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Review: Meeting of the arts at the Roaring 20 jam

<p>Photo Credit: Members of Roaring 20</p>

Photo Credit: Members of Roaring 20

As spaces on this campus go, Richardson Auditorium strikes me as possibly the most underappreciated gem our university has to offer. When donating the money to construct Alexander Hall, Harriet Crocker Alexander envisioned the space to be a “cultural temple,” with depictions of the likes of Shakespeare, Dante and Galileo surrounding the auditorium.

A fitting place, therefore, for Roaring 20’s biannual “jam,” which intertwined some of the University’s best offerings in a capella, dance, and comedy. The unique show, held on Friday evening, included excellent performances from improv comedy group Quipfire! and the dance groups BodyHype and diSiac. All of the acts fit within a span of 100 minutes.


A powerful rendition of Queen’s “Somebody to Love”, with a stirring solo by Anson Jones ’21, commenced proceedings in a first act characterized by energetic solos and duets. I also enjoyed Eunice Kim ’20 and David Kim ’20’s formidable duet of Ed Sheeran’s “Give Me Love,” as the pairing of the former’s sharp enunciation and the latter’s more elongated notes worked wonderfully together against the hauntingly enchanting backing of the rest of the group. In their finest “pre-loved” costumes, diSiac members, who looked as if they had just returned from a shopping spree at Nearly New, topped off an excellent first set with an entertainingly fun performance of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop.”

A costume change later, Andy Zhang ’19 and Ishy Anthapur ’20 debuted a second, more moody set, with a rendition of Major Lazer’s “Cold Water” that demonstrated an impressive ability to play around with the pacing of something as tricky as EDM.

Whilst the slower songs of the rest of the second set meant the energy in the room decreased somewhat, Eunice Kim ‘20’s solo of “Better Man” and Andrew Ge ’19’s rendition of “Dream a Little Dream of Me” showed the group’s talent was not simply limited to the more upbeat a capella that Roaring 20 has come to be known for. Quipfire!’s refreshing performance rounded out the set and featured a bizarre, yet humorous, collection of improv games that challenged performers — and the audience — to come up with the craziest, most complex acronyms and situations possible on the spot.

A more bubbly third set featured a number of highlights, not least a daring collaboration with BodyHype that saw an intriguing multi-sensory performance of “Hide and Seek.” I can only say that I would love to see more of the same in the future.

I was most impressed, overall, with the camaraderie demonstrated by the group. During all three sets, the way the group danced along with the music was a delight to see, and it was not uncommon to see smiles darting around the group during songs. Rightly so: Roaring 20’s members have a lot to be proud of for putting together such an excellently varied show in all senses.

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