Thursday, October 26, 2006

So You Think You Can Dance, Eh? - Live Tour in Toronto, Canada Hummingbird Centre

So You Think You Can Dance Live Tour goes International and comes to Toronto, Ontario, Canada! (Yes, we are actually a different country despite the fact that we all watch the same TV shows)
October 25th 2006

So this is my second time to this little So You Think You Can Dance shindig, and I was probably even MORE excited than the first time around because I actually knew what to expect (and what a lot to expect!) from these amazing dancers. Last time, I had to cross the border with my passport to Buffalo, but this time, I let our favorite So You Think You Can Dance dancers come visit us up here in Toronto, Canada. Sadly, not everyone made it through the border and the news spread quickly before the show that our beloved No-Longer-Jailbait (and GMMR fave) Ivan had to remain in New York because of passport problems (DAMN YOU CANADIAN IMMIGRATION... I thought we let EVERYBODY and ANYBODY in?).

So with that initial disappointment already setting in that the adorable Ivan would not be doing his hip-hop moves before us, I knew that (and I'm trying to find the brightest hint of a silver lining here) at least my attention would have one less thing to concentrate on and I could focus on the other dancers (like my fave Travis). Since my only major disappointment from the last show was that there was no rewind button or the fact I did not have 10 pairs of eyes which meant I had no idea where to concentrate on since there were so many fantastic dancers! It was all too much for one pair of eyes!

So they ran through the intros, this time sans namecards flashing on the screens above. After the AMAZING and new favorite Technologic routine, they explained (somewhat, without actually mentioning the passport problem) that Ivan could not make this one date for the tour, but that he was not sick, and that Jaymz would be filling in for him for the rest of the night. At least we gave Jaymz a great big reception of an applause, though right off the bat from the Technologic routine, it felt like there was something missing and Ivan was sorely missed. No one can groove like that skinny white boy. Now, no disrespect to Jaymz (god, I still hate that spelling), but while he was decent, Ivan really did have something special going on, which was surprisingly most obvious in all the duets with Allison. Most especially during the Argentinian Tango surprisingly enough, which to be honest, was kinda boring this time around. I was sad about "Sexy Love" and their umbrella dance which was a favorite of mine, but luckily Allison and the choreography was still amazing that I could still love it without Ivan, with Jaymz pulling decent enough duty. Meanwhile, the Annie Lennox "Why" routine didn't garner nearly as much applause as the Buffalo audience now without Ivan in place.

The rest of the show basically goes off without a hitch, and in fact, after a month from the last time I saw them, the routines (described in all the tour reports at Dan's site) were even more polished and smoothly performed. I could still do without the solos and more group dances (and wished they had done Mia Michael's Imogen Heaps "Hide and Seek" routine) but they ran through everything again, only with Jaymz filling in for Ivan in all counts except during the krumping with Martha, where Travis retook his position and reminded me of why they were my front-running faves right from the get-go of the show.

Travis by far had the loudest and longest cheers, even much more than in Buffalo (I would say Canadians do have good taste and know how to pick and love them! except I think more than half the Buffalo audience was from Toronto as it seemed everybody waiting for photos and autographs after the show had also been at the Buffalo show like I was, plus the parking lot back in Buffalo was full of Ontario plates). In fact, as soon as the audience caught a glimpse of the now famous BENCH for the Mia Michael's choreographed "Calling You" flower number with Heidi, the roars overtook Travis and Heidi who seemed to be taken by surprise at its overwhelming reception and had to take a longer-than-normal pause before they could be heard doing the introduction to the routine.

Of the girls, Heidi is definitely the most experienced and professional, but Natalie and Allison danced up a storm still (and Natalie's knee-wrap was gone this time though apparently suffering a slight cold from what we found out in the post-show autograph/stalking session, not that it showed at all on stage ), and Donyelle seemed to be getting better at her "lines of flirtation" with Benji (or is it the real thing? Benji gave a quick peck to Donyelle during the dip in their ballroom dance). Martha (I still can't believe she's that young. She seems so mature and professional) was fantastic as always but again, I'm so glad she was paired up with her first partner Travis during the Krumping to add along with their "Steam Heat" duet.

The boys were great as always too, with Dimitri really enjoyable to watch during the disco routine, and Ryan and all his control during his solo. Benji, hamming it up as always (and in a Canada T-Shirt to start), was in excellent form in his newly dyed red hair (apparently done while in Toronto), and hilarious in a throw-away moment that only a few of us had seem to catch, where he dramatically pulled the Fosse stage piece off the stage, pulling with Rico-Suavé flair. Travis of course still pulled most of my attention, as I felt that he seemed to just have that extra little bit somehow in all his dances, from disco to contemporary to his Paso Doblé.

It was nice to see all the dancers seemingly grounded and super nice in the after show (stalking) autograph session by the tour buses, with Donyelle filming the crowd with her own camera herself. Only Travis didn't take pictures with everybody, probably because he definitely elicited the loudest cheers and was in demand the most, so for times sake (and the fact that the dancers were freezing outside in our cold weather (I swear, it's unusually cold right now in Toronto, we aren't always an igloo state)) Travis was rushed through only signing things quickly. Everyone else was extremely cute (but much shorter than I imagined (with the exception of Dimitri, who must be about 6'1" since we were about the same height)) and took the time to pose for pictures with everyone, and Benji really did seem like the nice guy we all would be friends with in school and seemed super excited of everyone posting the photos on his myspace page.

Alas, that's it for me and So You Think You Can Dance, and I'm kinda sad today knowing that I won't see the group live again. Apparently the group were going to visit the Hairspray movie sets last night (DAMN, I knew I should have held out for that job and not taken this one on a show you all know and love (or should! hehe)) before moving onto the next show today. Now if they can only come back to be dancers in Hairspray, that would have been GREAT! I guess I'll have to live through the clips on the net and the episodes I kept on tape (come ON Nigel, when are the DVD's coming out?).

UPDATE: Here's the 2007 So You Think You Can Dance Live Tour Report!

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