Rhythmics drum up brief but personalized show

The Rhythmics, a percussion group based in New York City, brought down the house for siblings weekend as part of Geneseo's Limelight & Accents Series.

As the name suggests, the show was focused on exploring different ways of producing rhythm through the synthesis of surprising mediums. Comprised of both Broadway and Off-Broadway performers, the Rhythmics combined several forms of percussion with multiple dance styles to create an incredibly entertaining and diversified show.

The opening number escalated into an epic turf war between two broom-wielding percussionists, who later used their beats to back up a tap battle between two dancers.

Many of the segments went beyond flashy rhythm tricks to create entertaining narratives. One sketch of a visit to the dean's office was especially fun to watch. An "impatient student" started tapping out a rhythm on his briefcase, and when the dean began to shake a pill bottle in time, he busted out drumsticks as the dean tap-danced zealously on his desk.

A highlight of the night was a rap composed specifically for Geneseo that referenced local landmarks like the "Seuss Spruce" and the Greek tree. It was a real credit to the group that they did such extensive research on their venue - they even referenced the legend surrounding Geneseo's bear fountain.

The Rhythmics were also heavy on audience participation, calling a group of at least 10 surprisingly talented students and siblings onto the stage to bust some moves to a rocking drumbeat. Later, another audience member was called to the stage to create his own beat on an electronic "rhythm tree."

There was a fantastic sense of chemistry between the performers, and the synthesis of their opposite styles and performance techniques was seamless rather than grating. They were also extremely charismatic, eliciting constant laughs with their playful banter.

The show culminated in an epic dance and rhythm piece that created a triangle of break dancing, hip-hop dancing, tap and furious drumming (on construction cones, no less) that ended the show with a bang.

The only downside of the performance was that it only lasted about an hour. Granted, this was probably to accommodate the rest of the Siblings' Weekend activities, but it was still jarringly short.

That being said, there was not a single moment in the entire show that felt forced or that dragged on; the activity on stage was constant and engaging. This wasn't just another performance to the people on stage; The Rhythmics genuinely wanted their audience to have the best time possible.