Wednesday, November 14, 2007

SYTYCD News Roundup

The Australian airing of season 3 of the US version of the show is reaching the finale. An article by Stephen Downie of quotes Mary Murphy on the styles of dance featured on the show:

"But no one realises the hip-hop dancer is working just as hard as the ballroom dancer, who is working just as hard as the ballet dancer. They're just different styles," she says.

"Ballerinas who try hip-hop are like, 'whoa, that's not easy'. It forces bodies to move in a whole new way."


Australia's TV Week also talked to Mary, along with Nigel. Mary again:
In the earlier seasons, you were judging and doing choreography. Now that you're a full-time judge, do you miss the choreography?

Choreographing was really stressful because you don't know who you're going to get. I had a lot of sleepless nights when there was somebody like a Musa [from season two] that didn't know how to count and couldn't follow choreography at all. Of course you want to do the best choreography and you're hoping that the dancers are going to get it, but there's a definite stress level. It's not like you've created the choreography and then you have dancers that can really follow through. A lot of times, you might get somebody who's a B-boy and has never really danced, you know? I miss being creative on the show, but I do love judging too. Now I'm getting to see every single contestant from the very beginning and I really enjoy taking that journey. I think Nigel and I are on the same wavelength and I think we have a dynamic cast as a result of that.


Back in the states, blogger Catherine Harvey went to the show in Grand Prairie and made the mistake of trying to out-scream a 12 year old girl:
After intermission, i thought i would give the girl a sample of what it was like to sit by a screamer. So every time she would scream, I would scream. Unfortunately, i think it made her scream more, and it made my throat hurt. I just learned to stick my finger in my ear at key times and I was able to enjoy the show.


Another blogger, Lydia Joyce, thinks the SYTYCD dancers are GOOD, except for one style:
They should just drop ballroom dances from the competition. Ballroom dancers can’t do the other dances (lyrical, contemp, etc.) well enough because they’re way too different, and dancers of the other styles haven’t got a prayer of making a (ballroom) partnership look like anything but a joke in the time limits they have, much less do anything approximating ballroom technique.

She uses some carefully chosen videos to make her case. It's an interesting read for those of us wishing to expand our dance horizons, though I could never go along with dropping ballroom styles from the show. Danny and Anya's Viennese Waltz anyone?


Here's another horizon-expanding post. Vance at Tapeworthy attended a National Ballet Of Canada performance of West Side Story Suite and other pieces. He posted a highly entertaining review, recommended especially to those of us who might be a bit hesitant to go to the ballet.
The first act was set to the love-it-or-hate-it music of Philip Glass, and while I always assume I won't like his "pretentiously modern" music, I forget that I actually don't mind it. In this case, I absolutely loved hearing it while the large company of dancers performed 3 different modern pieces that was just terrifically amusing and memorable! My favorite was the opening number which opens the stage to a white tiled back wall, harking the imagery of a subway station. Soon enough, individual dancers walk across the stage in every direction, until a moment when a single dancers dances out of the confining pattern of walking chaos, only to be joined by another. At moments, everyone on stage diverts simultaneously in the same manner before returning to their patterned walking chaos. The second piece was a beautiful and intimate ballet between two dancers but to be honest, I was more mesmerized by the line up of dancers in the background, all aligned and moving to the odd twinkling's of the Glass music. Just their walk was funny in a fascinating and amusing way and I loved the neat rhythm of the choreography.


And finally, readers of BSYTYCD who are familiar with our friend and Danny-and-Travis mega-fan Loralyn, will be relieved to hear this. I have extracted a promise from her that she will not name any of her children "Danvis". The family dog, however, is still in play.