Intense, Energetic Pieces Drive Koreo Showcase


Claire Morton

College junior Mini Zhang (left), College junior Chelsea Cross, College sophomore Calvin Gang, College sophomore Gabriela Hurtado-Ramos, College sophomore Alan Rueda and College sophomore Sue Mengchen Zue perform a dance piece at the Koreo showcase last Wednesday.

Clara Shannon

The crowd in the Cat in the Cream got everything it wanted at the Koreo showcase last Wednesday, from heavy beats to heart-wrenching poetry. Koreo, Oberlin’s co-ed hip-hop fusion dance troupe, collaborated with fellow hip-hop student performers for a fun and exhilarating show featuring not only dance, but spoken word, beat-boxing and music as well.

The show kicked off with a dance duet by College juniors Lingyu (Mini) Zhang and Chelsea Cross set to the music of Kill the Noise, Until the Ribbon Breaks, All Good Funk Alliance and B2K. Perfectly in sync, the pair gave an impeccable performance with just the right amount of energy to ignite the crowd.

The next performance showcased the entire 10-person cast. Despite the large ensemble and intricate routine, the group performed “Koreo Kollage,” which was set to the music of B2K and MANN, with ease.

A solo a cappella piece by double-degree first-year Khalid Taylor followed. He offered a soulful change of pace with the songs “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys and John Legend’s “Ordinary People.” His voice carried through the room, entrancing the audience with his passion and great sensitivity.

To add to the intensity of the program, College first-year Annika Hansteen Izora performed a poem she titled “All or Nothing,” which was nothing short of amazing. Undeniably powerful in her delivery, Hansteen Izora’s spoken word performance was breathtaking and compelling.

In contrast to the seriousness of the previous two pieces, Koreo’s members gave an upbeat and fun performance called “Going For Gold,” which was set to Bruno Mars’s “Treasure” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.”

“This goes out to all the introspective girls out there,” College senior Jonathan “J Dub” Weiss said before he performed his rap “Swagga Lynda Barry,” with beats by Serge Kalvini. Creative and committed in his delivery, J Dub was supported by the crowd cheering on his performance.

Soon, Koreo members Cross and College sophomore Alan Rueda began a rap battle in which they invited members of the audience to join. Set to beats by DJ Marky Mark, the battle added a light-hearted, fun and humorous touch to the night.

After a somewhat lengthy intermission, the show continued with a freestyle dance by Zhang, who prefaced her performance with a video and speech on the importance of the relationship between DJ and dancer. She moved effortlessly across the stage with confidence and charisma, showcasing her talents as a dancer. With great energy and drive, Zhang’s style and passion shined.

Next was a solo dance by community member Tiachelle “Ty” Clifford, performed to “Show Me” by Kid Ink. Although the routine was obviously intricate, Clifford moved freely about the stage without difficulty. As he “popped and locked” to every beat, the audience bobbed along.

College junior Robin Wong’s original composition, “Second Sun,” followed, performed on the flute, ukelele and vocals. While alternating between the fluteand ukelele, Wong spoke and spat beats into the microphone, which he then played through a loop pedal. Although strikingly different from the rest of the program, Wong’s piece added uplifting and compelling variety to the night.

Next, College sophomore Gracie Goodman wowed the audience with her impressive beatboxing talents. With only a microphone in her hand, she gave a riveting performance as she switched tempos with ease. Never losing the beat or the attention of the audience, Goodman’s set was a highlight of the night.

Artists Van ’Go and DJ Pete Karaoke’s “No Sleep,” “Wake Up” and “Go Time” brought the audience to its feet. “In intimate settings such as this, I try to get the crowd very involved,” Van ’Go said, after asking the audience to stand up along with him. The crowd cheered, clapped and swayed along with the music, clearly enjoying every minute. Van ’Go’s delivery and DJ Pete Karaoke’s beats were smooth and entertaining.

Another freestyle performance followed, titled “Break Free” with beats by DJ Marky Mark. Koreo then closed the show with a number choreographed by Rueda and Cross, set to “Thinkin’ Bout You” by Frank Ocean, “Talk That Talk” by Rihanna and “Mine” by Beyoncé.

All in all, the night was an entertaining showcase of hip-hop and other talent at Oberlin. Koreo and the rest of the artists demonstrated their undeniable talents with engaging and passionate performances that the crowd will not soon forget.