Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Preview: UNYK to perform year-end showcase


Emily Butts chose to choreograph the first dance of UNYK’s spring showcase to Rob Zombie’s hard rock song “Dragula.”
The twist is that the dance is a jazz routine in order to mesh the two different styles.
“I think of (the movie) ‘Step Up,’ where they have the ballet and hip-hop mixed together,” said Butts, who is the troupe’s President.
UNYK is a multicultural dance troupe focused on highlighting diversity and variety though dance. This routine and more can be seen at UNYK’s show, “Pump It Up,” at 7 p.m. on May 3 in Centennial Hall.
Deriving their name from the fact that UNYK is a play on the spelling of unique, Butts said the group’s name is to show the variety of the group, with her song only being one example.
The name of the show, according to Butts, comes from the opener that features a song with the same name by Joe Budden.
“I was just in the car one day, and I was just grooving to it,” said Butts. “You always want a song that gets the audience excited and is high energy, and I was grooving to it so much that I knew that I could choreograph something that would bring the audience in.”
With 16 choreographers and over 70 members, publicity chair Amy Knourek said this year’s show will be larger compared to previous years based on participation, leading to a greater variety of dances. She choreographed an 80’s workout dance routine.
“With us being a multicultural group, we definitely encourage different types of dancing,” said Knourek. “We have a lot of people  who are involved in the Global Student Ambassador organization that bring in people of different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds.”
Butts said the show will feature a Chinese fan dance as well as an Irish jig, but she would like to have more cultures represented.
“It’s hard because a lot of us aren’t from multicultural backgrounds,” said Butts. “When I came back from Ecuador, I did a Latin American dance, but I can’t do other cultures because I don’t know. We did Indian a few years back because we had someone from Thailand who would do that, but it’s hard because we don’t always get the multicultural people.”
Her goal for the show is for the audience to enjoy themselves and to see the participants’ love of dance.
Knourek said that for UNYK members, it is more about performing than the actual technique.
“Technique is important, but it’s more about how the performance is laid out…You don’t necessarily have to perfect them and be always technical all the time,” said Knourek.
Tickets are available from 10:30-2 p.m. in the Center for Student Life today and Friday. The price is $3 for students and $4 for adults. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $1 more.

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Preview: UNYK to perform year-end showcase