Quick chat with Jabbawockeez
Composed of Rynan “Kid Rainen” Paguio, Chris “Cristyle” Gatdula, Phil “Swagger Boy” Tayag, Joe “Punkee” Larot (who trace their roots to the Philippines), Ben “B-Tek” Chung (Korea), Jeff “Phi” Nguyen (Vietnam), Kevin “KB” Brewer (United States) and new member Tony “Transformer” Tran, the group has been performing in Las Vegas and Monte Carlo, in a show called “MUS.I.C.” (“muse-i-see”) for the past several years.
Jabbawockeez sat down with the Inquirer for a quick chat:
Tell us about “MUS.I.C.”
Kid Rainen: It started in May 2010 at the MGM Grand Hollywood Theater and ran for a few months, then moved to Monte Carlo and ran for two years. It has become a traveling show that we brought to the Philippines in an abbreviated version. Filipinos appreciated the dynamics in the dancing.
Was it your first time to do Vegas in 2010?
KB: Yes. Right after our first trip to the Philippines in 2009, we were asked to put together a 20-minute piece for some executives in Vegas. We have since developed a relationship with MGM, which didn’t want us to leave. We’re about to do it again for a six-year contract.
What’s your impression of the Vegas audience?
KB: The energy is not that different from audiences in other places. People want to be entertained, regardless of their age or background. They want to watch something that inspires them with a positive message.
The music that you dance to is basically hip hop, right?
Kid Rainen: I guess you could say that it’s hip hop-based. But it’s very much all styles, too. We play every genre of music—like, we have “Hotel California” by the Eagles, also Coldplay, acoustic music, and at the same time we have our own music … Our fans have been listening to the “MUS.I.C.” soundtrack which they buy from our website.
When our five-minute slot for the interview was up, the Jabbawockeez crew chorused, “Salamat!” Pocholo Concepcion