The Jabbawockeez have been performing for audiences worldwide with their multifaceted Hip-Hop inspired dancing since 2003. Founded by Kevin Brewer, Joseph Larot and Phil Tayag in San Diego, California, the group gained national attention after appearing in music videos, the NBA All Star Game, and winning the first season of MTV’s Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew.
With the recent retirement of magician and Las Vegas staple, Lance Burton, Monte Carlo president, Anton Nikodemus brought the Jabbawockeez to the hotel, after several successful runs at the MGM Grand of their show MUS.I.C. The Jabbawockeez now move in to the 9:30 time slot (Wednesday through Sunday), right after comic impressionist Frank Caliendo, who appears at 7:30.
After a warm up show on October 7, the Jabbawockeez launched their all new show, MUS.I.C (muse – i – see), on Friday, Oct. 22. The group describes their show as, “the audio-visual story of inspiration brought to life through the harmonization of sound and movement.” The show is an amazing (and I don’t use that word lightly) series of interconnected vignettes that tell a story through dance.
The Jabbawockeez, Anton Nikodemus and Frank Caliendo at the Jabbawockeez after party at the Ignite Lounge at Monte Carlo.
Like most Vegas shows, there is something for everyone here. While MUS.I.C is deeply rooted in Hip-Hop culture; from the dance, to the costumes (created by a team led by ex-Project Runway contestant, Kara Saun) and music; the show incorporates diversity in both dance styles (breaking, modern dance, popping, locking and jazz) and music selections that help it appeal to a wider audience without alienating the core fans. For the show, the Jabbawockeez worked with choreographers Napoleon & Tabitha D’umo, aka NappyTabs.
The music in the show is a mix of original songs from producers, the Bangerz, as well as current and classic songs from a variety of artists including; Zapp, Queen, Herbie Hancock, N’Sync, Bell Biv Devoe and Dem Franchize Boyz. The music sounds like an eclectic mixtape that your cool DJ friend made for you. The show has a bit of a party atmosphere, which gives the MUS.I.C a club like vibe.
The story within MUS.I.C is all about creative inspiration, which is something the group, feels strongly about. The execution of that story is like I said, amazing. The show pulls together a visual dance narrative that includes references to dance icons like Fred Astaire and Michael Jackson and seems to move back and forth through time and across genres. These guys really display a wide range of influences in the show; I was surprised to see martial arts, The Matrix and even the classic Anime, Cowboy Beebop as elements within the show.
As MUS.I.C ended, the audience awarded the Jabbawockeez with a well deserved standing ovation. Kevin Brewer, Phil Tayag, Ryan Paguio, Benjamin Chung, Jeffrey Nguyen, Christopher Gatdula, and Joseph Larot, have brought their form of hybrid Hip-Hop dance to Las Vegas, and the strip may never be the same again.
For tickets and to download their mixtape, check out www.jbwkz.com.