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Hip-hop dance standouts to perform at Celebration Barn

Identical twins Billy and Bobby McClain, aka the Wondertwins, have come a long way since they started performing at family cookouts at age six. 

Celebration Barn Theater in South Paris will present hip-hop dance luminaries the Wondertwins on Saturday, July 29 at 7:30 p.m. Identical twins Billy and Bobby McClain grew up in Boston in the 1970s, where their dance career started on a very small stage as they began performing at family cookouts at age six. Two years later, they had their first real show at the Cyclorama in the South End. Wearing matching silk brown sweat suits, they finished their first contest with a win, judged by none other than the legend, Kurtis Blow.

By age 10, they were asked to join Boston’s first professional street dance crew, the Funk Affects, opening for some of the biggest names in hip-hop history, including Run DMC, LL Cool J, KRS One, and Afrika Bambaataa. After seven years with the crew, Billy and Bobby branched off to become “The Wondertwins,” performing with Bobby Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel” US/UK tour, with Apollonia’s (Purple Rain) UK tour, and as the opening act for EPMD, Public Enemy, and Queen Latifah.

In the early 1990s, they won “Amateur Night/Showtime at the Apollo (Theater)” six times. Their more recent accomplishments have included winning a Pioneers of Dance Award and being selected for the Boston Globe Magazine’s “25 Most Stylish Bostonians of 2011” list. Over the years, they have created a distinctive style all their own, fusing the technical facility of hip hop, the sophistication of the Cotton Club’s glory days, the flash of Rat Pack era Las Vegas, and elements of vaudeville, robot, tap, and mime.

Former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre executive director Judith Jamison has praised the Wondertwins as “absolutely beautiful, strong, powerful, and electric… made for Broadway,” while Maurice Hines has noted that they “dance in the same spirit as the great brothers of dance before them.”

Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors (ages 60+), and $8 for kids (ages 17-). All tickets are general admission and members receive priority seating. The lobby and concessions will open at 6:30 p.m. Celebration Barn Theater is located just off Route 117 at 190 Stock Farm Road in South Paris. Purchasing tickets in advance is strongly recommended. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the box office at 743-8452 or see www.CelebrationBarn.com.

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