AMC has provided audiences with great original series such as “Mad Men,” “The Walking Dead,” and “Hell On Wheels.” However, the most breathtaking program that aired on their channel was “Breaking Bad.” Spanning the course of five (sometimes seen as six) seasons, this show captivated and moved viewers in ways we never thought possible. Often compared to HBO’s “The Wire,” “Breaking Bad” had fantastic writers and performers.
Comedian Ronnie Jordan came to perform on Feb. 19. He was able to please the majority of the crowd as he started the show by opening with a little jig and enjoyable observational humor, as well as self-deprecating humor aimed at his weight. As the show went on though he lost some momentum.
This is no fault of his own because, yet again, he was placed on the Bonnie (Hurlburt Student Center) stage. As I stated in my previous article on Rob O’Reilly, comedy just doesn’t work well in forced settings like that. It’s too noisy of an area and it’s very difficult for people to pay attention when they are more focused on their food. Continue reading Another good comedian, another bad room
Magician Ryan Waide comes on the show to talk about his magic prowess. Now although he wouldn’t call himself a professional magician, Waide has performed for many benefits (getting paid I might add) and has a wonderful extension of knowledge about his craft. A very funny interview that you should give a listen. Continue reading Radcentric: Ryan Waide’s magic show
I want everyone to sit back, look around and remember where they are because we may be living in the last few months of one of the greatest cult shows of all time.
“Community” returned on Feb. 7 much to the joy of its small fan base, and the producers and show runners are making one last attempt to find an audience for their weirdtastic show. Continue reading The beginning of the end of “Community”
On Feb. 21 from 8 to 10 p.m., Radford University will be electrified by the British percussion theatrical show STOMP.
This landmark rhythmic creation was conceived and brought to life by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, both of whom have long and varied careers in the UK performing arts scene. The fruit of their labor, STOMP, has been nominated for several of the entertainment industry’s biggest awards including a Grammy, four Emmys, two Olivier awards and has won both an Obie and a Drama Desk award.
One of the major attributes that really makes this theatrical show stand out from the rest is that it’s a completely organic percussion-based show. The performers create magnificent sounds with everyday street objects, including trashcans, trashcan lids and brooms. The show is comprised of eight performers who are able to transfer their performances into the hearts and minds of international audiences. Continue reading STOMP crashes into RU
Spinning into Butter, written by Rebecca Gilman, is a play about a dean of students named Sarah Daniels who is dealing with an African American freshman getting taunted with violent, racist letters. When her colleagues become involved, they are led into intense discussions over how to handle the situation. Meanwhile, they admit their own discriminatory secrets. Spinning into Butter is a thought-provoking play that exposes modern-day issues of racism. Continue reading Spinning into Butter: The raw face of racism
“Stepping is a polyrhythmic percussive dance form that was created by African American college students,” Mfon Akpan of Step Afrika! said.
Step Afrika! noisily blew through RU on Thursday, Oct. 21. They performed in the Bondurant Auditorium of Preston Hall at 8 p.m. Step Afrika! smashed the floor and blew the audience’s minds with stepping and African dancing.
The show began with an explanation of what stepping is. The people in Greek life knew all about stepping, and they show off their talent at various step shows throughout the school year. The rhythms of stepping are similar to tap dancing without the tap shoes. Stepping utilizes rhythms, beats, claps, steps and stamps to make the percussive melodies in the movement. Not only is it interesting to hear how synchronized the dancers were, but the precision with which they moved was also intricate.
Step Afrika! is a stepping company made up of 11 members from various backgrounds. It was founded in 1994 by C. Brian Williams as a cultural exchange program with the Soweto Dance Theatre of Johannesburg, South Africa. Williams came across the gumboot dance while he was in Africa and noticed the similarities between American stepping and this dance form in Africa. Along with the Soweto Dance Theatre, Step Afrika! formed the Step Afrika! Festival held annually in Africa.
While Step Afrika! is based out of Washington D.C., they tour across the world all year. They also have bases in London (home of Step Afrika! U.K.) and South Africa. Each year they complete a 50 city tour of various colleges and universities across the United States in addition to performing in other countries.
Despite the diverse backgrounds of the performers, one thing they all have in common besides their love and talent for stepping is their college degrees. This dance company stresses the importance of education and the arts in education. Because of this, a requirement to be a performer in this company is a college degree. Whenever they tour a school, they offer step classes for the students. Their art in education program is called “Stepping into Schools.” They taught two master classes Thursday, one at 9:30 a.m. and one at 11:15 a.m. to RU dance majors, but the classes were open to the public as well. Junior Ashley Coats took the 11:15 class.
“It was amazing. We learned a lot in a short amount of time. I wish they would come back for another class sometime,” Coats said.
Stepping was made popular by recent films such as “Stomp the Yard,” but it is a tradition of African American Greek organizations. The Greeks were out in full force at Thursday’s performance. Senior Sierra Jones came to the performance to learn more about stepping, but also to support Step Afrika! She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority incorporated, as were many of the female steppers in Step Afrika!
“DST is a group of college educated African American women who are committed to public service and one thing we do is STEP, so I was interested to see how they would tell the history and incorporate it with stepping,” Jones said.
In addition to the sharp, loud step dancing, Step Afrika! also performed dances from their African roots at Thursday’s performance. The show not only included the Step Afrika! performers, but it also included audience members as well. They asked for ten volunteers to come up onstage and learn a short combination of stepping. The students also participated in the African dancing while two of the members of Step Afrika! played the drums. The similarities between the African dancing and stepping were spelled out clearly in the performance. It was an educational and entertaining show.
“I think stepping is a fascinating, overlooked form of dance. The performance was great. I didn’t expect it to be that long and with so much audience participation, but I really liked that. I also liked the fact that they gave us a little history about step dancing with the tribal dancing,” Coats said.
Stepping is the newest form of dancing, and it is rapidly growing in this century. RU caught a glimpse of the new craze at Step Afrika!’s performance.
“I thought the show was amazing and it gave a great overall concept of where stepping comes from for people who don’t know a lot about stepping,” Jones said.