Thursday, November 01, 2007

So Toronto Thinks You Can Dance - SYTYCD Live Tour Report!

So You Think You Can Dance Live Tour 2007 - Air Canada Centre Theatre - Toronto

The good news is that So You Think You Can Dance is doing really well, the bad news means, they know how to milk it and thus, put So You Think You Can Dance Live Tour into a much larger venue this year in Toronto. 5 times larger. The Air Canada Centre "Theatre" arrangement wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, but then again, I was in the 100's and not the 300's (though still, my pictures weren't great. Sorry for the blur. More below though). Still, a venue that holds 10000 people instead of 2000 makes it a lot more grand and rock concert-like but much less intimate and I needed some sweet alone time with Neil, Sabra and Pasha so this was no good. The extra 9999 people watching kinda made it awkward. I like to watch. I don't like being watched.

Either way, my only other major complaint, as it was with last year was... IT WAS TOO SHORT. Even at 2 hours and 30 minutes (including an intermission) which seems to be a good length for any show, I still wanted MORE. This could have gone for 5 hours or 5 days for all I cared. And yes, I know they need to breathe and stuff but let's get rid of the filler videos and stuff (though it wasn't as much as last years at least). I LOVED IT!

And I loved it because the dancers were AWESOME live and its funny to see who sticks out more live and who gets lost in the large venue. As with last year, with so many of our favorite dancers all on stage at the same time, you never know where to look. OMG it's Sabra! Neil babycakes! Oh it's Pasha! Who is that big haired girl? Oh, it's Jaimie! Look it's Dominic! Lauren! Sara's so cute! Kameron my underrated schnookems! Danny is really tall! Why is Lacey not really moving that much? Oh look! Shauna gets to play with the Top 10! So does Anya! and Hok! and Jesús! Yeh Jesús!

So why wasn't Lacey dancing that much? I had heard just before we got there that Lacey had been ...mostly absent since the show around Oct 15th (true? verification anyone?) and had been injured and sitting out most of the time. Lacey still showed up on stage and danced her solo and danced the Mia's Flower dance with Neil (which luckily, and let's be honest, didn't actually require THAT much dancing) but we noticed she kept slipping out the back during the group numbers once they were in full gear. Most probably to go make out with Hok. Did anybody see her run across the stage to him just after the final bows?

So instead of Lacey preforming with Kameron to the Mia Michael's choreographed Eliza's "Dancing" piece, we got Shauna, who I think did a fantastic job (though 2 of my friends didn't but they are Kameron haters). There were a few other switcharoos, including Anya subbing in to dance with Danny in my favorite dance that Danny is in, the Dmitry Chaplin choreographed "Hip Hip Chin Chin". Kameron did Jimmy's role in The Wiz dance (which I've always loved) with Shauna since Jimmy's not on tour and Sara took the lead role from Lauren in The Matrix group dance.

Now here's where I'm going to be a bit of a downer. While I defended this year's choreographers, I did feel the best ones were mainly in the first few weeks of the Top 20 and that while this years group was better overall (maybe not individually on a one on one basis but if you averaged the top 20 it would be higher than last years top 20) the choreography didn't always live up to last years standards or this years capability. Especially in the large group ensemble dances. Especially the group numbers actually.

There were so many memorable duos this year, all which they performed live for us, from Pasha and Lauren's Transformers, Neil and Sara's "Knock on Wood" Disco, Sara and Jesús' Busker Triplets of Belleville routine, Pasha and Sara's West Coast Swing, Sabra and Dominic's Neyo Hip Hop Love routine, Hok and Jaimie's Hummingbird and Flower, Neil and Lauren's Angel and Devil routine, Pasha and Anya doing their original audition routine (it was, wasn't it?), Danny and Neil's two princes dance-off (which I preferred on stage than on TV) and Neil and Sabra's Table Dance (bringing a new meaning to table dance) which was my favorite of the season.

But the group dances, like "Mein Herr" (Cabaret) with the Top 4 (Neil, Sabra, Danny and Lacey... wait. Who subbed for her? Sara? Jaimie? oops sorry. forgot) I thought was a bit lacklustre, as was the other musical based number, the closing "You Can't Stop the Beat" from Hairspray which they also used as a closing number last year. Except last years choreography was better. There was no great disco group medley like last year or "Sexy Back" where they expanded the Top 4 routine into a full on group number. The Swamp and Matrix numbers are fun but again, not the most memorable.

Only Mia Michael's Imogen Heap large group number with everyone in black tape, and the Lion King number stood out as great group routines this year with even the new opening sequence with the introductions a pale comparison to last years "Technolgic".

So this year, you really have to credit the dancers for still making my heart simultaneously melt and beat-until-it-burst. The one major original number was a group dance off between the three Top 20 hip hoppers, Dominic, Sara and Hok which was just so much fun, it kinda reminded me of Traces. Well, if Broadway doesn't have a place for Hip Hop dancers, at least we know they can move to Montreal and join the cirque.

Now let's get into the love in. What the group numbers really DO show, especially live, is who stands out in a crowd on the stage. And again, I know I got a lot of hate-comments for this but Danny may be technically brilliant and have a body to die for, but he tends to get lost in larger group numbers unless he's already put front and centre of the choreography. He's a GREAT solo dancer but I still contend he's not a great partner. He's perfect to the point where he's no longer aiding his partners, but I guess people don't care since he seemed to get the loudest applause (really Toronto? really?).

Um, I mean, NOW let's get into the love in! Personally, my eyes kept falling onto Sabra who really did deserve the champion title (although her solo was not as great as I hoped) who really perfects every move in every genre of dance. Lauren, as I have defended all season long to the many haters, was fantastic live, since her frantic-looking-but-actually-technically-the-sharpest-moves is made much clearer on stage. Neil of course (whose muscles look bigger in person than on TV) always attracts the eyes, but not just in looks or charms (though he has them in spades) but his gymnastic tricks and versatile dance styles (which I KNEW he would gain quickly during the course of the competition) made him one of my two favorite guys in the competition (and who I thought really should have been in the final 2 with Sabra). Pasha just partners well with everyone and anyone (it would have been cool to see him do a duo with another guy) and just seems like he's having the best time of his life.

The four swings they chose, Jesús, Shauna, Anya and Hok were all great and appropriately subbed in during their specialties. Shauna and Jesús, who I felt deserved longer stints on the show proved why they deserved to be on the tour.

I thought Kameron did a superb job in the final Hairspray routine and stood out in that sequence (though the yellow shirt helped) and it was hard not to notice Jaimie's hair no matter where she was (but yes, she's a very good dancer too).

Dominic and Sara had a whole speaking routine (aka: buy some more time between dances) that was cute if not awkward and Dominic is no actor but all the better for it, playing with his attempt at being a showman charm against Sara's more natural cool demeanor. Neil, always the bad-joke jokester with his mugging and hilarious facial expressions is probably the most suited for doing well outside the dance world (can't wait to see him on Broadway or the remake of Fame! (a new film version which apparently has the go ahead now) hint hint to the casting agents out there!)

Loved all the love calls, and as someone commented on a previous post, the most hilarious one was the one to Kam which came loud and clear. I agree too girl, I totally agree!

Anyways, I'll see if the videos I attempted to take worked and try to throw them up later today or after the weekend. I already know some are bad since I wasn't a very good cameraman and you could see the image fall as my hand dropped while I was drooling over some of the dancers (Neil's solo is particularly badly shot because, um... I wasn't concentrating on the camera).

Okay, I managed to get Pasha's solo video up.

Here's some blurry photos I managed to get... there seems to be a trend on who I concentrated on too, don't mind me... (hehe):

For More on 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 3:
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


Megs said...

Lauren subbed in for Lacey during the Mein Heir routine.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your review because you had a fresh perspective and your observations seem fair or open-minded. Thanks for the review!

jeremy said...

Eeek! Just caught it in Seattle and I've still got a stupid ol' grin on my face.
First of all, Shauna was a revelation and they let her do a solo which was great.
Lacey performed most of her numbers here. The favorite was the Mia Michaels one with Kameron. She nailed it and looked great doing it.
Jamie was also riveting in the hummingbird and flower, which I thought was overrated until I saw it performed live.
I really wish that Kameron and Lacey had gotten to do their hustle routine. That number was hot.
As far as who my eye went to repeatedly--it was Sabra. She was so tiny, and the judges even made this point, dances to the tips of her fingers. There's such a sense of joy that she exudes when she dances and the quickstep she and Pasha did was SO crisp.
Jamie performed w/ Danny to the jive which I thought was strage because Anya was there and didn't seem to be injured.
Anyway, I'm already looking forward to next season.

Vance said...

Yah, I'm glad to see Shauna doing so well, I thought she was underated on the show. Oh you're lucky to see Lacey perform more numbers! But yeah, I loved that hustle routine so it's too bad they didn't perform it live. Sigh... now we have to wait until next summer...

(though apparently in Canada, we are getting our own version now... I'm not sure what to think yet)

MnSportsFan said...

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