By Jevon Phillips
June 27, 2013, 10:15 a.m.
Jabbawockeez, about as close to hip-hop dance royalty as you’re going to get, recently returned to Las Vegas to reclaim a throne no one bothered to try to pick up.
The ever-evolving group — which will perform in Long Beach in November at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center — now has a home at the Jabbawockeez Theater in the Luxor Hotel and Casino with a new show called “Prism.” Directed by award-winning choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo, “Prism” melds lighting trickery with dancing and a bit more of a storytelling vibe than did the group’s first show.
After winning the first season of MTV’s now-defunct show “Randy Jackson presents America’s Best Dance Crew,” the masked Jabbawockeez spread its brand with commercials, movies appearances, a memorable number with Shaquille O’Neal at the 2009 NBA All-Star game, and a show on the Las Vegas Strip at the MGM Grand (later the Monte Carlo) called “Mus I.C.”
When three friends from San Diego — Joe Larot, Kevin Brewer and Phil Tayag — decided they wanted to freestyle dance, inspired by Michael Jackson, Bruce Lee and several movies about hip-hop dance styles, they never expected to star on television (America’s Best Dance Crew) and create the first freestyle dance show to be in residency in Las Vegas and Australia.
But that is precisely what happened. With their precision moves and distinctive white masks, the current seven-member crew (the original three joined by Chris Gatdula, Rynan Paguio, Jeff Nguyen, and Ben Chung) parlayed winning American’s Best Dance Crew in 2008 into numerous TV appearances including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dancing With The Stars and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
Opening on tour with New Kids On The Block in 2009 (including at stop in Atlantic City), Jabbawockeez followed that success with tours of Asia and Australia and eventually the ongoing gigs in Vegas and Australia.
Jabbawockeez has brought its show MÜS I.C. (pronounced muse-I-see) to Harrah’s Resorts now through Sept. 2. It is the crew’s first East Coast residency.
Following the show’s opening night, Jabbawockeez founding member Kevin Brewer and Rynan Paguio spoke with AC Weekly.
- MÜS.I.C. : Performing MÜS.I.C. at the Monte Carlo (June 18 2012)
Before their appearance on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew in 2008, not many people were familiar with the Jabbawockeez — the seven-member hip-hop dance crew that took the championship that first season.
Today, the Jabbawockeez — with their masked faces, gloved hands and amazing choreography — have made a name for themselves by being the first dance group to headline a Las Vegas show, which they are bringing to Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City from Aug. 7 to Sept. 2.
“It was huge when we got that opportunity,” said dancer Rynan “Rainen” Paguio. “We never knew it would get this big.”
Paguio said the dancers got together in 1999 through a mutual friend and fellow dancer, Gary Kendall, who has since passed away.
“Some of us were in Sacramento and some were in San Diego,” he said. “A lot of us were going to college and just stepping out into living on our own, so we were supporting each other.”
Before Kendall’s death, he named the group after Lewis Carroll’s character, the Jabberwocky — “a mystical dragon, a mysterious creature.”
“And that encompassed our whole concept,” Paguio said. “We changed the spelling to hip- hop it up a little and make it cooler.”
Paguio said the use of masks and gloves came from an idea from original dance crew members Kevin Brewer and Joe Larot after Kendall performed wearing both.
Dancehub Magazine were invited to attend “MÜS.I.C.”, performed by the world reknowned ABDC (America’s Best Dance Crew) Season 1 Winners, Jabbawockeez held at Jupiters Hotel & Casino on the Gold Coast last night. It’s fair to say that unless you are a true hip hop fan or watch Pay TV most Australian’s would not know of Jabbawockeez and the justified hype that surrounds them.
As a mid 40′s male, pay TV fan and non-dancer I was keen to watch this crew perform on stage given their stage history. We planned to attend the show some weeks ago and drove over 2 hours to watch them perform. Critics posted comments such as “High energy entertainment” and “AMAZING”. I was excited to see the first dance show from Las Vegas brought to Australian shores.
What happens next defied belief. The seven core members of Jabbawockeez enter the stage and continue to perform routine after routine with song choices that span decades. Inspiration is drawn from Fred Astair to Coldplay, old school dance crews like “Rock Steady Crew” and even movie soundtracks from “Breakdance” in the 80′s.
The choreography, lighting, stage design and even costumes are totally managed by the crew and this simply illustrates their collective creative genius as artists. We have been lucky to see world class shows across multiple genres. Every now and then something comes along that raises the hair on the back of your neck. “Jabbawockeez and MÜS.I.C” is a hair raiser. Sometimes giving 5 stars isn’t enough.
Source: DanceHub Magazine
- MÜS.I.C. : DanceHub Magazine Australia
They’ve conquered LA, triumphed in Las Vegas and now they’ve landed on the Gold Coast.
Jabbawokeez, the award-winning US dance crew, who made their name on America’s Got Talent and were winners of the inaugural MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew in 2008, have arrived in Australia and will kick off their five-month-long tour on the Gold Coast on Saturday, April 21.
The crew will be the first resident show at Jupiters Hotel and Casino’s new state-of-the-art theatre, which has just undergone a $20 million redevelopment.
Jabbawokeez, who will be on the Gold Coast until August, will be joined in Australia by So You Think You Can Dance choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo of Nappytabs.
“I want to go whale watching, I want to ride a kangaroo, I want to hug a koala,” Jeff “Phi” Nguyen said.
“I’m just excited to embrace the culture and bring a little of our culture to the Gold Coast as well.”
“Being here and putting our show together in the Gold Coast from Vegas is amazing,” Rynan “Kid Rainen” Paguio said. “We’ve been out to the beach, just laying out and having fun.”
Source: Courier Mail
The Jabbawockeez’s won the “America’s Best Dance Crew” title in 2008 and said they always dreamed of having a show on the Las Vegas strip.
The Jabbawockeez announced recently that their popular Las Vegas show “MUS.I.C”, which opened in 2010, will be extended through Spring 2012 at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino.
By Nalea J. Ko, Reporter
October 7, 2011
The Jabbawockeez now have their dance crew name in lights at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Reviewers and audiences have praised their high-energy dance show since it opened in 2010.
“Ever since we even started Jabbawockeez in ‘03 we always talked about how it would be cool the fact that if we had a Jabbawockeez show on the strip,” said Chris “Cristyle” Gatdula, 30. “It’s something that we’re still probably trippin’ off of.”
Their popular show “MUS.I.C.” debuted in October of last year and has been extended through Spring 2012.
Each show sees 11 Jabbawockeez decked out in their popular white gloves and masks. Using dance, music and a dash of humor, the Jabbawockeez take the audience on an audio-visual journey that strays from the conventional Las Vegas magic or showgirls performances.
A combination of water and Red Bull keeps the Jabbawockeez’s energy level high to perform for each show, said Kevin “KB” Brewer. To unwind they have VIP access to the Monte Carlo steam room and sauna.
“It’s been like 250-plus shows under our belt with no days off and we’ve been blessed, for the most part, to stay healthy and complete,” 34-year-old Brewer said about training like an athlete for the show.
The road to Vegas was years in the making for the Jabbawockeez. Before there were 11 members, there were the 3 Musky: Joseph Larot, Kevin Brewer and Phil Tayag. The Jabbawockeez, which takes its name from the Lewis Carroll fictional storybook character, was comprised of eight original members.