not to mention that during part of their Elements X performance, some members were actually rolling around on giant exercise balls on stage. If anything, Ridonkulous has shown that they're willing to be different and to take chances on playful staging ideas that are literally outside of the box.

Watching them perform at the WOD NY 2009 was a treat because their energy level was surprisingly higher than many of the preceding groups. They had fewer members on stage in comparison to other competitors. But that didn't take away from their stage presence. Whether it was intentional or not, Ridonkulous gave the impression that they weren't going to be pitied or underestimated. They entertained with their wild yet quirky energy and got the crowd laughing at several points. That can be rare to see among today's hip hop choreo teams when we choose to come off as hard edged with lots of swagger. The value of comedy is rarely considered by some performers, but let's not forget how powerful it is in winning over an audience. On the West Coast, Poreotics has embraced comedy and humor in their performances and it has become one of their strong points. Ridonkulous is embracing it as well but with a different flavor.

We're hoping to see more of Ridonkulous in the near future as well as the unique Boston/Cambridge flavor that they can bring to the stage. We can only imagine how wild some of their shows could be if they had elaborate costumes and props.

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