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Good Vibes: Hip-Hop Showcase

FemiNINE to fill the Tsai stage


Cassie Aviles has a dancing trick: hairspray.

She pulls from her handbag the pair of three-inch black pumps she will wear when she performs in this weekend’s hip-hop showcase. Spraying the slippery soles can make the difference between a rolled ankle and an injury-free performance. “We haven’t had any injuries yet, but the week isn’t over,” she says, knocking on wood.

Aviles (COM’10) is a member of Vibes, BU’s all-women hip-hop group. As the East Coast’s reputation for hip-hop talent grows, the dance troupe is hosting that talent at the Tsai Performance Center tomorrow in FemiNINE, its largest hip-hop showcase since it began in 2000. Vibes is hosting 21 hip-hop teams in what’s expected to be sold-out shows.

For the women of Vibes, it’s an opportunity to share the stage with some of their dance idols.

“All the choreographers were flattered that I asked them to come,” says Vibes artistic director Julie Gratz (CFA’11). “I’m like, what are you talking about? You’re amazing.”

The Vibes invited 13 groups to dance, and an additional 8 asked to attend; at that point, and for the first time, the group had to turn performers away. Emcee Bryan East, cofounder of the Boogie Bots, a dance group that appeared on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew (ABDC) in 2008, will introduce groups such as Static Noyze, a recent contestant on ABDC, FR3SH, Future Funk, BU Edge, and others. Each group brings a unique hip-hop flavor.

“We are best known for our turns and leaps,” says BU Edge member Amanda Fredrickson (SMG’11).

Vibes treasurer Mina Vahedi (SED’11) says that the show will impress those who don’t normally enjoy dance. Sometimes when she’s watching, she says, she forgets to breathe.

Creating breathtaking performances is Vibes’ goal. The 20 members will show off their sassy, jazzy, edgy style, honed during three or four practices a week. Members post song suggestions and dance videos to review on the group’s year-and-a-half-old Facebook thread.

“The hip-hop world is all about the online scene,” says Gratz. “We are all in constant contact. We also call each other five times a day.”

They eat together, hang out together, and dance together. “It’s never been this much of a family before,” says Vahedi.

The Vibes hip-hop showcase FemiNINE will be performed at the Tsai Performance Center, 685 Commonwealth Ave., on Saturday, March 27, at 3 and 7 p.m. The showcase lineup is at the Vibes Facebook page. Tickets are available for $12 today, Friday, March 26, at the GSU link from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., $15 at the door.

Check out the Vibes promotional video.

Anna Webster can be reached at annaweb@bu.edu.


One Comment on Good Vibes: Hip-Hop Showcase

  • Mary Ann on 03.27.2010 at 12:02 am

    Vibes Review

    Can’t wait to see the show!! Have fun, Mina! We’re proud of you!

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