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Not to be repeated

Laura A. Ball

VAIL What happens in Vail stays in Vail. At least it will Tuesday night as local band the Tony G. Allstars and L.A. hip-hop, funk, and street dance troupe the Groovaloos join talents to create a live, improvisational pastiche of music and movement sure to stir the soul.Its kind of like a one-time thing, said Allstars frontman Tony Gulizia. If we were to do the performance three or four times, it would be completely different each time. Groovaloos founder Bradley Shooz Rapier discovered the Allstars in Vail when he walked into Samana Lounge one evening this winter. When the show was over, he was so impressed he asked the band if they wanted to perform with his troupe in the upcoming dance festival. The Allstars, who all have their own projects Gulizia and his trio, the Little Hercules boys, Sucker veteran Scott Stoughton on percussion/vocals and Flux 5 saxophonist Dave Laub saw it as an opportunity for the supergroup to get some pronounced stage time and feature local talent beside a national act. Because theyre all from different musical backgrounds, the group mixes a unique flavor of funk, R&B, jazz and Latin, making for an even more spontaneous sound. It makes sense because we like to improvise and so do they, Gulizia said.The musicians and the dancers will meet to rehearse once before Tuesdays show. The Allstars will have some sort of set list, Gulizia said, and the Groovaloos have a framework for the show, but its all subject to the present.Its my favorite thing in the world to do as a musician, Stoughton said. Get everyone together get up on stage, throw down a lot of positive energy and let the crowd do what they want with it.

The Groovaloos have studied dance foundations within the hip-hop culture dating back to the early 70s. But it wasnt until last year that the group put its efforts into a theatrical stage show. What the Groovaloos hope to do, Shooz said, is use this knowledge and their personal experiences and abilities to excite and inspire others, sharing the dynamic styles and positive spirit of street dance that brought them together as a family.When Shooz initially came up with the idea to stage a show highlighting the trademark talents of his hip-hop street dance company, he began writing a fictional tale. During the evolution of the story, he asked the dancers about their personal journeys. He found their tales so profound, he used them to anchor the show, mixed over Shoozs own history of growing up with tremendous pressure from his parents to become a doctor while he longed to become a dancer. Shooz chose to follow his heart, and in turn chose to disappoint his family. Overcoming hurdles and making the best of them, thats the theme of the show.Even though our stories are different, they are all reflective of one another, Shooz said. Not every story is a tragedy, and the show leads to us all overcoming and pulling together with the strength of our faith and our dance and our family.Each time Edmundo Poe One Loayza would start to dance, the painful memories paralyzed him.The Groovaloos were to perform a menagerie of street dance and original poetry inspired by the dancers personal stories. Loayzas story: A father, diseased by alcoholism, who abused him and his mother physically and tormented them psychologically. As time went by, and Poe One listened to a poet on stage convey the struggles of his past through beautiful, fluid language, he found himself moving, little by little into the present. Once ridiculed for his desire to dance by his father, he found the fruits of his desire now ushering in acceptance and replacing the pain.From the time Groovaloos dancer Al Star was 3, she had studied dance in the studio. While she was one of the best classically trained dancers in Los Angeles, when it came time for her to freestyle, she was terrified that she had no style of her own.Im just imitation, she would tell Shooz.Which is totally a lie, Shooz said. But thats what her brain told her. An awesome technically trained dancer, she thought she didnt have anything to offer, that she didnt deserve to be a part of it.With a little encouragement, Al Star proved herself wrong. Overcoming her fears, she began to freestyle, stepping into herself, which is really what the Groovaloos are all about.It brings you inside our personal struggles, hopes and dreams as we traveled to L.A., discovering our purpose and destiny as a group, Shooz said. Of course Im biased, but its an unbelievable, thrilling and hugely inspiring show. Theres mind blowing displays of dance, heartfelt insight, mixed with vibrant music and powerful spoken word poetry. Freestyle street dance and personal expression are synonymous, Shooz explains. Unrehearsed, the dancer pulls from whats inside and draws out the moves he knows. Thats why a Groovaloos show leaves half of the time for improv. Every night is like a blank canvas, Shooz said.Thats what differentiates street dancing from other forms of dance; youre not trying to look like anyone else, youre only trying to look like yourself.I truly strengthen every part of my life, Shooz said. It really, truly gives me a place to express who I am, to celebrate me.Staff Writer Laura A. Ball can be reached at 748-2939 or laball@vaildaily.com.


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