Monday, December 31, 2007

Pole Dancing

So You Think You Can Dance Poland has begun airing. Here, Natalia Madejczyk auditions. She's no Shauna Noland, but she's obviously trained and talented. We'll be watching for highlights from the show.
Uploaded by Ann2Sun

Neil Added To New Years Eve Lineup

Neil Haskell posted to his Myspace blog that he will be joining Cat Deeley for Fox's New Years Eve Live broadcast from Times Square tonight. It was previously announced that fellow SYTYCDers Sabra Johnson, Dominic Sandoval, and Hok Konishi would appear.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Preview Of Dance War

Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann premieres a week from tomorrow. It looks like it could appeal to So You Think You Can Dance watchers, even those who have no patience for Dancing With The Stars. Check out the choreography in this preview video.

Uploaded by ariesjewel

Here's an article from TVGrapevine with more info:

While Dance War will have similar elements with Dancing With The Stars, it will not be a copy of it. "It's a companion show" to Dancing, executive producer John Hesling says. "It's not about ballroom. It's singing and dancing. It's very cool stuff, not sequins or taffeta."


Saturday, December 29, 2007

SYTYCD News Roundup

Shane at the Orange Bowl. Shane Sparks will be choreographing a piece to be performed at halftime of the Orange Bowl football game on Thursday, Jan. 3rd.


Ashlee Nino is working. As noted on her Myspace blog, season 2 finalist Ashlee Nino, aka Lady Shiva, is performing with Miley Cyrus on the phenomenally successful Hannah Montana tour.


Hugh meets Dan. Hugh Grant worked with Dan Karaty while filming Music And Lyrics. Apparently, Hugh doesn't think he can dance:

“Dancing was really hell, because you either have it or you don’t. I emphatically don’t! They got this brilliant choreographer, who does all those top girls, Britney (Spears) and Christina (Aguilera) and everyone. He (Dan Karaty) and I stood facing each other in a cold dance studio.

“Dan said, ‘Okay, I’m going to put the music on and just express yourself.’ He put the music on—and I just stood still for half an hour (laughter)! In the end, I say this jokingly but it’s actually true, I had to resort to alcohol and drugs to get me through all that! But, who dances when they’re not drunk? No one!”


His mother must be proud. Bryan Kristopowitz at lists So You Think You Can Dance as the worst TV show of 2007:
There's actually a show worse than American Idol, and its the Dance show that comes on the week after Idol ends. The audition shows here are worse than the Idol audition shows, the judges are lower than slime (Shane Sparks is one of the worst human beings I've ever seen on television), and the choreographers who create the dances for the contestants are pretentious douchebags. I hope that Sex guy came back during the open audition, and I hope that he keeps coming back year after year after year. The judges always whine about how most of the people auditioning can't dance and are wasting the judges' time. Please. You are being paid to sit there and watch everyone who shows up, and for the love of God you freaking asked these people to come. God I hate this show.

Bryan's second worst show of 2007? American Idol Gives Back, which raised nearly 80 million dollars to alleviate poverty in the US and Africa. What a wonderful human being he must be.


The CBC gets it. CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) lists So You Think You Can Dance amongst it's 100 favorite pop culture moments of 2007. I'm a bit confused about which season they're referring to:
The second season of SYTYCD had better dancers, better music and more crowd-pleasing drama. This electrifying and thoroughly good-hearted series presents the very best face of reality television.


Likely choice. Here's my pick for the song we're most likely to see used during season 4. Róisín Murphy's Let Me Know. We know Wade Robson loves Róisín Murphy's music, and the disco beat of this song makes it attractive to other choreographers as well.
Courtesy of emirecordsuk

Friday, December 28, 2007

Allison at NYCDA Boston

Season 2 favorite Allison Holker performing at the NYCDA Boston showcase. Stick around and see more from Taja Riley.
Uploaded by NYCDA

Aussies Can Dance

Uploaded by Der46

Uploaded by HeraldSunOnline

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Choreographer Michael Kidd Dies

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting the passing of Tony and Oscar winning choreographer Michael Kidd:

Choreographer Michael Kidd, whose joyously athletic dances for ballet, Broadway and Hollywood delighted audiences for half a century and won him five Tonys and an Oscar, has died.

Kidd's nephew, Robert Greenwald, told the New York Times that Kidd died Sunday night at his Los Angeles home of cancer. Kidd's age is often listed as 88, but Greenwald told the Times that his uncle actually was 92.

To moviegoers, Kidd was known for 1954's "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," in which a bunch of earthy backwoodsmen (some of them really stage dancers) prance exuberantly with their prospective brides.


If today's choreographers are standing on the shoulders of giants, Michael Kidd is one of those giants. Here's Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse in 1953's The Band Wagon.
Courtesy of LeslieHowardFan

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Nutcracker

American Idol blogger Rickey attended last night's production of The Nutcracker featuring Danny Tidwell, Rasta Thomas, and Carrie Imler. His report includes photos and a bit of video.


The recipients of the 2 Nutcracker tickets auctioned here to benefit DRA (high bidder was Andrew G, who passed them on to a service organization in SoCal) met Danny after the show:

We had a really great time. It was a bit confusing after the show but we ended up at the Cast Party for a bit where we were able to meet Danny. He was very sweet. We stayed for a bit until a woman told us we weren't able to stick around since we weren't on the cast party list which was all good. We had a great time! The show was fantastic and of course Danny was amazing. He was only in it briefly though. Nonetheless, it was great!

Here are the 2 pictures I managed to take!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Danny And Mary Video Interview

In the snow, barefoot. San Diego's Fox 6 interviews Mary Murphy and Danny Tidwell, along with Benjamin Houk, director of this weekend's performances of The Nutcracker in Escondido.

Mary just lost her Dad. Our thoughts go out to her family.


Neil In MTV Musical

Neil's movie. According to the Hollywood Reporter, we'll see Neil Haskell next summer in MTV's The American Mall, from the producers of High School Musical. In fact, if you believe the article, there are 2 Neil Haskells in it.


6 Hours on MTV Today

Late notice. If you've started your holiday vacation, check out the 6 hours of So You Think You Can Dance programming today on MTV, beginning at 10am Eastern. It's not clear which season these shows are from.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Video From NYCDA

15 year old Taja Riley, sister of SYTYCD almost-finalist Deja Riley, performing Travis Wall and Ivan Koumaev's choreography at NYCDA. She reminds me of Josephine Baker in this one.
Video uploaded by IvanKoumaev

SYTYCD News Roundup

Pasha and Anya perform: Stamford, Ct. is the location for 2 performances this weekend of Rhythm Of Love, billed as "The Best of Ballroom" meets "The Best of Broadway". This preview in The Stamford Times includes a quote from Anya Garnis:

The show offers dynamic competitors Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnis ["So You Think You Can Dance" finalists just back from the national tour], Benito Garcia and Emilee Peterson, Felipe Telona, Jr. and Carolina Orlovsky-Telona, Garry and Rita Gekhman, JT Thomas and Tomasz Mielnicki [smooth champions from "Dancing with the Stars"], and Jose DeCamps and Joanna Zacharewicz [also featured on "Dancing with the Stars"]. Garcia, a well-known dancer who began his career as a Fred Astaire Dance Studio teacher, is cast as in the role of dramatic lead in "Rhythm of Love," the timeless tale of boy meets girl, boy misses getting the girl because he's so focused on learning how to dance, boy finally dances with the girl of his dreams. He plays opposite Peterson as the dramatic female lead.

Garnis, who appeared in last year's production of "Rhythm of Love," is excited that her sport is receiving so much attention in this country.

"The ballroom world is a little bit isolated, compared to every other type of sport, so I feel that it's the right time and great for us as ballroom dancers," she said, adding that they train as hard as any athlete to succeed. "It takes so much stamina and physical and emotional preparation for the competitions and the shows. It's definitely an artistic sport."


Shauna teaches tonight in Santa Cruz. Her Myspace bulletin:
just wanted to let you all no that...
*** i will be teaching class tomorrow.. Thursday, Dec. 20th
at 'No Limits' in Santa Cruz, CA!

2600 south rodeo gulch, suite c
Soquel, CA. 95073

-5:30pm-6:30pm juniors class($15)
-6:30pm-8:00pm advanced class ($25)

HaPpY HoLiDaYs!
-Shauna :)

Audition cities prepare: Salt Lake City's Fox 13 featured a video report on the upcoming season 4 auditions. Charleston, S.C.'s CityPaper posted the video of Travis Wall's audition there for season 2.

Sabra, Dominic, Hok On New Years Eve

SET YOUR TIVOS: Sabra, Dominic, and Hok join Cat Deeley for Fox's New Years Eve Live from Times Square. Also performing will be Fallout Boy, Lifehouse, Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis.

LINK to Press Release

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Season 4 Press Release

Here's the official press release from Fox regarding season 4.


Audition Dates Also Set For Charleston, SC; Washington D.C.; Los Angeles; Milwaukee; and Salt Lake City

Fresh off this year's successful cross-country performance tour, the hit summer series SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE begins another search for America's Favorite Dancer. In Season Four producers expand their auditions from four cities to six including Dallas; Charleston, SC; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; Milwaukee; and Salt Lake City in search of dancers who best represent the rhythm of the nation. Auditions for the fourth season of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE are as follows:

Cities Dates Venues
Dallas, TX Jan. 17, 2008 TBD
Charleston, SC Jan. 31, 2008 TBD
Washington, D.C. Feb. 21, 2008 TBD
Los Angeles, CA March 6, 2008 TBD
Milwaukee, WI March 20, 2008 TBD
Salt Lake City, UT April 3, 2008 TBD

Audition venues will be announced shortly. Log on to for the latest information.


Casting is open to persons between the ages of 18 and 30 at the time of the audition who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., or possess a current legal visa allowing them to seek employment in the U.S. without restriction as to employer.

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE promises to keep America moving to a different beat as dancers skilled in everything from hip-hop to ballroom compete to be named America's favorite. Entering its fourth season this summer on FOX, the hot series from the creators of AMERICAN IDOL and the producers of "American Bandstand" is hosted by Cat Deeley. Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy will once again judge the competition and many renowned choreographers will return as guest judges. Talented dancers who spark the judges' interest during auditions will be invited to call-backs, where they will work with top choreographers. During the call-back week, the judges will choose the Top 20 dancers who will continue in the competition.

The Emmy-winning SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE finished its third season as the No. 1 show in its time period among key demographics. The Season Three champion, Sabra Johnson, was voted America's Favorite Dancer and waltzed off with the cash prize of $250,000.

Two-time Emmy Award-winning SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE was created by Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe and comes from 19 Entertainment, Ltd. and Dick Clark Productions. It is executive-produced by Simon Fuller, Nigel Lythgoe and Barry Adelman.

About 19 Entertainment

The 19 Group of Companies was founded by Simon Fuller in 1985 and has achieved over 40 No. 1 singles and 15 No. 1 albums. Fuller also has an impressive tally of over 60 Top-40 albums and 170 Top-40 singles in the UK alone. Fuller created and managed the Spice Girls, who became a global phenomenon under his guidance, selling over 38 million albums. In 1998, Fuller's 19 launched S Club 7, which has sold 10 million CDs worldwide, while its three television series to date have consistently topped children's viewing figures, reaching 104 countries. In 2001, Simon Fuller's 19TV created and produced the television phenomenon "Pop Idol" and in 2002, AMERICAN IDOL. "Pop Idol" launched the singing careers of Will Young and Gareth Gates in the UK, while AMERICAN IDOL did the same for Carrie Underwood, Fantasia Barrino, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks and Ruben Studdard in the United States.

About Dick Clark Productions, Inc.

Founded in 1957, Dick Clark Productions, inc. ("dcpi") is a leading independent producer of television programming. dcpi produces perennial hits such as Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, the American Music Awards, the Golden Globe Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards. dcpi also produces popular weekly television programming, including So You Think You Can Dance, and owns and maintains one of the world's most unique and extensive entertainment libraries, which includes more than 30 years of American Bandstand, among other things. For additional information, please visit

Danny Interviewed About The Nutcracker

Patricia Morris Buckley interviews Danny Tidwell for the North County Times about his upcoming performance in The Nutcracker:

"The score is just beautiful," he said. "I especially like the Russian music. It's a high energy, character kind of role."

Playing a role like this is nothing compared with the energy it took to be on TV.

"That was a competition," he said, "so I was always a little nervous. Still, it was one of the best experiences of my life. I especially liked going on tour afterwards."


Rebecca contributed to this report.

Neil & Lauren's Let The Drummer Kick

SYTYCDA has the video of Neil Haskell and Lauren Gottlieb doing Mia Michaels' Let The Drummer Kick contemporary routine, aka the goggle dance. It was only performed once on the tour, in Reno on the last night.


Benji Update

Beginning in January, Benji Schwimmer will be guest teaching at Tremaine Dance conventions in Vancouver, New York, Indianapolis, and Dallas.


Benji posted 10 random things to his Myspace blog, including how grateful he is that he will be busier in 2008 than he was in 2006 and 2007 combined. He also talks about D.E.M.A.N.D.(Dancers Everywhere Making A Needed Difference), his project "to raise funds to distribute wherever a need may arise", primarily in Mexico for now. More info here.

Selly contributed to this report.

Sabra Wins Again

Thanks to you and your votes, Sabra Johnson is BuzzSugar's Best Reality TV Winner for 2007.

This one was a two-way race from the start, with Apolo Anton Ohno, the winner of the spring season of Dancing With the Stars, pulling out to an early lead. But Sabra Johnson, the winner of So You Think You Can Dance, ultimately surged ahead to take the title. Vying for third: Helio Castroneves, the most recent Dancing champ, and Jaslene Gonzales of America's Next Top Model.

I'm not sure what "Best Reality Show Winner actually means, but if it has anything to do with talent, there's no question in my mind that Sabra deserved the honor.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Shauna And Unity Dance Ensemble

Warning: we told you about this performance ahead of time. If you could have been there and weren't, don't watch these videos as you will probably kick yourself so hard you'll miss the holidays.


One Man's Karma

Shauna's solo.

Huge thanks to our friend Cami for sharing these videos.

Ticket Auction Extended...Meet Danny! (SoCal)

The ticket auction has been extended until 9am PST tomorrow. See the comment thread here for the extras added to the offer by movmnt magazine and Danny Tidwell. David Benaym:

Because of his effort to reach out and support DRA and to show Ted that this auction is not such a bad idea, Danny will meet and thank personally the generous bidders after the show Saturday Night.

And because it's almost christmas, let's include a few presents... :-)
- A complimentary subscription to movmnt for a year
- A signed copy of Moving Still, signed by every performers featured in the book. (Yes that includes Danny and Travis :-))

Original auction details here.

Nutcracker performance info here.

Nutcracker Ticket Update

The ticket auction was apparently not the best idea I've ever had. Several people we had hoped would help spread the word were unable to do so for various reasons. I'm still trying to get something for Dancers Responding To AIDS by selling the tickets on Craigslist San Diego.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A New Day Reminder

We told you on the 6th about Celine Dion's A New Day...One Night Only, being broadcast to 200 theaters around the US tonight. It's a rare opportunity to see Mia Michaels' choreography on a large scale.

Mia attended the final performance of A New Day, Saturday evening in Las Vegas. We found 2 stories about the show.

LINK to Yahoo review and videos.

LINK to New York Times story.

It looks like I won't be able to make it. If anyone goes, please let us know how it was. Here again is the list of theaters.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Video Interviews From Portland

Portland, Or. DJ Cabanaboy interviews tour cast members.

Lauren, Jaimie, and Danny.

Danny and Dominic.


Videos uploaded by CabanaBoyRemix

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sabra At NYCDA Boston

Here's our Sabra performing at NYCDA convention in Boston. Also, stick around for Denise Wall student Corey Cox. You won't regret it.
Uploaded by NYCDA

Thanks to Loralyn for the tip.

NYCDA has a new blog, in addition to their official site and Myspace page.

Tickets For The Nutcracker

In honor of Movmnt Magazine's commitment to give back to the dance community, BSYTYCD has obtained tickets to the Saturday, Dec 22nd evening performance of The Nutcracker with the San Elijo Dance & Music Academy at the beautiful California Center For The Arts in Escondido (between LA and San Diego). It features Danny Tidwell and international stars Carrie Imler and Rasta Thomas.

We're auctioning 2 fifth row Orchestra tickets here with ALL proceeds benefitting Dancers Responding To AIDS (DRA). Details for bidding after the jump. PLEASE spread the word on this one. Let's show the dance world that SYTYCD fans care too.

Bidding will take place in this comment thread, or you can email me at, and I will update the bids. Bidding will start at the face value of the tickets (with junk fees), $94.00. Bidding will end at 9pm EST Monday, December 17th. The winning bidder will have 24 hours to arrange payment directly with DRA. Our contact there can accept credit card payment. If planning to pay by check, please be prepared to Next Day Air the check to DRA. Once payment is confirmed, I will Next Day Air the tickets to the winning bidder.

There is NO meet & greet planned for that night at this time. If that changes, passes will also be provided (thanks to movmnt magazine). This is out of our hands, so please do not bid if you are counting on attending the M&G.

Season 4 Audition Dates

Movmnt Magazine has the dates and locations for season 4 auditions.

- Dallas Texas: January 17th
- Charleston, South Carolina: January 31
- Washington, DC: February 21
- Los Angeles, California: MARCH 6
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin: March 20
- Salt Lake City, Utah: April 3


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dance From The Heart

Danny Tidwell and David Benaym's movmnt magazine is one of the sponsors of Dance From The Heart benefiting Dancers Responding to AIDS. Press release:

On Monday, December 10, the dance worlds of Ballet, Tap, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, and Broadway converged on the stage of Cedar Lake (527 West 26th Street, New York City) for the latest edition of "Dance from the Heart," the yearly one night only dance experience benefiting Dancers Responding to AIDS (DRA) a fundraising program of Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS.

"Dance from Heart" was hosted by multi award winning choreographer and dance visionary 
Bill T. Jones
, who recently added Tony Award for his choreography in the Broadway musical 
Spring Awakening
 to his already full mantle of accolades. This year's edition of "Dance from the Heart" featured a roster of ten internationally acclaimed artists and dance companies including American Ballet Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet,
Martha Graham Dance Company, Keigwin + Company, Paradigm, 
Wendy Seyb, Shen Wei Dance Arts, 
Jason Samuels Smith
, and members of the cast of Disney's  The Lion King on Broadway.

"Dance from Heart" was made possible in part, thanks to the generous support of DRA's Corporate Sponsors: The New York Times, Continental Airlines, MAC AIDS Fund, 
 Magazine, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, BV, movmnt magazine, christiania Vodka and Passport Magazine.

Founded by Denise Roberts Hurlin and Hernando Cortez, Dancers Responding to AIDS is a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA), the nation's leading industry-based AIDS funding and grant-making organization. The funds raised are distributed to seven programs of The Actors Fund and as grants to over 400 AIDS and family service organizations across the United States. Since its founding in 1988, BC/EFA has distributed over $140 million for critically needed services for people with AIDS, HIV, or HIV-related illnesses. 

For more information on DRA, visit

For more information on BC/EFA or to make a donation visit

To subscribe to movmnt and give benefits to DRA, Broadway cares:

Denise Wall, David Benaym, and Denise Hurlin Roberts at Dance From The Heart
Courtesy of movmnt magazine

I'm proud of BSYTYCD's relationship with movmnt magazine. BSYTYCD has purchased 2 fifth row Orchestra tickets to the Saturday, December 22nd performance of The Nutcracker in Escondido, Ca. featuring Danny Tidwell, Carrie Imler, and Rasta Thomas. We'll be taking bids for these tickets with all proceeds going directly to Dancers Responding To AIDS. Details to follow. Please spread the word to anyone you know who could attend and would be interested in supporting a very worthy cause.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

SYTYCD News Roundup

Baltimore's CityPaperOnline names So You Think You Can Dance one of the top 10 shows of 2007:

It's a rare TV show that gives you a greater appreciation for art--at least outside of public television. But So You Think You Can Dance does just that. It shows a mainstream TV audience a world of dance beyond club-floor bump and grind that includes styles from ballroom to B-boy, giving each its full respect. Before watching this show, you might think of contemporary dance as little more than a punch line, a bunch of earnest people in black body suits rolling on the floor and pretending to be trees. Afterward, you'll find yourself comparing the choreography of Mia Michaels and Wade Robson. And while this show is likely to teach you a thing or two about dance, with its choreographers, judges who care about talent rather than personal drama, and unbelievably talented contestants, SYTYCD always feels more like inspiration than education. (Anna Ditkoff)


Selly at Dance Outlook has some info about Wade and Amanda Robson being commissioned by the San Francisco Ballet for their upcoming 75th Anniversary Gala.


SYTYCDA obtained scans of an Australian magazine article about Wade.


We'll be seeing Blake McGrath in an upcoming Janet Jackson video.


Apparently, Hok, Lacey, Pasha, and Anya relaxed in Lake Tahoe for a while directly after the tour.


Idol Thoughts has some tour photos worth checking out.


Kristin at Eonline says season 4 auditions will begin in January:
Sources tell me the SYTYCD crew begins their cross-country travels to audition prospective contestants in January. As of right now, I know that they're for sure hitting Charleston, D.C., Milwaukee, L.A., Vegas and Dallas.


Australia's Defamer reports that some top 20 finalists were spotted at the Sydney airport.


Reality Raver reports that a performers union is urging dancers to boycott the Australian So You Think You Can Dance, claiming that Network Ten's contract is illegal.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Definition Of A Man Report

Make no mistake, the half-house audience for the opening night of Definition Of A Man came to see John Gray, not Danny Tidwell. It's an interesting dynamic and a poignant illustration of the precarious position dancers find themselves in. That's not to say the crowd didn't respond to Danny's performance, but more on that later.

Not being a theater critic or anything more than an adequate writer, I'm unqualified to critique the show itself. It's a re-telling of the African-American experience, with all the ugly history that entails, but there's also humor and hope. Confronting the unspeakable inhumanity in our past is always painful. There's nothing groundbreaking here though. Mr. Gray carries and portrays the narrative well. He's a powerful singer and engaging personality. He's supported by a small cast of singers and dancers, and actress Shawn Flowers. It's presented on a spare, rotating stage with projected backgrounds. The two hours went by quickly.

In the finale, John Gray sings on one side of the stage, Israel Houghton plays guitar and sings on the other. Danny wanders onstage...


in a casual white shirt and skinny black jeans. Soon, he's dancing Roger Jeffrey's lyrical choreography between the two. It was a lot to absorb. I wanted to listen to John Gray sing, to Israel Houghton play and sing, and I wanted to watch Danny dance. The audience was on its feet cheering Danny's seemingly endless, effortless spins as the song reached its dramatic crescendo. Where's the Play Again button? I wanna see that again!

During curtain call, Danny's ovation was second only to Mr. Gray's, as it should be. As the cast was leaving the stage, Danny wanted to bust some freestyle moves with other cast members. Sorry Danny, you're not on So You Think You Can Dance any more. He got no takers.

Overheard as the audience was filing out:

"He was good. You know he was on that show So You Think You Can Dance?"

"Which show is that?"

"It's a reality show".


There was a meet & greet in the lobby after the show. I got to ask Danny a few questions. He got involved with this show because he's been friends with John Gray and his wife for years. This audience was definitely a different vibe than what he had experienced over the last several months, but he loved performing for them. There are no plans at this time for a Danny Tidwell Dance Company. He's currently concentrating on growing movmnt magazine, training for dance opportunities, and taking acting lessons. He'll be dancing the role of the Russian doll in his upcoming performance of The Nutcracker in San Diego. He's excited to be dancing with his friends Rasta Thomas and Carrie Imler again, and expects the shows to be sellouts. I represented for our Canadian and Australian readers who would love to see Danny perform. There are no plans currently to perform in either country, but he says he would jump at the opportunity. Translation: call and write your local dance companies. Let them know you want your Danny.

By this time the audience members were reaching Danny after meeting John Gray and Shawn Flowers, so I backed away. They were politely and enthusiastically complimentary to Danny, but I'm not sure any were converted to being dance fans.

The show is planned for a February airing on HBO, though I only saw one, stationary camera in the theater, so I doubt this performance will be the one shown. We'll remind you when we know an air date.

Shawn Flowers and Danny Tidwell

A supporting dancer, John Gray, Shawn Flowers, and Danny Tidwell

Jaimie's NYCDA Schedule

Jaimie Goodwin posted her a schedule of her NYCDA appearances to her Myspace blog.

NYCDA weekends so far...

Hey everyone, these are the weekends I'm going to NYCDA that I know of so far... I'll update as i know more!

Nashville- Dec 15-16

Mobile, AL- Jan 5-6

Lansing, MI -Jan 12-13

Arlington, VA- Jan 19-20

Portland, OR-Jan 26-27

Here's Jaimie performing at an NYCDA event before the SYTYCD season.
Uploaded by dance4ever87
Recorded by Brian from IDF

Monday, December 10, 2007

Danny Update

I just returning from the opening performance of Definition Of A Man. I'll try to have a report up sometime tomorrow. In the meantime, our friend Angelica reports on her experience at JUMP this weekend:

Just got back from the Jump Convention and WOW it was AMAZING! (For people that don't know JUMP is a Dance workshop/competition) I went to watch the final showcase. So the reason I went was basically to see Danny again and I got more than that:)

As my mom and me were waiting in line Dan Karaty came out of the rehersal room.. I was going to say something to him but I think he is really cocky so I just let him walk by me. It's funny because I took classes from Dan when I was 10 years old!

Then I saw Danny come out of the room and talk about being in the RIGHT place at the RIGHT time! So he was coming out and I stood up and said his name. He gave me a hug and then I asked him if I could get a picture. He told me to hold on and went and ordered a coffee drink. As they were making it he came back and asked me my name and such. I told him that I met him at the SYTYCD backstage meet and greet and we small talked. My mom took a picture of us.... he is beatiuful...I love that man.

Nick Lazarrini came out of the rehearsal room too and I went over to him and shook his hand, what a cutie!

The show was cool... Mandy Moore was there too and she did a AWESOME contemporary freestyle with Danny and 4 other senior guys. Danny and Mandy dance beautifully together! Mandy and Nick did a dance to some 80's songs mixed and Danny came out for that one. They did it with the mini kids and it was so cute! As Danny was running offstage he gave me a wink and he smiled:)

Nick did a really good solo that I have up in my videos on my page.. he is crazy good! Dan did not dance at all... in fact he left early and did not even watch his kids perform the number he taught them. I don't know... I never really liked him.

But anyways it was a awesome night and my default picture was taken just a few hours ago!

Photo courtesy of Angelica

Danny In Atlanta Tonight

Danny Tidwell performs as part of John Gray's Definition Of A Man, tonight and tomorrow night at the Rialto Theater in Atlanta.

Definition of a Man takes you on a ride through history employing music, drama, comedy, skits, poetry and dance in an unequivocal effort to answer some serious questions about manhood, while addressing some real life experiences that Mr. Gray has encountered. Atlanta audiences will be enlightened, enraged, empowered and ultimately transformed.

The Atlanta debut of this work will also feature performances by Grammy Award winning artist Israel Houghton and a stunning original dance composition from ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ finalist Danny Tidwell.

Sources tell us Danny will perform a piece created by choreographer Roger Jeffrey, and that the entire show will appear on HBO in February as part of Black History Month. More on John Gray here, Rialto Theater ticket info here.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Update From Sabra

Sabra Johnson posted the following to her Myspace blog:

The Aftermath:)

I am moving on, having to make my own reason for getting up at a reasonable time these days. So far I love it!

I will be touring with NYCDA this year which I'm so excited about! That's like a dream come true for me. I can't wait to meet hundreds and hundreds of more of amazing dancers. Boston will be my first city but after that I can't make any until January which is not set in stone yet. I'm working on it:).

I am teaching a Broadway Dance Center at the end of December and then again at the beginning of January.

I'm not sure how to just post a bulletin.... I think that's what it is? I could be completely wrong, but anyway I wanted to let you guys know what I'm doing for those who asked and those who care :). Thanks again for wanting to know and still be involved. I will do my absolute best to keep you informed!

Can't wait to meet you crazy people! Lots of Love:)

Don't forget to vote for Sabra again!

Danny's First Post-SYTYCD Performance

What a holiday treat for dance fans! Danny Tidwell will appear with international stars Carrie Imler and Rasta Thomas in performances of The Nutcracker, with the San Elijo Dance and Music Academy at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, December 21-23 2007.

Together, beautiful dancers, a live orchestra, spectacular sets and gorgeous costumes light up the stage as this magical, grand-scale production of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker comes to life. San Elijo’s sixth annual Nutcracker production promises to be a heart-warming and memorable event for the entire family! Ticket prices range from $18.50 to $42.

More info and tickets here. Note: Danny will only appear in the 2 evening performances. Full press release after the jump.

Thanks to Rebecca and Loralyn for contributing to this report.


Tchaikovsky’s THE NUTCRACKER
California Center for the Arts, Escondido
December 21- 23 2007
Evening performances on Dec 21 & 22 at 7:00 pm
and a matinee performances Dec 22 & 23 at 2:00pm

Principal Guest Stars: Carrie Imler, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Rasta Thomas, and Danny Tidwell from FOX’s show “So You Think You Can Dance.”

Accompanied by the San Diego Civic Youth Orchestra

Directors Lauri-Michelle and Benjamin Houk announce that San Elijo Dance & Music Academy will perform a magical, grand-scale production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido running December 21 through the 23. Evening performances on December 21 & 22 at 7:00 pm and a matinee performances December 22 & 23 at 2:00 pm. San Elijo Dance and Music Academy is proud to perform their sixth-annual Nutcracker this December with international guests stars Carrie Imler, Principal Ballerina, Pacific Northwest Ballet: Rasta Thomas, International Star; and Danny Thomas, FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance.”

History of The Nutcracker
This famous play began life in 1816 written by the German writer E.T.A. Hoffman. The play was entitled “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” and it was a tale of an unhappy girl named Marie whose only love is a nutcracker doll. The play was adapted in 1845 by famed French novelist Alexandre Dumas, who made the play more suitable for children. In 1891 the cheerier version of the ballet was chosen as the basis of a Russian ballet to be scored by Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky and choreographed by Marius Petitpa and Lev Ivanov The original ballet opened in St. Petersburg on December 17, 1892. The ballet is the tale of a girl named Clara who is given a nutcracker doll for Christmas by her godfather, Drosselmeyer. That night she falls asleep and is disturbed by an attack of mice led by the Mouse King, who wishes to take her away to his kingdom. She is rescued by soldiers of the Nutcracker who, as a prince, takes her to his land, a country full of sugarplums and waltzing flowers. She awakens the next morning with only the doll and memories of her Christmas adventure.

International Guest Stars Performing

San Elijo Dance and Music Academy is presenting international guest artist Carrie Imler, Principal from Pacific Northwest Ballet , Rasta Thomas, and Danny Tidwell from FOX’s show “So You Think You Can Dance.” will be performing the principal roles.

Carrie Imler
Carrie Imler is from Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She trained on scholarship at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet School and attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet. She joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 1995. In 1996, she was promoted to corps de ballet. She was made a Soloist in 2000 and Principal in 2002.

Ms. Imler has danced leading roles in George Balanchine's Apollo, Ballet Imperial, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Chaconne, Concerto Barocco, Diamonds, Divertimento No. 15, The Four Temperaments, La Valse, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Titania, Hippolyta), Rubies, Serenade, Stars and Stripes, Symphony in C, Symphony in Three Movements, Theme and Variations, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Western Symphony, and Who Cares?; Val Caniparoli's The Bridge, Lambarena, and Torque; Nacho Duato's Jardí Tancat; William Forsythe's In the middle, somewhat elevated; Ronald Hynd's The Merry Widow (Hanna) and The Sleeping Beauty (Aurora, Lilac Fairy, Gold and Silver pas de trois); Peter Martins' Fearful Symmetries; Kevin O'Day's Aract; Kirk Peterson's Amazed in Burning Dreams; Marius Petipa's Le Corsaire Pas de Trois, Don Quixote (Kitri), and Paquita; Kent Stowell's Carmen, Carmina Burana, Cinderella (Fairy Godmother), Coppélia (Dance of the Hours, Dawn), Delicate Balance, Dumbarton Oaks, Firebird, Hail to the Conquering Hero, Kammergarten Tänze, Nutcracker (Clara, Flora), Poème St. Saëns, Quaternary, Silver Lining, Swan Lake (Odette/Odile), and The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (Juliet, Lady Capulet); Richard Tanner's Ancient Airs and Dances; Lynne Taylor-Corbett's Mercury; Paul Taylor's Roses; Glen Tetley's Voluntaries; Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs; and Rudi van Dantzig's Ginastera. She originated leading roles in Nicolo Fonte's Almost Tango and Christopher Stowell's Zaïs.

Ms. Imler danced in the BBC's 1999 film version of PNB's production of Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream, filmed at Sadler's Wells Theatre, London. She was also featured in the PBS documentary about Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Children with a Dream

Carmina Burana, Cinderella (Cinderella), Coppélia (Swanilda), Duo Fantasy, Firebird, Hail to the Conquering Hero, Palacios Dances, Pas de Deux Campagnolo, Quaternary, Silver Lining, Swan Lake (Odette/Odile), and The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (Juliet); Lynne Taylor-Corbett's The Ballad of You and Me, Mercury, and The Quilt; Glen Tetley's Voluntaries; and Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs. Kent Stowell created Dual Lish for Ms. Pantastico in 2004. She also originated leading roles in Dominique Dumais' Time and other Matter, Paul Gibson's The Piano Dance and Christopher Stowell's Quick Time and Zaïs.

Ms. Pantastico was featured in the BBC's 1999 film version of PNB's production of Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream, filmed at Sadler's Wells Theatre, London. In 2004, she performed the second movement of Balanchine's Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet as a guest artist for New York City Ballet's Balanchine Centennial.

Rasta Thomas

Born in 1981 in San Francisco, California, and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Rasta Thomas studied at the Kirov Academy in Washington, D.C. Considered a prodigy by the Kirov’s former director Oleg Vinogradov, at the age of 12 he was featured in a Russian television special, STARS OF THE KIROV BALLET.

Mr. Thomas, age 13, made dance history by becoming the youngest recipient of the Jury Prize at the 1994 Paris International Dance Competition; age 15, was awarded the Junior Gold Medal at the 1996 Varna International Ballet Competition; and at age 16, won the coveted Senior Gold Medal at the 1998 Jackson International Ballet Competition.

In 1995 Mr. Thomas became a member of Le Jeune Ballet de France, and in 1997 was invited by the Hartford Ballet to be a Principal Artist. Since then he has appeared as a guest artist with such prestigious companies as the Kirov Ballet, Imperial Russian Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Washington Ballet, Victor Ullate Ballet of Spain, Beijing Central Ballet, Inoue Ballet of Japan, Universal Ballet of Korea, Alonzo King's Lines Contemporary Ballet, Complexions, Orlando Ballet, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and K-Ballet.

In addition to guest appearances at major national and interntional festivals, Mr. Thomas was the subject of a Bravo television documentary in l997. Additional television appearances include CBS Breakfast with the Arts, and a featured performance at the 1999 televised Academy Awards, choreographed by the one and only Debbie Allen. Mr. Thomas has also starred in Ms. Allen’s musicals PEPITO'S STORY, SOUL POSSESSED, and PEARL.

In 2000 Mr. Thomas was featured in an international GAP advertisement. In November 2000 Mr. Thomas headlined, directed and produced a full evening’s dance presentation in Japan, which was nationally televised and received critical acclaim. Mr. Thomas is featured in the motion picture ONE LAST DANCE starring Patrick Swayze.

Mr. Thomas' repertoire includes DON QUIXOTE, GISELLE, SWAN LAKE, NUTCRACKER, LE CORSAIRE, Roland Petit’s LE JEUNE HOMME ET LA MORT, George Balanchine’s AGON, APOLLO, TARANTELLA, SERENADE, STARS AND STRIPES, THE PRODIGAL SON, FOUR TEMPERMENTS, Michael Smuin’s ST. LOUIS WOMAN and SONG FOR A DEAD WARRIOR, Geoffrey Holder’s FIREBIRD, Sir Fredrick Ashton's THAIS, Michel Fokin's LE SPECTRE DE LA ROSE and CHOPINIANA, Lar Lubovitch's OTHELLO, LITTLE RHAPSODY and ELEMENTAL BRUBECK, Jerome Robbins' FANCY FREE, Ulysses Dove's DANCING ON THE FRONT PORCH OF HEAVEN and RED ANGELS, Richard Moves ACHILLES in addition to works by Kirk Peterson, Roger C Jeffrey, Vladimir Angelov and more.

In January 2005, Mr. Thomas made his Broadway debut in the leading role of “Eddie” in the Twyla Tharp/Billy Joel hit musical MOVIN’ OUT. Mr. Thomas performed the role of “Eddie” on the national and Japanese tour of MOVIN’ OUT throughout the 2006/07 season.

In 2007 Mr. Guested with American Ballet Theatre and became a Guest Artist with Japan's premier ballet company K-Ballet. He is currently directing his company BAD BOYS of DANCE and seeks to make it the premier male dance company of the world. A critically acclaimed classical and contemporary dancer; martial arts master; gymnast; and director, Mr.Thomas is a cutting-edge performance artist who continues to push his artistry to a new dimension. Rasta Thomas is, indeed, one of the most gifted artists of his generation.

Danny Tidwell
Danny Tidwell (Virginia Beach, VA) started dancing at Denise Wall’s Dance Energy under the direction of Denise Wall and Vicky Cooke. At 15 he was invited to study classical ballet with Vladimir Djouloukhadze and Anatoli Kucheruk at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC. While his time boarding, he performed principal roles in original shows created by Debbi Allen. Dreams and Pearl Were performed at the, Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

In 2001, Mr. Tidwell won the Second Prize at the International Ballet Competition in Shanghai, China 2002, received the Silver Medal at the Jackson International Ballet Competition.
Danny joined American Ballet Theatre’s, Studio Company in the fall of 2002. In may 2003 he joined ABT’s Corps de Ballet. Tidwell had the opportunity to perform many leading roles, classically in the repertory. Including roles like, Spectre de la Rose, and Peasant pas de deux from Giselle. Along side contemporary works, by choreographers: Nacho Duato, Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, Kirk Peterson and Robert Hill.

In 2005, Mr. Tidwell was featured as Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch and Pointe Magazine's TOP 10 VIP. In May, Danny worked alongside with choreographer Lauren Adams on the show Moving Still. These same concepts were also published in a photography book, Moving Still, a life performance, photographed by and Laurent Alfieri.

August 2005, Danny was a guest teacher for American Ballet Theater's, program in Bermuda. Continuing his works in the education of dance. Tidwell, now on faculty for JUMP, has also been invited to guest teach at programs, and schools across the country.

Danny Tidwell with partner David Benaym Co-Founded Movmnt Magazine. June 2006 this new publication launched it's first issue. Movmnt is a pop- culture magazine with dance and music as a lifestyle. movmnt hits newsstands quarterly.

This 22 year old guest artist, was featured in prestigious gala's in spring and summer of 2006. Classical and contemporary, the opening ceremonies of the USA IBC in Jackson, MS, was a highlight for the summer.

Tidwell also performed October 2006 as Principal Dancer in La Gioconda at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
In December 2006, Danny performed with Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles the acclaimed Broadway like show "The Bayou Legend".

Danny Tidwell has worked with several companies and continues to collaborate creatively.

Civic Youth Orchestra
For 50 years, Civic Youth Orchestra has provided excellence in orchestral training to the area’s gifted young musicians. The Civic Youth Orchestra, a non-profit organization, provides young people with the opportunity to study and perform the world’s great orchestral works under the guidance of experienced teachers and conductors. The program includes an intermediate orchestra, an advanced intermediate ensemble, a beginning string ensemble, primary string orchestra, a wind ensemble and a full symphony orchestra. Practices are held at Palomar College in San Marcos and the Civic Youth Orchestra provides special performance tours every two years for its symphony orchestra students. The 2006 Symphony Orchestra tour took the ensemble to Stockholm, Sweden, Helsinki, Finland and St, Petersburg and Moscow, Russia.

For the past thirteen years, Civic Youth Orchestra has been proud to feature winners of the San Diego Music Teachers Association Annual Concerto Competition at the final concert of the year. This tradition has become a valuable music experience for both orchestra and soloist. Under the direction and guidance of its board of directors, the organization continues to grow, filling a substantial void for music students in North San Diego County. Over the years, CYO ensembles have been acknowledged as among the most outstanding youth orchestras in California and the U.S.A. The CYO tradition of excellence in ensemble education continues under the leadership of an outstanding musical staff. For more information, please call 760-715-4448.

Interviews Available
Carrie Imler, Rasta Thomas, and Danny Tidwell will be available for interviews upon request. Photos included in the press release will also be available at the Nutcracker website:

Directors Lauri-Michelle & Ben Houk
Lauri-Michelle Houk completed her training as a full-time student at the prestigious School of American Ballet in New York City. At 18 she joined the Chicago City Ballet where she was featured being coached by Maria Tallchief in the PBS documentary Balanchine’s Ballerinas. From 1987-94 Lauri-Michelle danced for the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle where she performed a full repertoire of soloist and principal roles. She performed with Nashville Ballet as a principal dancer in 1997-98. She excelled in the utmost of roles including the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker and Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. Most recently she has been a very effective teacher and private coach, and has staged several ballets including works by Stowell, and Petipa.
Benjamin Houk began his career with Joffrey II and later joined the Pacific Northwest Ballet where he performed as one of their most beloved principal dancers for thirteen years. Adept at both contemporary and the great classical roles, he performed in a wide range of works by Balanchine, Baryshnikov, Stowell and Fosse’s Anne Reinking among others. As Artistic Director, Mr. Houk led the Nashville Ballet (1996-98), and Fort Worth Dallas Ballet (1998-2001). Thoroughly experienced in Arts in Education programs as director and lecturer, he has enthralled over a hundred thousand children around the country. He has also served as a guest lecturer for among others, Vanderbilt University, Microsoft, and for The Kennedy Center’s Imagination Celebration, and has served on as a grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. Mr. Houk has enjoyed popular and critical success on three continents as a choreographer, in over 25 works including Nutcracker, and Shout, and has performed in musical theater, film and TV including PBS’ Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Lauri-Michelle and Ben have enjoyed many performances as guest artists, including in the San Diego area, and most notably together at the Edinburgh Festival. They have taught extensively as master teachers at ballet and modern dance companies, schools and universities. Seven years ago, they founded San Elijo Dance Academy, which has grown to be the preeminent academy in San Diego North County. Former students have gone on to the most prestigious schools and companies including SAB, NYCB, ABT, PNB, SFB and Julliard.
The Nutcracker at California Center for the Arts, Escondido
Together, beautiful dancers, a live orchestra, spectacular sets and gorgeous costumes light up the stage as this magical, grand-scale production of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker comes to life. San Elijo’s sixth annual Nutcracker production promises to be a heart-warming and memorable event for the entire family! Ticket prices range from $18.50 to $42. Discounts are available for children under 12, seniors, and groups of 15 or more. To order tickets from the California Center for the Arts, Escondido box office, call 800-988-4253 or visit

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Next Issue Of Movmnt Magazine

Movmnt Magazine has some big things in store for its upcoming issue:

Starting in 2008, movmnt magazine will give back to the community. movmnt is proud to announce a new project, “Keep It Real,” a non-for-profit effort in the spirit of movmnt magazine, bringing the art world and pop culture together as a lifestyle as well as informing and educating about the world we live in. All details will be revealed in the Winter 2008 Issue featuring Sabra Johnson, Neil Haskell and movmnt magazine’s co-founder, Danny Tidwell, along with an exclusive never seen before fashion story and a very straight forward revealing conversation we had with the top 3 contestants of this year’s So you think you can dance.
Subscribe now to make sure to be the first to “Keep It Real.”

Don't forget the special subscription offer for readers of BSYTYCD. I believe it's only good through the end of the year. It would make a great gift for an SYTYCD fan, too.

Vote For Sabra Again

A-list entertainment blog Buzz Sugar is running a poll: Who's the Best Reality Show Winner of 2007? When I checked, our girl Sabra was running second to Apolo Anton Ono from Dancing With The Stars.


A New Day...One Night Only

Here's a rare opportunity to see Mia Michaels' choreography without traveling to Las Vegas. Celine Dion's record breaking Caesar's Palace show A New Day... will be broadcast to 200 movie theaters around the U.S. One Night Only™ on December 17th at 7:30 p.m.

LINK to more info.
LINK to list of theaters.

This is a TV capture from A New Day... and not from One Night Only™. I'm sure the quality will be much higher.
Uploaded by mabaker

Lauren At Millenium

Lauren Gottlieb with Bryan Tanaka at Millenium Dance Complex.
Uploaded by BryanTanaka

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Another Dancewear Video

Jaimie Goodwin and Sabra Johnson together in another video for dancewear maker Lanteri New York.
Uploaded by NYCDA

Jaimie's earlier video here, and Sabra's here.

Dance From China

Chinese TV network CCTV recently aired their own dance competition. Friend and long-time reader Suzanne submitted this routine and warns to have a hankie ready. She's right, it's powerful stuff.

There's some background on the show here, and on the dancers, Ma Li and Zhai Xiaowei, here.

SYTYCD News Roundup

Read what blogger Allie went through to be one of the very few to meet the dancers after the final show in Reno.


In the first bit of news we've heard since it was originally announced, we learn that So You Think You Can Dance Canada is set to debut at the end of the 2007/2008 season. Maybe one of our Canadian readers will correct me, but I believe that means sometime in the spring. It was also announced that Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann, which will debut after the first of the year on ABC in the US, will also air on CTV.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

After The Last Paso Doble

Click to enlarge.
Courtesy of Jeff Haskell.

Neil Haskell and Sabra Johnson after the final performance of The Nutcracker in Buffalo.

"This picture shows the friendship that has been built between Neil and Sabra throughout their time on the show and on tour."

Monday, December 3, 2007

Final Bow In Reno

Thanks to xrogue81 for uploading. More from Reno here.

Photos From Reno

Photos courtesy of Toastiness

Our friend Toasty posted a great set of photos from the tour finale in Reno to her Flickr stream. Also check out her sets from San Jose, Sacramento, and Oakland.

Australia Update

Australia's TEN has released a preview video from So You Think You Can Dance auditions. We meet a young dancer with Ben Susak hair and learn that judge Jason Coleman is the alpha male who shares Nigel's preference that "boys dance like boys".


From the town of Dubbo (population 28,000, noted for cattle trading and sheep farming) comes the story of dancer Jamie Astley, one of the top 100. They were all locked down for the weekend in a Sydney hotel.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Neil & Sabra's Nutcracker Performance UPDATED!

Neil Haskell and Sabra Johnson flew cross-country yesterday morning to appear in performances of The Nutcracker in Buffalo, N.Y. Our correspondent in Buffalo, we'll call her BC, reports there were some surprises.

Updated with video!

I just got back from this evening's performance of The Nutcracker, by the American Academy of Ballet here in Buffalo, NY. As you know, Neil and Sabra were dancing the Paso Dobles, and I couldn't wait to see it! The Center for the Arts was could have been sold out, but I really couldn't see the balcony from my seat. The Paso was in the second act, where the Spanish variation usually is. You have to know that Maris' (Battaglia, director of the American Academy) Nutcracker is very different...she puts in several non-ballet numbers to get as many children involved in the production as possible, as this is a ballet academy's showcase "winter recital," in a way. There's some acrobatics, a little tap, and some other novelty type numbers. It sounds a bit nutty, but it works for this kind of show. So the Paso dobles wasn't as out of place as you might think. There was also an "Under the Sea" piece (!), and a South American scene (but more on that later!)

Let me just say that Neil and Sabra rocked the Paso! I know that many posters have been critical of the dance, and especially the donut drop. And I saw the tour twice, in Rochester and Toronto, and both times, the drop was a little rough. But tonight! They absolutely NAILED it! Sabra went straight down, and FAST, with no jiggling of Neil's shoulders, NOTHING like before. She stopped inches from the floor. It was fabulous, and very dramatic and very hot. The audience really went crazy!

Then came the surprise: ...


Neil and Sabra had choreographed another piece for the South American scene (one of the places Clara and her prince visited, besides Arabia, China, etc.) Neil was wearing a tight bright yellow wife-beater, and Sabra was in a 2 piece outfit (sorry, can't remember details). They danced a super hot Latin-type number, with lifts, tons of turns, gymnastics movements, everything they were known for on the show. At one point, Neil went off stage, and Sabra did a solo with some nice moves; then they switched, and Neil did his solo with multiple fouettes (beautifully) and his signature 540 jump! Needless to say, that number also got a huge ovation.

At the end, they came out for a curtain call and the crowd went wild. It was SUCH a great performance, and it must have been so much fun for them. And the rest of the ballet was very enjoyable, too, especially the two "leads" from the New York City Ballet and the Miami City Ballet who danced the Sugar Plum fairy and the Prince. I'm sure Sabra especially enjoyed watching them, as she has said that she never saw the Nutcracker before.

They'll be repeating their performances tomorrow (Sunday) at 1 pm and again at 5 pm.

Anyway, for me, it was a great end to the whole SYTYCD experience.

Thanks BC! What a great report!

Here's a video from another audience member.
Uploaded by TrivallieObsessed

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Leee's San Jose Review

I was looking forward to this. Our friend Leee at T!YBE tore himself away from writing outstanding Project Runway reviews long enough to share his unique perspective on the show in San Jose. He got into the meet-n-greet and met his fave, Sara!


Reno Report

Over at our tour coverage partner Ducky Does TV, reader James files a report from the finale in Reno last night:

The dancers goofed off through the entire show, it was a riot. During the solo routines, some of the other dancers would come running out on the stage and dance or take pictures with their own cameras. During Pasha’s solo, Dominic came out shirtless and danced with Pasha, but instead of the giant cape that Pasha used, Dominic had something like a red napkin that he was waving around. It was cute. Shortly after the Angel/Devil routine (my all-time favorite), Neil & Lauren were introducing another song. They did their bit about Dimitri, Neil unzipped his shirt (sigh…), but so did Lauren! She was wearing a t-shirt underneath that said “I’m with stupid!” Neil gave her a hard time about it, but as they were leaving the stage, we all saw that on the back of her t-shirt it said “Who’s the devil now?”

In addition, James ran into Neil and Sabra at the airport.


Final Show in Reno

It must have been like the last day of school. The girls at SYTYCDA had a correspondent at the final show in Reno last night. They're reporting that there were several changes to the performance, most notably, the inclusion of Let The Drummer Kick, aka the Neil & Lauren goggle dance. It had not appeared at any previous point of the tour.

Several solos were interrupted by other dancers. During Shauna's solo, several others came onstage and tried to do her signature spinning leg lift. Hok was on stage during Dominic and Sabra's romantic Make It Work routine. Sharp-eyed reader Kendall found this photo via a TWOP thread.

We'll post more as we find it.

Friday, November 30, 2007

SYTYCD News Roundup

Eve at Seattle Mom Blogs attended the show in Everett and posted a great review:

As we neared the Events Center we could here the music starting. It seemed to trigger a very emotional reaction in both of us because we began to scream. We screamed at the security check point. We screamed at the ticket takers. We screamed as we ran through the almost empty halls, our voices echoing off the walls. And we screamed more loudly as we ran up the stairs and caught the first glimpse of the dancers. We couldn’t help it. We were frozen, we could move no further than the top of the stairs. I couldn’t look at my sister, not that I could see straight, tears were pouring from my eyes. I didn’t care. The arena was full of other screaming devout fans and my sobs blended in with the masses.

It was a beautiful, emotional moment that I will treasure.


Becca at Details To Follow reports on the show in Portland, Or.:

It was amazing! One of the best shows I have ever seen. The skill level of the dancers, despite their young age was incredible. I feel like I have seen some amazing dancers before, but these ones were ridiculously good, especially the guys. It was interesting because my favorites changed a little while watching the concert. During the show I was definitely a fan of Sabra (who won the competition), but at the concert I was more a fan of Danny and Neil.


Chloe at What If Cows Can Fly compares some dance videos from different seasons and sees some similarities.


Not to brag, but this little blog that started in May received its 500,000th hit earlier today. It's just a coincidence that it happened on the final day of the tour, but it is a real testament to the growing popularity of quality dance around the world. Thanks to all our readers.