Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

‘Exclamat!on’ puts on wicked performance

Courtesy of Joshua Catino

Somerville Theatre hosted Suffolk University’s dance group W!CKED for their annual dance showcase “Exclamat!on Dance Exhibition” April 21.

The show featured many dance groups from the Boston area, showcasing high energy and unique pieces from each group and featuring international dance sensation Jaja Vankova. Each performance explored modern, contemporary and hip-hop influences, making for a captivating and unique dance showcase.

The hosting group, W!CKED, performed three separate pieces, each accentuating the team’s versatility and passion for performance. Their first dance stood out amongst the rest as a vessel to showcase each individual dancer. Featuring songs like “Goosebumps” by Travis Scott, this performance set the rest of the exhibition on course to be a unique and enjoyable viewing experience for all involved.

W!CKED’s final dance performance was high energy and held some of the most impressive sequences. The group showcased their performance chemistry with some intense partner work that was exciting and required a great deal of trust and support from the team. The performance closed with one of the group’s most intense stunts, where one of the dancers jumped off of the other dancers. This flashy finale to the group performances solidified that Exclamat!on was W!CKED’s time to shine.

Vankova’s featured performance was stunning, subverting expectations by stepping out on stage in a gray wig and sporting a cane. Her sharp and subtle movements in contrast with the elderly artistry were mesmerizing and had the audience in uproar. 

The true stars of this exhibition were the student and community-led groups that performed. The prestige of Vankova as a performer could not compete with the soul that each group brought in their message and unique dance style.

Suffolk’s Pasion Latina also performed a medley of partner work that featured its group beautifully. Founded in 2013, the dancers never fail to bring a taste of Latin culture to the stage. 

The group of eight engulfed the stage with presence and passion that captivated the audience and had them cheering at every moment. Pasion Latina was one of the only groups that did not perform a strictly hip-hop-inspired number, which made their performance all the more unique and exciting to view. The performance garnered just as much excitement, if not more, than its hip-hop counterparts.

INC, one of the Boston community dance troupes, was a standout performance that deviated from many of the groups in their musicality and storytelling. The diverse group of dancers formed in 2017 and has since been working to offer a unique style of dance to the community of Boston. 

While most of the groups used hard-hitting and fast-paced music with exciting beats, INC’s performance was a soulful song. The lyrics portraying a story of love translated well to the group’s dance abilities and team chemistry. 

The crew was able to feature many of its dancers through partner work that showed off their dancing skills and acting abilities. The oftentimes aggressive and tactical movement of hip-hop was softened to be more tender and mild, which worked extremely well for INC s performance.

Liv3lihood, a dance troupe from Providence, has garnered many accolades for their talent, including first place at Prelude New England in 2018, 2019 and 2022. The team performed a piece titled “AUTO,” which explored the relationship between humans and technology.

This concept was expertly constructed through dance. The group’s synchronous moments were mesmerizing to watch and when out of sync, each dancer carried their performance with captivating acting. This group demanded the audience’s attention with unique movements that were nearly unsettling due to their erratic execution, which only added to their dance’s message.

Two of the groups, Haus of Snap and QWAM exhibited their love of performance while showcasing their talented group of LGBTQIA+ dancers and allies. 

QWAM, an all-male dance group, showcased their mission through the amount of self-expression each dancer was able to showcase by using their costumes and movement. They featured all their dancers with pride and excitement that was fostered by every performer on stage. The group’s goal to bring confidence and represent their community was definitely achieved through their exciting and theatrical performance.

Northeastern, MIT and Boston College had dance teams that performed at the exhibition as well.

Phaymus, one of Boston College’s hip-hop dance groups, had one of the best performances of the night. Their high-energy group of dancers had an enthralling amount of spunk and sass while on stage. The group’s dance called back to the Netflix show “Too Hot To Handle,” which made for a risque and comedic performance. The audience was in uproar over the dance’s heavy influence from pop culture. SZA’s SNL skit song “Big Boy” and Ashnikko’s “Slumber Party” made this performance a huge crowd pleaser.

Northeastern’s team Revolve had a riveting sequence. The team’s performance of an apocalyptic dance scene was a pleasure to watch, with unique movement styles that were powerful. Their movement style was nearly like combat, with sharp arm movements. This team’s costuming was dark and futuristic, making this performance one of the most theatrical in tandem with their specific movement style for this piece’s message.

Exclamat!on was a huge success for W!CKED and all the teams who performed. The dance exhibition is hosted every year by Suffolk’s hip-hop team and is sure to top this year’s performance next spring.

Follow Julia on Twitter @juliacapraro

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About the Contributor
Julia Capraro, Editor-at-Large | she/her
Julia is a sophomore broadcast journalism and psychology major from Canton, Massachusetts. In addition to writing for the journal, she is President of Suffolk Visual Arts Club. She loves cooking, crochet and reading in her free time.

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‘Exclamat!on’ puts on wicked performance