Once up on a time there was a group of extremely talented hip-hop and contemporary dancers that came to perform at Cal Poly. They made audience members reimagine their favorite stories from childhood through hip-hop dance and music. Street Heat featuring Epidemic’s show of Once Upon a One Last Time, taking inspiration from Disney, Looney Tunes and other childhood fables, put on a show of high intensity and talent Saturday evening.
For almost the entire show, audience members’ cheers and shouts could be heard. The only time that they weren’t heard was when they were in stunned silence by the contemporary pieces. These pieces showcased the more lyrical style of dance these performers had mastered.
“I like the different styles, that they showed both contemporary and hip hop,” chemistry freshman Stephanie Wong said.
For the other numbers, the precision and energy of the hip-hop moves brought people to their feet. The hard beats of the music with lyrics that often fit the stories helped in showing the audience a different take on their favorite movies. Crowd favorite “Inside Out,” choreographed by studio director Heidi Asefvaziri, used music, costuming and projections to tell the story of the characters from the Disney movie of the same name.
Another dance, “Little Red Riding Hood”, choreographed by Corey Rev Stiver, used the most video projection to tell its story. The use of multimedia during these numbers added yet another dimension to the performances. Choreographer Pamela Bautista took the message about family from Disney’s Lilo and Stitch to create a touching tribute to her father. The use of scenes from the movies they were portraying on-stage helped set the scene for what was about to go down.
Liberal studies senior Ashley Tovar said, “I love it’s based on movies and you can really see the characters.”
Each pop and lock and twist and turn of the dancers’ bodies was perfectly placed during the most intense numbers. The hard beats marked each movement with a sharp hit and yet the flow of their bodies seemed effortless. The company’s youngest members, known as “Sidewalk Kids,” matched the skill level of the older dancers in the company. They danced alongside them and had their own number, never missing a beat.
The stereotypes about hip-hop being about violence and sex weren’t on display at the performance. Matching songs with children’s stories created a show that appealed to an audience of all ages. Popular songs and dance moves got the biggest reaction from the crowd, but it was the tricks and moves that showed the greatest skill and really impressed audience members.
“It was amazing,” economics freshman Jared O’Mara said. “The energy they had on-stage, the enthusiasm — it was more than just dance moves.”
For their final number, Epidemic members of past and present came together. As pictures and videos of the last seven years played behind them, the group of extremely talented dancers told the last story of the night.