Reported by Leong Wei Shan and Chin Jing Xuan
Edited by Supriya Sivabalan
Special Thanks to Sunway Photography Club for photos: @aaronchieng and Kelly Goh
Follow SDC: @SunwayDanceClub
Throughout the evolution of the Malaysian dance scene, Sunway Dance Club (SDC) has managed to build a dance community in Sunway University and College by organizing dance battles, dance events and annual dance productions to unite students of different backgrounds through dance. From their first ever dance production “Genesis” in 2013, to “Heat The Stage” in 2017, Sunway Dance Club has finally made a comeback with their most remarkable annual dance production (ADP) yet on the 6th of September 2019 – “Synergy”.
Synergy included 11 different dance styles – Contemporary, House, Popping, Urban, Latin, Locking, K-pop, Girl-style, Hip Hop, Breaking and Voguing; each containing their own unique flavour. Besides showcasing the talent of students and dance instructors, Synergy also contributed half the profit earned to a non-profit organisation that protects the human rights of refugees and stateless people in Malaysia, proudly known as Beyond Borders Malaysia (BBM).
The doors of Jeffrey Cheah Hall opened at 7:30pm, and was immediately filled with excitement. Synergy was kick-started by the crowd’s enthusiastic cheers to SDC’s promotional trailer and inspiring speeches by Lim Yew Hui (SDC’s President), Mahi Ramakrishnan (Founder of Beyond Borders Malaysia & The Refugee Fest), Assoc. Prof Dr. Derek Ong Lai Teik (SDC’s Advisor) and Giselle Tan Ying Ying (Synergy’s Project Manager).
The event started off with a charming performance by Rafik, who is skillful in both singing and dancing. While he sang the iconic “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, the audience sang and danced along to his cheeky performance. Rafik not only managed to serenade the crowd with his beautiful vocals, he also pulled out some spins and moves that portrayed the dancer in him!
After a flashback video of SDC’s previous annual dance productions, it was showtime for the SDC students and instructors! The contemporary dancers were the first to perform. The piece led by their instructor, Aaron depicted the concept of “Yin and Yang”, where the dancers dressed according to the colours of the chinese symbol – black representing Yin and white representing Yang. The choreography started off elegant and serene, with elements of classical dance and graceful movements. Then, the choreography took a drastic turn. The music transitioned to a creepy soundtrack from the American horror film “Us”. The “Yin” dancers crawled onto stage and painted a sinister picture through their harsh stares and eerie smiles. Towards the end of the choreography, the ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’ dancers came together and danced in harmony to show that a balance of the two different forces is crucial in reality, and that duality is beautiful.
Next up, was an upbeat old-school performance presented by the House students and instructor, Megan. Their performance gave off a groovy vibe which made the audience bop their heads in enjoyment to the funky beats. The dance style itself was inspired by the retro disco scene. The uplifting performance brought great energy and positivity to the room. Not to mention, their cool earth-toned outfits and synchronized presentation executed by the dancers definitely put up a great show.
After a playful performance by the house students, a more technical performance was presented by the popping students and their instructor, Nicholas. Despite having only five poppers performing, they still owned the stage with their technique and consistent energy level. The performance started off slick and smooth, which then proceeded to the usual known robotic style. The poppers played with different techniques and feels as the song switched from a chill R&B track to a funky techno tune!
Next to wow the crowd was Urban Choreography, led by the two members of ‘Organization 13’ (OXIII), Jonathan Loo and Simon Tan. The performance had a strong and fierce start which quickly transformed into a sentimental and romantic choreography. It was impressive how the students managed to execute and present great showmanship for the first two choreographies independently! For their finale piece, the two choreographers, Jonathan and Simon, joined the students and performed Simon’s well-known choreography to the song “Grimey” by Troyboi. They were definitely one of the crowd’s favourite due to the variety and professionalism illustrated throughout their performance!
Before continuing with the remaining performances, an exciting lucky draw session was conducted that hyped up the crowd. Since Sony EXTRABASS Malaysia is the event’s main sponsor, the prizes were nonetheless from them. Items such as Sony x PMC caps, Sony headphones and Sony EXTRABASS headsets were given out to five lucky individuals during this round of the draw.
Local artist, Penny Lestrange, began the next segment of the event by blowing us away with her powerful range and vibrato. Penny entertained the crowd by singing and rapping to the famous song “Bang Bang”, originally performed by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. Her voice roared and echoed the hall which left the audience astonished.
Next up was the performance by the mesmerising Latin dancers. They performed the traditional paso doble and was one of the most intense performances of the night. The ladies were dressed in red and the men in black *insert red dancing lady emoji*. Their passionate and agile movements were delivered with precision which wowed the crowd. Then, their instructors, Yin Ying and Alfred waltzed the stage with their impressive chemistry and explosive choreography which left the crowd thirsty for more.
After the intense and spicy performance, the Locking students and their instructor, Joshua took the stage to present their take on the funky dance genre. In their introductory video, it was mentioned that they wanted to showcase locking in new forms, and that they definitely did. The energetic dancers performed to K-pop music, Rap music and Funk all in one performance which showcased the diversity of locking and their creativity.
The K-pop fans in the audience started to chant in excitement as the K-pop dancers came out on stage in their pastel hair, striking costumes and killer confidence. BTS fans sang every word as the charismatic dancers performed the routine to BTS’s well-known single – ‘Mic Drop’. Sunway Dance Club’s K-pop instructor Brandon then joined them on stage to perform his own choreography which blew the audience away.
The night was still young, and the next performers were ready to take it to the next level. Dressed in shorts, fishnet stockings, the Girl-style dancers stormed the stage alogside their sassy instructor, Teddy. They delivered a heart-stopping, mouth gaping routine full with sultry and seductive movements, while still being cheeky and coquettish at the same time. They exude confidence to Billie Eilish’s ‘Bad Guy” and pumped it up when they danced to reggaeton music with lots of twerking which made the crowd go crazy. #GRLPWR #HOT
To cool down from the previous performance, the Hip Hop dance crew came to take the spotlight. With inspiration from the origins of Hip Hop, their performance told the story of how dance united people of different cultures despite their disputes. This was shown through the portrayal of gang fights in their dance which actually stemmed hip hop culture, as dance was the antidote to reunite people of different backgrounds. The performance ended with the crew wearing their colourful windbreakers and dancing together, showing a powerful message of strength in diversity.
Following that, the Break Dance crew captivated the audience with their remarkable stunts like the windmill, jackhammer and backflips! They also incorporated comedic elements in their dance which made the crowd laugh out loud. Each member of the team was given a b-boy solo moment to flaunt their best moves which left the crowd very, very impressed and ecstatic.
Last but certainly not least, were the voguing style dancers. Once again, accompanied by their instructor, Teddy, the dancers sashayed their hips and stylistically moved their limbs to the beats of Vogue music. Definitely the most flamboyant dances of them all, the dancers showcased their floorwork, flexibility, dips, and their outstanding facial expressions. They even opened up the stage for a Runway Show with Teddy as their commentator, where the dancers presented the American and European runway walks and many, many death drops which made the crowd go crazy.
Before the final curtain call, the guest performers, local rappers 3P came out to perform their new music. Their local take with music by incorporating different dialects in their songs was refreshing for the crowd. They were then joined by the Rejuvenate dance crew members to perform a dynamic dance piece which included Popping, Bboy, Locking, and even Voguing! Watching these men with fanny packs dancing to Malay tunes and even showcasing their feminine side was enthralling to say the least. Not to mention their synchronization and stage presence were off the charts.
For the finale of Synergy, all the performers came up on stage once more for the final curtain call which received a massive applause and standing ovations from the audience. The dancers’ last segment was an interactive dance with the whole audience to the song ‘Lucky Strike’ by Maroon 5. This left the audience overjoyed and the positive energy in the hall was unreal.
Synergy was an amazing experience to say the least. It just goes to show the amount of talent that the students of Sunway University possess. Sunway Dance Club’s Annual Dance Productions are a great way to support local artists and talents as well as non-profits such as Beyond Borders Malaysia. At only RM20, you too have the chance to contribute to these organizations and watching a great show at the same time. Till next year!