Kendrick Lamar and his dancers. Photo Credit: Matt Sayles/AP.
The 2018 Grammy® Awards ceremony was a night full of powerful performances, passionate political displays, artistry, and a celebration of the music industry’s power in culture. The festivities took place inside New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden, which meant that the 60th annual presentation of music’s biggest awards marked the end of a 15 year drought in which the broadcast had been away from the City That Never Sleeps,
Although this particular season’s telecast didn’t feature a large array of dance performances, there were two fantastic movement presentations that stood out.
The evening’s opening number was presented by Kendrick Lamar and included a combination of a few of his hit songs — first, the song with whom he collaborated with U2, XXX, followed by a cut of DNA, and parts of his runs from Rich The Kid’s New Freezer and Jay Rock’s King’s Dead. The performance was full of intensity and vigor, and, no matter where you might stand on the political spectrum, it proved to be extremely powerful.
Lamar’s dancers, who first appeared as a group of fatigued clad soldiers marching in front of a series of American Flags, made it quickly known that politics would not only be a dominating factor of the number, but of the entire evening.
The soldiers quickly moved from the marching sequence to an impressive and explosive choreographed set surrounding Lamar.
Kendrick Lamar and dancers. Photo Credit: Kevin Winters/Getty Images.
After a segue in which comedian Dave Chapelle appeared, Lamar reemerged, this time with a percussionist— named— who was playing a taiko drum. La’Donna, later in the segment, also displayed her skills as a striking dancer.
Chapelle again returned for a second segue leading into the final segment of the opener. Lamar and his group of dancers from the first segment appeared again, this time wearing all red, matching the tempestuous pyrotechnic display upstage. As the choreography continued—in what seemed to be a chilling moment to many in the audience— the dancers individually dropped to ground to the sound of electronic gun shot riffs, as Lamar rapped over each beat.
When the number finished, the crowd inside Madison Square Garden responded to Lamar with a standing ovation.
Kendrick Lamar was nominated for seven 2018 Grammys® and won five.
Bruno Mars and Cardi B
Cardi B and Bruno Mars. Photo Credit: Theo Wargo/WireImage
With some serious 90’s throwback wardrobe, newcomer Cardi B and superstar Bruno Mars lit up the garden with their performance of the hit song, Finesse.
Cardi B, nominated for two 2018 Grammys® opened the performance in full In Living Color-esque choreography, costume, and backdrop, before swinging downstage to reveal Mars and his backup dancers.
Mars, also rocking a throwback style in a yellow jersey over a long sleeved sweatshirt, tossed his microphone into the crowd and joined two of his backup dancers in a fully choreographed trio of stellar 90’s hip-hop. Mars’ choreography included the impressive and much talked about moon-walk across the stage.
Bruno Mars, who was nominated for eight Grammys® at the 2018 awards, walked away the night’s biggest winner; he won in all eight categories for which he was nominated, including the coveted album of the year and song of the year statues.
Bruno Mars. Photo Credit: Theo Wargo/WireImage
The 2018 Grammys also produced one honorable mention in our best dance moments list— Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s hugely popular 2017 summer anthem, Despacito. Though the number was definitely full of a lot of twerking, there was some exciting choreographic moments that emerged later in the performance.
Still though, that song is caaaatchy….
Miss the broadcast? Here’s a