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Friday, June 11, 2010

Everybody Dance Now - West Side Story Suite & SYTYCD7 Showcase - Dance Reviews

West Side Story Suite & Pur ti Miro & Opus 19/The Dreamer - The National Ballet of Canada - Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts - Toronto, ON - **** (Average Out of 5 Stars)
Pur ti Miro - ****
Choreography by Jorma Elo, Music by Ludwig van Beethoven and Claudio Monteverdi

Opus 19/The Dreamer - ***1/2
Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Staged by Lindsay Fischer, Music by Sergei Prokofiev

West Side Story Suite - ****
Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Co-Choroegraphed by Peter Gennaro, Staged by Jean-Pierre Frohlich, Music by Leonard Bernstein, Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Runs until Jun. 13th 2010
So You Think You Can Dance - Season 7 Showcase - Ep. 705


My Thursday night was filled with a whole lotta great dancing! I went to see the National Ballet of Canada's latest mixed program, and then of course it was the start of the REAL GOOD STUFF on So You Think You Can Dance.

The National Ballet of Canada was actually repeating a fan fave, the West Side Story Suites, which incidentally, was the first ballet I ever saw 2.5 years ago because I figured if I loved So You Think You Can Dance, I should try the ballet out. I went, I saw, I loved. Now it's back with another Jerome Robbins piece and a world premiere by Jorma Elo (from the Boston Ballet).

Jorma Elo's Pur ti Miro starts off the night by mixing his eclectic and modern choreography with classical tutus, royalty looking costumes and the classical music of Beethoven and Monteverdi. It's a fast and refreshingly bright piece that uses awkward and surprising movements and places the dancers into awkward connections. It also helped that some of my favorite dancers including Heather Ogden, Robert Stephen, new fave McGee Maddox, Noah Long, Stephanie Hutchison, Jenna Savella and Sonia Rodriguez were dancing the piece on my night. Plus, I finally figured out that it WAS Naoya Ebe and Elena Lobsnova that I've thought have been terrific in previous shows and finally getting their spotlight here.

Jerome Robbins' Opus 19/The Dreamer is very well... dreamlike and has some beautiful moments, especially between new leading man Jiří Jelinek and Heather Ogden (again!) (Sonia Rodriguez and Aleksandar Antonijevic pictured) while the ensemble of dancers seem to create a landscape on the bare stage. Ogden really is a princess (I mean that in a girls-want-to-be-her sense and not a derogatory one) while Jelinek seems to be a wonderful addition to the company (although he did sometimes look like he was overthinking the piece).

It's a interesting piece that I appreciate and I love all of Robbins' techniques and layered effects, and the duet is quite lovely, but the sum didn't seem to add up from all its pieces, and I found myself forgetting it by the end of the night.

Watching the ballet company perform West Side Story Suites (the Robbins dance portions from the musical) is really just so much fun! Robbins legendary choreography is simply superb and the company does a beautiful job with it. While it's nice to see the stars of the company take part in the ensemble piece, I nicely noted some newer dancers to look forward to, particularly one of the new apprentices Dylan Tedaldi as a Jet, who was simply riveting with his fierce controlled movements.

Particularly fun was watching the Sharks girls, like Tanya Howard and Rebekah Rimsay get into "America" with Tiffany Mosher singing nicely as Anita. Zdenek Konvalina does a nice job as Tony against Elena Lobsnova's Maria, but it's Principal dancer and already star of the company Guillaume Côté who steals the show as he sings (well) and dances (amazingly as usual) as Riff. (Funny note: Since dancers rarely speak or are heard, and Guillaume is from Quebec and has such a french sounding name, I sort of always assumed he would have a Quebecois accent, so when he spoke perfect English, I was kind of surprised, even though he's been here in Toronto so long and really shouldn't have been).


So You Think You Can Dance - Season 7 Showcase

Tonight's SYTYCD's Showcase is the first time we finally have Season 7's Top 11 meeting with The All Stars and as we all feared, were we even going to watch the new Top 11 with our favorite All Stars being around? I found I basically had to watch the whole show twice, once to ogle at my faves again (PASHA! NEIL! MARK! ALLISON! COURTNEY! KATHRYN!...) and then to watch it again to evaluate the new dancers. And if the new dancers managed to pull my eye from my faves, then I KNEW they were REAL good!

So the judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Adam Shankman, Mia Michaels

Group Dance - All Stars And Top 11
Choreographed by: Wade and Amanda Robson
Style: Wade Style!
Song: "Fame" - David Bowie
Grade: A+ is for A+wesome!

What a !^$&@#$ AWESOME START! Any reservations about mixing in the All Stars might have been easily dispelled in Wade and Amanda's group dance. Loved the concept of the All Stars moving to the side for the new Top 11 to entering the game. I mean, just seeing Mark Kanemura centre stage makes me have heart palpatations. Twitch looked great, and Allison looked better than ever. But move aside, because the newbies are here, and Robert and Billy Bell looked fantastic up front but the entire group just looked AH-WADE-ZING!

Wade and Amanda's routine is also the rare occasion that brings in a full set that somehow utilizes the no-longer-new stage to it's correct effect.

Here's the video of the Group Dance:



Lauren Froderman, 18 (Los Angeles Auditions)
Current Home: Pheonix, AZ
Hometown: Pheoniz AZ
Main Style: Contemporary Jazz
11 Second Video First Impressions: OMGawdUGuys, She's so Fresh out of High School. I never much liked her from the auditions and this video doesn't really help or hurt her in my view at this point. I need to see her dance.


Kent Boyd, 18 (Chicago Auditions)
Current Home:Wapokeneta, OH
Hometown: Botkins, OH
Main Style: Contemporary Jazz
11 Second Video First Impressions: So fresh and energetic and SOOOO CUTE... "... I don't get a redo?... uh... I'M SINGLE". HILARIOUS! We love you already. It's funny that Lauren's youthfulness is a little annoying but it's adorable on Kent. YES I'M BIAS. Deal with it.



Lauren Froderman and Kent Boyd with All Stars Kathryn McCormick and Mark Kanemura
Choreographed by: Travis Wall
Style: Contemporary
Song: "Paris is Burning" - St. Vincent
Grade: A+

Mark is one of my all-time faves for his quirkiness and Kathryn is so good that she tends to blend in to anything she does because she's so strong, so it's telling that Kent managed to pull my eye away from Mark and Kathryn at times. Lauren is probably my least favorite dancer at this point (for very little logical reason) but she held up with the other 3 dancers so that's a good sign. But really, if Kent can keep up with Mark and Kathryn, that boy has got a future. Although a future with a wife? I'm not even gonna comment...

Here's the video of Lauren, Kent, Kathryn and Mark's Contemporary:



Alexie Agdeppa, 26 (Los Angeles Auditions)
Current Home: Los Angeles, CA
Hometown: Rowland Heights, CA
Main Style: Jazz
11 Second Video First Impressions: So cutesy and FULLAENERGY that could get annoying fast but I'll let it slide for now.


Melinda Sullivan, 22 (Los Angeles Auditions)
Current Home: Los Angeles, CA
Hometown: Thousand Oaks, CA
Main Style: Tap
11 Second Video First Impressions: Seems much more mature and level-headed, if a little bland.


Alexie Agdeppa and Melinda Sullivan with All Stars Allison Holker and Lauren Gottlieb
Choreographed by: Tyce DiOrio
Style: Broadway
Song: "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This" from Sweet Charity (Original Broadway Cast)
Grade: A

Allison is just SMOKIN'! I think she's better now than when it was her season (when she was booted off too soon too). Lauren is great, but as Nigel says, it was great that the new girls blended in so well with the All Stars. Alexie and Melinda were both fantastic and I found myself mistaking Melinda for Lauren a few times.

Here's the video of Alexie, Melinda, Allison and Lauren's Broadway:



Jose "Full Deck" Ruiz, 21
Current Home: Pembroke Pines, FL
Hometown: Miami, FL
Main Style: B-Boy
11 Second Video First Impressions: Smooth! Manages to say everything and get it in on time!


Jose "Full Deck" Ruiz with All Stars Comfort Fedoke, Dominic "D-Trix" Sandoval and Stephen Twitch Boss
Choreographed by: Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo
Style: Hip-Hop
Song: "Din Daa Daa (District 78 Remix)" - George Kranz
Grade: A


Love D-Trix and Twitch but if there's a weak one in the bunch, it's probably Comfort, but then again, Comfort is great at her own style and since that's all going to be required of her here, it might be fine. And it was great to see the lone girl in the group be like one of the boys and just hit it!

Jose, literally standing out as the black sheep in the group, manages to join in and be accepted into the group in a literal dancing sense. It was a fun routine and fun way to initiate Jose onto the show!

Also nice to see Dominic back together with Cat! Let the romance continue! Love will always conquer!

Here's the video of Jose, Comfort, Dominic and Twitch's Hip-Hop:



Christina Santana, 24 (Los Angeles Auditions)
Current Home: San Diego, CA
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Main Style: Salsa
11 Second Video First Impressions: She amuses me.


Christina Santana with All Stars Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev
Choreographed by: Jason Gilkison
Style: Samba
Song: "Work (Freemasons Radio Edit" - Kelly Rowland
Grade: A+

I don't even know if the dancing was technically great, but it was totally HAWT. The girls looked great and Cristina held her own against Anya but really, was anybody not looking at Pasha the whole time? Hello Pasha! Welcome back! Now someone pass me a smoke.

And I think I'm gonna watch that again... and again... and again...

Seriously, watching Anya and Pasha dance together after having been together for so long is simply amazing. It's too bad Burn the Floor doesn't have them now because I really enjoyed that show with them in it.

Here's the video of Cristina, Anya and Pasha's Samba:



Alex Wong, 23
Current Home: Miami, FL
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Main Style: Ballet
11 Second Video First Impressions: He kinds of reminds me of me (if I had abs or dance skills).


Billy Bell, 20 (Season 6 Auditions)
Current Home: New York, NY
Hometown: Palm Beach, FL
Main Style: Contemporary
11 Second Video First Impressions: So whispy and adorable!


Alex Wong and Billy Bell with All Star Ade Obayomi
Choreographed by: Mia Michaels
Style: Contemporary
Song: "This Bitter Earth/ On The Nature of Daylight" - Dinah Washington/ Max Richter
Grade: A

Mia sets up the tale of man's life via Billy as youth, Alex as man and poor Ade gets to be the old man. Though it seemed like Billy got to do the most, or at least the most fun stuff. As Mia states, Billy can move his body in unreal movements. Alex is so technically strong. Ade is always so strong and dependable (that you tend to underestimate and forget him) and Alex almost seems to be falling into the same trap, since Billy ends up getting the most eye attention.

Here's the video of Billy, Alex and Ade's Contemporary:



Adéchiké Torbert, 23
Current Home: Queens, NY
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Main Style: Contemporary
11 Second Video First Impressions: He reminds me of a Cosby kid. I love it!


Ashley Galvan, 19
Current Home: Burbank, CA
Hometown: Visalia, CA
Main Style: Contemporary
11 Second Video First Impressions: She seems like the valleygirl next door but there's something refreshing about her.


Robert Roldan, 19
Current Home: North Hollywood, CA
Hometown: Thousand Oaks, CA
Main Style: Contemporary
11 Second Video First Impressions: His looks should be he's the bitchy queen but his attitude seems approachable and lovable, so I like already!


Adéchiké Torbert, Ashley Galvan and Robert Roldan with All Stars Courtney Galiano and Neil Haskell
Choreographed by: Sonja Tayeh
Style: Pop Jazz
Song: "Freak" - Estelle ft. Kardinal Offishall
Grade: A+

First of all, Neil is shirtless in some leather thing. Thank you SO much Sonja! I owe you. (I also loved your choreo) Second of all. NEIL HASKELL IS BACK ON MY TELEVISION. Thank you Nigel for that! Thank you also for bringing back Courtney who I just adore.

NOW... I've got to say, Robert pulled my eye a bit, although partly because he reminded me of Mark and seems to have a bit of a quirkiness in his dancing. Adéchiké and Ashley did a nice job keeping up, but really, my eyes were all on Neil, Courtney and Robert.

Here's the video of Adéchiké, Ashley, Robert, Courtney and Neil's Pop Jazz:



The Final Wrap Up

What an amazing showcase night! About the only criticism I have for it is that they still have the same damn ugly stage from Season 6. Nigel? WHY? Even the lights are poorly placed and sometimes blind the dancing, and isn't the point of the show to watch the DANCING? Not a weak dance in the bunch, and the new Top 11 kept up quite well with the All Stars (and it was great to see the All Stars again). Now, some newbies pulled my eye off the All Stars more than the others, and so at this point, here's my ranking of the Top 11 already!:

Top 11
1. Kent
2. Billy
3. Robert
4. Alex
5. Adéchiké
6. Jose
7. Christina
8. Melinda
9. Ashley
10. Alexie
11. Lauren

Um, so maybe I'm a little sexist but I've lined up all the guys first, partly because I need the girls to differentiate themselves more, and it will happen with time. Again, I'm BIAS. Sue me!


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Ballet Photos by Cylla Von Tiedemann
Here are previous ballet reviews:
Swan Lake ****
24 Preludes by Chopin & A Suite of Dances & The Four Seasons **** - 24 Preludes by Chopin ****1/2, A Suite of Dances ***1/2, The Four Seasons ****
Sleeping Beauty ***
The Four Temperaments & Watch Her & Glass Pieces **** - The Four Temperaments ***, Watch Her ****1/2, Glass Pieces *****
Carmen & Skin Divers ***1/2 - Carmen ***, Skin Divers ***1/2
Romeo & Juliet ***
Innovation ***1/2 - IN COLOUR ***, Emergence *****, DEXTRIS ***1/2
In The Upper Room & Symphony in C & Polyphonia ***1/2
The Fiddle and The Drum & Etudes & the second detail & Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan ****
Cinderella ****
Rooster & Soldiers' Mass & 24 Preludes by Chopin ****
An Italian Straw Hat ****1/2
West Side Story Suite & Glass Pieces & In The Night ****1/2
The Merry Widow ****

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For More So You Think You Can Dance:
Check here for the most Recent current postings and Latest News on SYTYCD


So You Think You Can Dance - Season 7:
Auditions:
Dallas, Nashville, Vegas Week and Top 11 Announcement
Los Angeles and Chicago
New York City and Miami
Announcing the All-Stars! With Sexy Pictures!
Discussion on Format Change

Decadeworthy - SYTYCDworthy - Ranking All the Top 10 Dancers from SYTYCD and SYTYCDCanada (w/ Videos) - List Format

So You Think You Can Dance - Season 6:
Finale - Final 6 Results
Final 6 Performances
Top 8 Performances, Top 8 Results
Top 10 Performances, Top 12 Results
Top 12 Performances, Top 12 Results
Top 14 Performances, Top 14 Results
Top 16 Performances, Top 16 Results
Top 18 Performances and Results
Top 20 Performances and Results
Introducing the Top 20, The Top 20 Showcase

So You Think You Can Dance Canada - Season 2 with So You Think You Can Dance Season 6 Auditions:
Finale
Top 4 Performances
Top 6 Performances, Top 6 Results & US Vegas Week Auditions Continued
Top 8 Performances, Top 8 Results & US Salt Lake City and Vegas Week 1 Auditions
Top 10 Performances, Top 10 Results & US New Orleans and Atlanta Auditions
Top 12 Performances, Top 12 Results & US Boston Auditions
Top 14 Performances, Top 14 Results & US Phoenix Auditions
Top 16 Performances, Top 16 Results & US Los Angeles Auditions
Top 18 Performance, Top 18 Results and SYTYCD Top 15 Dances of all time
Top 20 Performance, Top 20 Results
Top 20 Announced
Auditions - Toronto, Vancouver, Saint John
Montréal, Edmonton

My Top 25 Routines from SYTYCD Season 1-5

So You Think You Can Dance - Season 5:
Finale
Top 4 Performance
Top 6 Performance, Top 6 Results
Top 8 Performance, Top 8 Results and Panel Chat
Top 10 Performance, Top 10 Results and Panel Chat
Top 12 Performance, Top 12 Results and Panel Chat
Top 14 Performance, Top 14 Results, Top 14 Panel Chat
Top 16 Performance, Top 16 Results and Panel Chat
Top 18 Performance, Top 18 Results and Panel Chat
Top 20 Performance, Top 20 Results and Panel Chat
Auditions - Vegas Week Part 2 - Top 20 Announcement, Top 20 Pictures/Panel Chat
Vegas Week Part 1
New York City, Denver, Miami, Memphis, LA, Seattle

So You Think You Can Dance Canada:
Finale
Top 8 and 6 Performances and Results, Top 4 Performances
Top 10 Performances, Results 10 to 8
Top 12 Performances, Results 12 to 10
Top 14 Performances, Results 14 to 12
Top 16 Performances, Results 16 to 14
Top 18 Performances, Results 18 to 16
Top 20 Performances and Results
Introducing Canada's Top 20
Auditions:
Toronto Week - The Cut to the Top 20
Vancouver, Halifax, Calgary, Montreal - West, East, Middle and Quebec
Toronto - Toronto's Best Foot Forward
The Judges, The Host, The Teaser, All Photos from CTV

So You Think You Can Dance - Season 4:
Finale
Top 4 Performances
Top 6 Performances and Results 6 to 4
Top 8 Performances, Results 8 to 6
Top 10 Performances, Results 10 to 8
Top 16, 14 and 12 Weeks Recaps by Vance again
Top 12 Performances, Results 12 to 10 - Guest Blogger Linz McC
Top 14 Performances, Results 14 to 12 - Guest Blogger Linz McC
Top 16 Performances, Results 16 to 14 - Guest Blogger Linz McC
Top 18 Performances, Results 18 to 16
Top 20 Performances, Results 20 to 18
Introducing the Top 20
Auditions:
Callbacks in Las Vegas - The Top 20 Revealed - What Happens In Vegas
Milwaukee, WI - How The Midwest Was Won
Charleston, South Carolina and Washington D.C. - S.C.D.C. The New Electric (Boogaloo) Term!
Salt Lake City and Dallas - Yeehaw Utah!
Los Angeles - It's Time To Put On Those Dancing Shoes Again Kids!

So You Think You Can Dance - Season 3:
Live Tour - Toronto, Pasha's Solo Video, Neil's Solo Video
Finale - Winner Result
Top 4 Performances - Finals
Top 6 Performances, Top 6 Results
Top 8 Performances, Top 8 Results
Top 10 Performances, Top 10 Results
Top 12 Performances, Top 12 Results
Top 14 Performances, Top 14 Results
Top 16 Performances, Top 16 Results
Top 18 Performances, Top 18 Results
Top 20 Performances, Top 20 Results

For So You Think You Can Dance Season 2:
Favorite Video Clips
Song List Live Tour 2006 - Toronto
Live Tour 2006 - Buffalo, Pics, More Pics
Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com

5 comments:

momo said...

I share your love for this episode and plan to rewatch it later today, because, as you said, too much goodness at once! I'm very pleased with the reboot.

Rachel said...

Ha! You really did put all the boys above all the girls. Damn.

I loved loved loved the opening number. I wish that Wade's style of choreography had a name, because that's my favourite style of dance. Something about the broken-down movements of the bodies. Totally made me excited for this season.

My favourites of the group dances were Mia's (Alex is my fav of the new group, and Ade was so, so awesome as the old man) and Travis's. I loved Sonja's choreography but the outfits felt like they were trying just a bit too hard (sorry!). Plus I find Robert super off-putting, so I was distracted by my annoyance of him. :D

I feel like Jason Gikison basically said "new girl, pfft, whatever, Pasha is hot!" And so he was. The dance was a bit non-dancey, though.

Crazy that there's just one ballroom dancer and one b-boy, and the rest are pretty much jazz/contemporary. It'll be interesting to see how that affects the other styles!

jeremy said...

You are on crack. The only one who actually hit the NappyTabs routine was Comfort. Good thing the boys were there to do power moves to make up for the fact that they slept through the dancing.
I think best dancers so far are Laren and Robert. I like Kent's lines, but he's missing some basic musicality. I think, once again, the tapper will be one of the first to go.

Vance said...

Ha, well, take my rankings with a grain of salt. I was blinded by Neil and Pasha's shiny chests.

And Comfort was pretty on wasn't she? The more I rewatch it, the more I realize that.

jeremy said...

One more thing -- It looks like maybe the camera is a bit more dance-friendly this season, no?

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