For the past month, US hip hop dance crew the Jabbawockeez have been lighting up the stage at the MGM Cotai in Macau. The group’s first-ever Macau residency has seen them perform their “True To Yourself” show an impressive three nights a week.
The Jabbawockeez first introduced the world to their signature white masks and slick, synchronised moves when they appeared on the US TV show America’s Got Talent in 2006. They went on to win America’s Best Dance Crew in 2008, and have since performed alongside the likes of Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars.
Young Post were lucky enough to see the crew perform on their opening night.
Before the show, the dancers treated MGM guests to a sneak preview of what was to come by performing a two-minute flashmob in the hotel’s lobby. The robot-inspired routine – during which the dancers seamlessly broke away to high-five onlookers – upped the anticipation for the main event later on.
“We wear our masks to show that there’s no division, no bias or race when it comes to the Jabbawockeez,” crew member Rynan Paguio, who goes by the stage name Kid Rainen, said during a press conference just before the show. “We work as a team, and that’s what makes us who we are.”
The name Jabbawockeez was inspired by the fantastical monster from the Lewis Carroll nonsense poem Jabberwocky.
Joe Larot, aka Punkee, said that he loved the poem because of how distinct and dynamic it is – traits which the Jabbawockeez constantly strive to embody.
The crew achieved this and more during their evening performance. The show was full of surprises, starting with a masked janitor who wandered around the auditorium before climbing on stage and effortlessly breaking out some moves.
While the choreography was no doubt the main focus of the hour-long show, praise must also be given to amazing set. The Jabbawockeez tailored their routines to make use of the theatre setting, with plenty of trapdoor entrances and exits, not to mention a huge LED backdrop. They also showed off their range with a variety of dance styles – from B-boy to funk – and songs – from Singing in the Rain to Turn Down for What.
“We are known as a hip hop group, but if it’s good music, we’re going to move to it,” said Jeffrey Nguyen.
It’s clear the ensemble know how to create drama on stage, but they also showed off their goofy side, using physical comedy to create more than a few laugh-out-loud moments in the crowd.
Before the show, Punkee promised theatregoers a “roller coaster of emotions”; Jabbawockeez certainly delivered on that.