'You Got Served' group pops into Spaulding tonight

by Christine Huggins | 1/25/05 6:00am

Has this cold weather got you down? Then it is time to take a break to see BREAK, one of America's top breakdancing teams. BREAK specializes in breakdancing, locking, popping, power tumbling, spinning, flips and other visually stunning moves, all of which they'll put on display when they perform in Spaulding Auditorium Tuesday night.

The show itself is entitled "The Urban Funk Spectacular" and traces the history of hip-hop dancing over the last 30 years. The BREAK website notes that the show is "a high energy tribute to this creatively-charged American art form. A combination of pure physical strength and agility propels this group of New York's finest urban artists through a show of breathtaking movements to a pumping soundtrack with a live DJ and Master Percussionists." As to history, the exact origins of hip-hop are unclear, but the dance elements come from the African tradition while the muscular and acrobatic elements are influenced by the martial arts films from the 1970s.

"It's great that BREAK is coming to Dartmouth. I think that because we're isolated in Hanover with only music videos on BET/MTV and magazines sold in Topside to give us an idea of what's going on today in the hip-hop world, it is important to be knowledgeable of its roots," says Kimberly Marable '05, co-director of tonight's opening act, SHEBA. "Before the Beyonces, the Missy Elliots, the Jay-Zs, the Ushers and Lil' Jons; before getting crunk and bootie-shaking, there was the music, the b-boy, the DJ, the art-form: hip-hop in its purest state."

Lyndsey Moran '07 and Ashley Halpin '07, both members of the Programming Board, saw BREAK perform in the national hip-hop conference held here at Dartmouth last term and were particularly impressed. They talked to the BREAK producer and worked to get them to come to Hanover. "We thought it would be something really new and fresh, as opposed to one of the more typical events that we sponsor," Moran explained. "This is definitely the first time we have had a breakdancing group come to Dartmouth, especially one of this caliber! We are really pushing to have diverse events come to campus and BREAK seemed perfect."

The dancers themselves are some of the most impressive dancers you'll ever see and have competed in breakdancing battles at some of the hippest locales in the country, from the Bronx to Harlem to Los Angeles. In fact, you may better know BREAK as the group that choreographed "You Got Served," a popular hip-hop movie that came out in 2004. Kristin Hayden, a member of Sheba, notes that "Sheba is just opening for them, and super excited to be doing so -- we get to say we danced with the 'You Got Served' dancers!" Hayden encourages people to go see BREAK. "It is really amazing that BREAK is coming to Hanover because it is so different from what Dartmouth students usually get to see. This is an event that everyone should see. Students should really go even if they would never usually go to something like this -- from what I've seen of the group it will be awesome."

A New York-based group, BREAK has received standing ovations across five continents performing with the likes of P. Diddy, Jay-Z, 50 Cent and Madonna. Following tonight's performance, they will be heading to Jacksonville to perform at Super Bowl XXXIX. They will be performing tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the Hop box office.