Updated: Jan 17, 2019
Recently, the PNG Las Vegas team got the opportunity to talk to Kevin (KB) Brewer, one of the original members of the Jabbawockeez, to learn about the history of the team, their dancing scene, and some perspective on dance and movement.
KB expressed how dance opportunities for the community were more scarce than they are now from when he started. Before, there were very few crews. High school teams were the closest resemblance to dance training for his era. Having no access to a studio to dance/session, the aspiring dancer would simply gather in their garage to dance. Mirrors weren’t a common tool the way we have them today. There were dance studios, but “hip-hop” classes weren’t offered the same way they are to almost all studios nowadays. Learning came from expressing, exploring and sharing among each other, and from what was out on film and television. Personally, KB was highly inspired by Bruce Lee and Michael Jackson, and would mimic them as a child.
As dance culture started growing and expanding, the band of friends would watch the development of large performing dance teams. It started to become common to see large groups of talented dancers, dancing at local showcases and other such events. But, the Jabbawockeez, they wanted to be different. They wanted decrease the number of bodies and deliver performances in which the audience would focus on the overall visual of the collective and not pay much attention to the individuals. This is what made the Jabbawockeez so effective.
“Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. It takes more mind power to do something slow than it does fast.”
The Jabbawockeez's first official performance was at Culture Shock showcase in September 2003. In 2008 they gained massive recognition from exposure on the television dance competition series, Randy Jackson’s America’s Best Dance Crew (ABDC). At first, they wanted to go into the show remaining
anonymous to the public, without anyone knowing who they were individually. But eventually, they needed to be identified to establish who the real Jabbawockeez members were, especially after winning the first season of ABDC.
“Fill in every moment in the music, all of the sounds. Stretch them out to be in the pocket.”
Since America’s Best Dance Crew, the team has had 3 Las Vegas show productions. Their first show was called “MUS.IC”, which was held in the Park MGM Theater at Monte Carlo Casino. The Jabbawockeez's “PRiSM” show followed at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. Their current show at the MGM Grand is called "JREAMZ". In fact, this last October was their 4th season of this live show at Hollywood Universal Studios.
“Music is time. If you don’t do it on the beats, it’s a waste of time.”
The casting process for these shows is not easy. To perform and represent the Jabbawockeez takes a lot of focused training. KB classifies the way that he trains and mentors his new cast as “Beat Kune Do”. He says this curriculum is combined with exercises in modules that encompass all of the things he has learned throughout his own dance journey. This training includes sharpening and working on several areas such as balance, coordination, fitness, musicality, freestyle, etc.
“I breakdown the environment in a structure or grid to help you with your imagination, and see it first. From there, as you continue to develop, you naturally see it already and start to put your moves in.”
Interested in more?
FOLLOW THE JABBAWOCKEEZ ON THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA!
GOOGLE +: https://plus.google.com/+Jabbawockeez
Watch the JABBAWOCKEEZ live show JREAMZ!