Ninjas Break Beats, and Cut Loose

Ninjas have a reputation for being stealthy and mysterious beings – moving seamlessly through the night and carrying out ninja tasks like assassinations and spinning tornado kicks.

But there will be nothing low key or deadly about Ninjadrome III, a dance party at Higher Ground, March 3 presented by UVM students Mike Jones and Adrian Sackheim. Jones is quick to correct anyone who gets the ninja theme twisted: “It’s a futuristic ninja party,” he said.

Headlined by DJ The Juan Maclean, the party will also feature Pandawatch, Hatian and Hambone, so an electronic funk will likely have student samurai all over the dance floor.

“I find people in this town like to dress up. We wanted to do some kind of theme party, but everything seemed played out,” Jones said. “And then it was like, ‘There’s always ninjas!'” This Ninadrome is the third of its kind, and the first at Higher Ground.

The Juan Maclean, an electronic experience, is also the biggest name ever to preside over the ninja festivities-a point of pride for Jones and Sackheim, who also DJ around town.

“We had seen [The Juan Maclean] at Camp Bisco, and we just thought it would be great to get him here,” Jones said. “When I contacted him and told him the idea, he thought it sounded cool.”

Yeah, futuristic martial artists mixed with electronic funk (and booze, if that’s your thing) sounds like an alright time. And for Jones, it’s all about the good time. He’s hoping the show will sell out so he and Sackheim “can at least break even.”

But it seems that Ninjadrome is more about the experience the futuristic funky dancing martial artist experience than making money. Still, Ninjadrome II sold out Metronome Halloween, so a solid turnout is expected.

How does one dress like a futuristic ninja? Because no one knows what ninjas will look like in the future, the options are wide open. Jones recommends hoodies, bandannas and robes as acceptable attire.

“Last year I wasn’t sure if people were actually going to dress up, but then I saw huge groups of people walking down the streets all dressed as ninjas,” Jones said. He hopes to achieve the same success at Ninjadrome III.

Between the live disco funkelectronic beats and masked martial artists, students whether or not they know the touch of death will likely get a (roundhouse) kick out of it. Ninjadrome III is at the Higherground Showcase Lounge on March 3 and is open to all ages. $7 in advance, $10 at the door Tickets can be purchased at Higher Ground’s Web site and at Pure Pop. For more information visit http:/www.myspace.com/ninjadrome.