A Phenomenal Hip Hop Show in Eugene, Oregon
I have always admired the cultural diversity of Eugene. Not to mention the arts around every corner- it’s like heaven to be surrounded by theater, music and art. I recently had an opportunity to see such culture in action, at Phenomenon Hip Hop Company’s “VIP” show. This show was held at the Hult Center, a well-known venue in the Eugene area.
What I enjoyed most about this show was the variety of ways hip hop dance was shown and expressed. Some of the dance pieces told a specific story, while others focused on the history and evolution of hip hop dance, or were solely created for entertainment purposes. The phenomenon dancers started off the show by jumping along the isles near the audience, dressed in bright green jungle attire. This piece was very entertaining, especially since the dancers interacted with the audience.
Another piece showcased individuals walking down a city street- everyone from business professionals to homeless individuals to bank robbers were represented in the dance. It put a spin on the activities we’re involved in each day, by adding a special “hip hop flavor”. Another piece focused solely on breakdancers. About four or five dancers collaborated and played off of one another’s movements, creating very unique choreography. There were even a few head spins!
In addition to that, the phenomenon dancers also created a piece representing the death and rebirth of hip hop. This dance began in a somber fashion, and became gradually more upbeat as the piece evolved; the dancers first arrived on stage in black hooded sweatshirts and moved across the stage very slowly, to emphasize this story.
I enjoyed these particular dance pieces, as the choreography and stories involved were very sophisticated and intelligent. Not only were the dancers having a blast on stage, they were also telling stories the audience could relate to.
Phenomenon is a Eugene-based company, directed by Vanessa Fuller. The company participates in a variety of performances at the Hult Center and surrounding areas. They have two shows coming up this summer: On August 18th, the company will be participating in a community event under the Washington Jefferson Bridge. For more information on Phenomenon’s upcoming shows, visit www.phenomenonhiphop.com.
For more information on dance companies in Oregon, check out our Trips We Love section.