Ice ice baby: dancing and singing away the winter blues

Arts & Entertainment by
Sara Traore Photography

One of McGill’s dance crews, hip-hop group Urban Groove is hosting the university’s first ever winter performance showcasing many disciplines of the performing arts. From assorted dance styles to harmonic a cappella ensembles, the show will feature performances from Mosaica Dance Company, Inertia Dance Collective, Effusion, Tonal Ecstasy, and the McGill B-Boys.  Though the groups themselves will perform separately, the show is a collaborative endeavour. The goal of this initiative is to encourage the integration of various artistic disciplines while engaging the support of the McGill community.

Urban Groove began as a small recreational hip-hop dance club in 2003. Over the last few years, the group has expanded its efforts, growing not only in number but also in style and magnitude. Comprised of 32 members, the group holds rehearsals once a week and performs both on and off campus, including an annual spring show, various charity events, and guest appearances alongside other clubs. This past summer, Urban Groove hit the stage at Tonic Club Lounge, opening for Girlicious. Urban Groove offers an innovative approach to their performances, appealing to a wide range of dancers from all backgrounds and skill levels.

“We really value the diversity of our dancers and what each individual has to bring to the table,” says Bea Britneff, one of the event’s co-ordinators. “You can really see how a group like Urban Groove allows someone to develop a sense of confidence and team building skills that carry over into other aspects of your life.”  

Although the event is hosted by Urban Groove, the intention is to feature the full range of abilities of all the performing groups.  

“We don’t want it to be all about us,” says Anna Lermer, a facilitating member of the group. “It really is a group effort. What the audience will see is only a small portion of the time and commitment that has gone into putting this show together.”

Each group has co-ordinated their own numbers, and in some cases even mixed their own music.Add in all the organization that goes into lighting, costume design, and personal flare, in Lermer’s words, “the sheer quality of each performance will blow your mind!”

With all the effort that goes into rehearsing and making these shows accessible to students, it’s important to encourage the support of these clubs and the performing arts. “The challenge is getting enough exposure,” Britneff says. “I think providing people with a visual is the easiest way to get our name out there and convey what we’re all about.”

Urban Groove will be performing December 3 at 7 p.m. in the Shatner Ballroom. Tickets are $7 at the door or $5 in advance in Leacock on November 30 (10 a.m.-5 p.m.), December 1 (10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.), and December 2 (10 a.m.-3 p.m.). Proceeds from ticket sales go towards AIDS Community Care Montreal.