Monday, April 14, 2008

So These Are The Judges Eh? - The SYTYCD Canada Judges

I'm not sure how I missed this but CTV posted the profiles of the judges (that are known so far) for So You Think You Can Dance Canada. Which I guess makes sense since they already had their Vancouver auditions last week. Here are two photos so far from them:

So, we have a host, a teaser commercial for the auditions, (two actually), so now let's meet the jidges. Oh wait, we won't have Cat Deeley in Canada, so instead, we will meet the judges, eh?

The panel seems to be made up from a few imports from the American franchise (like competitor Blake from Season 1, Mary Murphy and Canadian choreographer/judge Jean Marc Genereux) and what looks like a good mix from the dance world who happen to be Canadian. (UPDATE: The lineup of judges for each city is at the bottom. Apr. 23 2008)

The permanent judges:

Jean Marc Genereux is our holdover from So You Think You Can Dance USA, and since he's actually Canadian, I guess it makes sense. It's like the Canadian spinoff while keeping it within the franchise. I don't remember him being my favorite judge but I don't remember being annoyed at him either.

Bio from the website: Quebec's Jean Marc Genereux began dancing at age 10 with his partner, and now wife, France Mousseau, and within six years the pair had won every Regional and State Championship. In the early 1980s they began dancing the International style and won over 100 competitions and all the major championships in North America, participating in 10 World Championships as the first representatives for Canada. Genereux and Mousseau turned professional in 1987 and danced in every major city around the world. In 12 years, they won over 200 competitions on three continents. Genereux and Mousseau retired from the competitive scene in 1998; however, the two still travel all over the world to perform in dance shows, as well as judge and choreograph for the elite competitors. Genereux performed in the motion picture Dance With Me, featuring Vanessa L. Williams and Chayanne, and the motion picture Shall We Dance, with Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere. In 2006, Genereux joined the cast of the American version of So You Think You Can Dance as a choreographer.

Tre Armstrong

Bio: Armstrong's early technical training in ballet, tap and jazz in dance school is what has helped shape her into who she is today. Armstrong has performed in multiple feature films, award shows, reality-based television shows and all across the United States, Canada, St. Kitts, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Japan. Her choreography credits include A Raisin in the Sun, Repo: The Genetic Opera, Vibe Awards and Canadian Idol. Armstrong has traveled worldwide and taught many dance workshops, seminars and classes in hip-hop and urban dance, as well as "how-to 'freestyle'" and "TNT" ("Tippin' N Tré" or dancing in heels). Armstrong was also featured in the internationally-acclaimed documentary Breakin' In: The Making of a Hip Hop Dancer, which highlighted her as one of Canada's top rising stars. Her acting debut as Candy in Save the Last Dance 2 had her working closely with Rich and Tone and the Talauega Brothers. You can see Armstrong as Michelle, lead actress in the MTV/Paramount dance feature film.

Rotating Judges:

Blake McGrath, our Canadian boy who made it near the winning circle of SYTYCD USA Season 1 returns home!

Bio: As a boy growing up in Toronto, Blake McGrath trained intensively in jazz and ballet, but it was in Toronto's rave culture that McGrath first started to get noticed as a dancer. Raving led to dance battles, and before long he was winning competitions all across North America. At 18, McGrath headed to Los Angeles and within a year, Britney Spears' choreographer, Brian Freidman, had hired McGrath on as his assistant. A year after that, McGrath was the first dancer hired for Spears' Onyx Hotel Tour. McGrath has also danced with Madonna, Ashanti, Pink, Jewel, Destiny's Child and Aaron Carter. McGrath's film and television work includes MTV's DanceLife, Rent, Chicago, Summerland, Michael Jackson's 30th Anniversary Special, the Ellen DeGeneres Show and Diva Duets. McGrath was a finalist in the first season of So You Think You Can Dance in the United States. Though McGrath recently began to pursue both acting and choreography more aggressively, dance remains his first love, and continues to travel and teach classes all over the world. His first instructional DVD, Dance Driven, was released in May 2006.

Luther Brown

Bio: Luther Brown and his creative, trendsetting, innovative vision has transformed the formerly unknown Toronto urban dance community into a thriving industry. As the founder and owner of Do Dat Entertainment, Brown created an industry - professional urban dance community that linked Toronto to the ever-growing entertainment industry in the United States. Working with artists such as Brandy, Shawn Desman, Alicia Keys, Mario, Kelis, Jully Black, Faith Evans, Olivia, Ray J, Dream, B4-4, Keshia Chante, Glenn Lewis, Choclair and Maestro, has brought him to the forefront, where Brown is respected amongst the top choreographers in the United States and Canada. Over the past five years, he has choreographed an abundance of music videos, many which have gone on to win awards. His recognizable style is evident in videos such as "Talk About Our Love" by Brandy, "Bad Boy" by Keshia Chante, "Shook" by Shawn Desman, and more. Brown has been the creative director for many tours and choreographed various live shows for artists including Gary Beals, Shawn Desman, Keshia Chante and Mario. Brown also creatively directed the RapCity/IllVibe Records Cross Canada Tour, which featured Saukrates and Jully Black.

Special Guest Judge:

Rex Harrington, National Ballet of Canada superstar (now retired) lends the show a bit of elite credibility! I mean, before I got into ballet this past season, I knew nothing about ballet except that Karen Kain (now the artistic director of the NBA) and Rex Harrington were stars in the ballet world.

Bio: Born in Peterborough, Ont., Rex Harrington joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1983, becoming a Principal Dancer with the company in 1988, a position he held until his retirement in 2004. Renowned both in Canada and abroad for his interpretations of classical roles in Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, Giselle and The Sleeping Beauty, Harrington's performances established him as one of the most accomplished and charismatic male dancers of his era. Harrington was a frequent international guest artist with companies such as La Scala Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Stuttgart Ballet and partnered with ballerinas including, Karen Kain, Ekaterina Maximova, Carla Fracci, Evelyn Hart, Alessandra Ferri and Greta Hodgkinson. Harrington was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000 and was given a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in 2005. In 2006, Harrington was appointed Artist-in-Residence with The National Ballet of Canada.

Vancouver guest Judges:


Another import from the franchise.

Bio: Mary Murphy is best known as the "Queen of Scream" on the U.S. version of So You Think You Can Dance. Her infectious laugh and "Maryisms" like "Hot Tamale Train" have helped make the show a smash hit around the world. In fact, Murphy recently beat out a star-studded field, including Ryan Seacrest, Carrie Ann Inaba and Donald Trump to claim the "Best Host/Judge" prize at the 2007 Reality TV Awards. Murphy is also an in-demand film and television star; appearing in films like Dance With Me with Vanessa Williams and the thriller Killer Movie with Kaley Cuoco and J.C. Chasez. Murphy has also appeared on television shows like Rachael Ray, The Soup, Chelsea Lately and American Idol, to name a few. Murphy began her career as a professional ballroom dancer. She and her partners compiled an impressive list of accomplishments; including victories at The Austrian National Championships and The U.S. Nine Dance Championships. Beyond her work in Hollywood, Murphy is the Owner and Director of Champion Ballroom Academy in San Diego, CA. She also runs Mary Murphy's Chance To Dance program, which brings dance to children in underprivileged areas.

Paul Becker must be the younger hot judge that knows what's hot NOW. Don't know much about him but I happened to have read a recent article by The Toronto Star that recently profiled Paul Becker.

Bio: Born in Victoria, Paul Becker has become one of the most sought after choreographers in the industry today. Most recently, he has been well noticed for his work with the hit rock group The Jonas Brothers. However that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Becker's talent and credits. He has choreographed the feature films Hot Rod; Talk To Me starring Don Cheadle; Code Name: The Cleaner starring Cedric the Entertainer; Are We Done Yet starring Ice Cube; The Wicker Man starring Nicolas Cage; Totally Awesome; Are We There Yet; and The Muppets Wizard of Oz starring Queen Latifah. On TV, Becker is the staff choreographer for Aliens in America, and Showtime's Masters of Horror. In the theatre world, Becker just choreographed High School Musical on Stage at the Orlando Science Center, as well as The Magicians Nephew. His work will be noticed on Broadway soon, as he is the dance consultant for the Broadway revival of The WIZ. Becker is a true visionary; any project that Becker is a part of, he brings his humor, creativity, and endless persistence to make the creation a dynamic experience.

UPDATE (Apr. 22, 2008): They've added three more judges:

Melissa Williams

Bio: Windsor native Melissa Williams is one of the most innovative choreographer/directors working in the entertainment industry today. Recognized for her versatility, musicality and keen eye for the stage, Williams is also known for her sexy, edgy, athletic, "rock-n-roll meets theatre" choreography. It began in 1993, when Williams embarked on a four-year experience with Prince. In 1997, Prince and Mayte called upon Williams to choreograph a three-act dance concert featuring the music of Prince and the NPG, called Around The World In A Day. After spending months choreographing, rehearsing and helping to develop the New Power Generation Dance Company, Williams found her love for live theatre. Williams has since worked with some of the most established artists in the industry, including George Michael, Bryan Adams, Michael Caine, Randy Quaid, Catherine McCormack, Carmen Electra, David LaChapelle, McG, Paul Verhoeven and Joseph Kahn. Over the past two years, Williams and her company, DM Creative, have choreographed and staged live musical productions around the world including Grease The Musical, HAIR The Musical, Generations, Piano Man and Undercover.

Sean Cheesman

Bio: Calgary's Sean Cheesman is an internationally-renowned dancer/choreographer who has worked with some of the world's top entertainers, including Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, TLC, Prince, Vanessa Williams, Carmen Electra, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Queen Latifah, Cher and Britney Spears. From his Canadian beginnings as a figure skater and dancer, Cheesman went on to study at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. In the years that followed, Cheesman toured with Janet Jackson as a choreographer and dancer. He subsequently choreographed the Diamonds and Pearls tour for Prince as well as tours for Faith Hill and No Angels. As a performer, Cheesman appeared in the film The Bodyguard, starring Whitney Houston. His television works include The Ride Divine, Guys Next Door, MTV, the Soul Train Music Awards and Janet Jackson's performance on Saturday Night Live. Cheesman teaches dance workshops on three continents and has written, directed and choreographed large-scale musicals in Russia and Japan. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including two MTV awards for choreography, and was also nominated for a Bob Fosse choreography award. Cheesman is currently the host and lead judge of the U.K television series Dirty Dancing: Time of Your Life.

Dan Karaty

Bio: Dan Karaty is currently a judge and choreographer on the American version of So You Think You Can Dance. Karaty made his Broadway debut in Footloose during his junior year at NYU. By his senior year, he was touring with Britney Spears and had appeared on the MTV Awards and The Billboard Music Awards. Karaty and his friend Wade Robson collaborated on Spears' first Pepsi commercial and the 'NSYNC World Tour. Karaty went on to choreograph videos and tours for Jessica Simpson, Kylie Minogue, 'NSYNC and Spears, and most recently choreographed the feature film Music & Lyrics with Hugh Grant.

UPDATED: list of audition cities and the judges who will be there: (Apr. 23 2008)

City: Halifax, NS
Judges: Tré Armstrong, Melissa Williams, Dan Karaty
Date/Location: (NOTE UPDATED LOCATION) Monday, May 5 - Cunard Centre, 961 Marginal Rd.

City: Calgary, AB
Judges: Tré Armstrong, Jean Marc Genereux, Sean Cheesman
Date/Location: Monday, May 12 - MacEwan Conference & Event Centre, 2500 University Drive N.W.

City: Montreal, QC
Judges: Tré Armstrong, Jean Marc Genereux, Dan Karaty
Date/Location: Tuesday, May 27 - Théâtre St-Denis, 1594 St-Denis Street

City: Toronto, ON
Judges: Tré Armstrong, Luther Brown, Mary Murphy
Date/Location: (NOTE DATE CHANGE) Monday, June 9 - Metro Toronto Convention Centre, John Bassett Theatre, 255 Front Street West

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

For more on So You Think You Can Dance Canada:

Top 20 Performance and Results
Introducing Canada's Top 20

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

So You Think You Can Dance - Season 4:
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

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

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