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.

Show Review From Everett, Wa.

Our friend Melissa in Seattle attended the show in Everett on Wednesday night. Being a former dancer and a dance teacher adds to her perspective in this excellent show review. Thanks Melissa!

I attended the Everett stop of the 2007 So You Think You Can Dance tour. I was impressed with the quality of the dancers’ performances especially since this was the second to last stop on their cross country extravaganza. Lacey was replaced by Shauna in most of the group numbers which I enjoyed since Shauna was my favorite girl in the Top 20. Lacey and Danny were spot on during their “Hip Hip Chin Chin” duet but “Dancing” with Kameron had to be watered down to accommodate Lacey’s knee injury. She had her knee taped up which only those close to the stage could see.

Photos courtesy of Melissa

As a retired dancer myself it was a joy to see the true love and appreciation the audience showered upon the performers. Neil was the teen girl crowd favorite with his every appearance onstage greeted with shrieks and cries. Danny Tidwell was as amazing as I’d hoped in person and watching the ridiculous center and precision of his turns and the gravity-defying height of his leaps were a privilege to see live.

Like fine wine that improves with age, a few of the dances were even better and more impressive than on the show like the Shane Sparks’ “Transformer” hip-hop with Pasha and Lauren and Danny and Neil’s “Two Princes” number choreographed by Mia Michaels. Pasha and Anya’s cha-cha/samba was white hot and a special treat for the audience. My personal favorites were the “Lioness hunt” and “The Moment I said it” group routines which were so powerful to watch live without all the camera angles.

Noteworthy solo performances of the evening were Danny Tidwell, Kameron Bink and Shauna Noland who I was pleased to see given a solo despite not being a Top Ten dancer. Overall it was an incredible evening of dance and entertainment; I got more than my money’s worth and will most definitely be attending the 2008 tour!

Two Princes, from Everett, Wa.
courtesy of MainlyMattias

Step It Up Update

We get some news today about Bravo's upcoming dance reality series, from the producers of Project Runway. The name of the show has been changed to Step It Up And Dance, and the host will be actress Elizabeth Berkley of Showgirls notoriety. (Note to self: don't do Elizabeth Berkley image searches while at the day job). We had heard unofficial reports that she would fill the host duties on the show but began to doubt them earlier this week when we heard that she had signed on for a recurring role on CSI: Miami. We also learn that the show is currently in production in LA.

We had previously reported that Broadway director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell had taken on the role of mentor to the dance contestants. So will Elizabeth Berkley and Jerry Mitchell become the Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn of the dance world?


Update From Lauren

Lauren Gottlieb published a bulletin from her Myspace account. She talks about the end of the tour and upcoming teaching dates she has scheduled, some of them with Kameron Bink.

Nov 30, 2007 5:46 AM
Subject: UPCOMING EVENTS!!!!!!! please read :)
Body: WHY HELLLLLLLLO!With the tour being non stop and us barely ever having the internet its been hard to update my myspace. But sadly the tour is coming to an end tomorrow and we pack our things to go home. WOW! INSANE!!!!! sytycd has been our life, our love, our hard work and more for the past 9 months. We all feel like we should be doing these shows for the rest of our lives. But as much as I would just LOOOOOVE to be doing transformers and lion king through my 80's and 90's its just not gonna happen! hahaha. But seriously, every good thing has to come to an end at some point. Just to let everyone know, we are all very determined and hard working wont end here for us!

Everyone is using this experience to carry on and create new GOOD things. Don't want to spoil any surprises but you will be seeing a lot of the cast members in the future ;) I don't think America could have picked a better top 10! I am so blessed to have shared every moment of everyday by their sides. I got to meet so many good/cool/fun people while on this tour. It was definitely a blast meeting everyone ho voted for us and supported us during the show. Your love, laughter, kind words, cards, and gifts...


meant so much to us, especially while we were away from home and our families for so long. Tomorrow night will definitely be a sad one! As much as we give to you while on stage, you all give us so much more. So thank you all so so so so so much for making this chapter in my book the most memorable one yet!!!!!!! From the bottom of my heart....THANK YOU!...I had the time of my life performing for you all and I'll never forget it .....::::tears::::.... :..(OOOOOK Well, with that said I'm now gonna stop thinking about the "end" and talk about the "new beginning". I will be updating and remodeling my myspace when I get home in a few days. That way it will be so much easier to tell everyone about my upcoming masterclasses and events. For the time being, here are the first couple of events. They're coming up rather quick
so if you can make it out for them pleeeeeease sign up ASAP! :)-----Thursday December 6th, 2007- Kameron and I will be teaching a workshop together in FT.
LAUDERDALE FL.Omni Auditorium(BCC North Campus)1000 Coconut Creek BlvdCoconut
Creek, FL 33066 Thursday December 66:00-10:00pmCost: $60.00 at door$55.00
pre-paid (contact Tammy @ 954.614.7109)6-7:15pm- Kameron's class7:15-8:30pm-
Lauren's (ME) class8:30-9:30pm- Lauren and Kameron teaching together 9:30-10
Meet and Greet
:)_________________________________________________________------Sunday December
9th, 2007- I will be teaching at THE NEXT LEVEL in Toronto, Canada!!! Im so
excited for this one! It's a great faculty.....MIA MICHAELS, TYCE DIORIO,
RHAPSODY, AND LUTHER BROWN! Also Kam is going to come and assist my classes :)
It's a one day convention and its going to be so much fun!!! here is the link to
the website. Register now because the event is coming up soooooooon!*THE NEXT
-------Co Dance Conventions**** I will be doing 5 cities this year: Boston, MA
Feb. 2-3Chicago, IL Feb. 9-10Memphis, TN Feb. 23-24Toledo, OH Mar. 1-2Santa
Clara, CA Apr. 5-6Co Dance was my favorite convention growing up...I was the
girl who traveled around to different cities so I could take from this faculty
over and over again. So for me to be a part of it this year is a huge honor!!!!
COME DANCE WITH US! :)There are a few more in between and I will make sure to
post it on my page when everything is finalized. Thank you so
much!!!!!!!!!!!PLEASE COME VISIT ME at one of the events so I don't have
withdrawals hahaha see you soon!Love,Lauren Gottlieb

Thursday, November 29, 2007

SYTYCD News Roundup

Andy Rathbun of HeraldNet reviews last night's show in Everett, Wa.

Some might be surprised by the stage show's popularity, TV or not. But for fans such as Denise Rolak, the appeal is simple.

"I think dancing is inherent in what we are as human beings," Rolak, 31, said, "and to see people do it well is entertaining."

MORE has an interview with Cat Deeley:
What’s your dream TV job?

The dance show is pretty much up there in terms of dream jobs, it’s entertaining and a spectacle and was a big hit here this summer. At some stage maybe I’d want to do something more serious. I love Diane Sawyer and Oprah Winfrey’s careers, so that’s something I’d want to do in the future. I’m thinking that way but there’s nothing in that vein just yet.


Benji Schwimmer posted a long, soul-searching piece to his Myspace blog. I don't envy anyone who has to come to terms with fame in the internet age. One piece of news that came out of it: Cousin Heidi is engaged. Congratulations to her!


Lyrical Improv

Shauna, Kameron, and Lauren do some Lyrical improv. No one will complain that the camera moves too much in this one.

After The Tour

Sabra and Neil will appear in 3 performances of The Nutcracker this weekend in the American Academy of Ballet’s presentation of the holiday favorite at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday in the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts. The Buffalo News talked to Sabra about it:

Your ballet training is limited, and you’ve never danced in a ballet. How are you going to pull off “The Nutcracker”?

I’m not actually going to be in the ballet – thank God – because that would be embarrassing. This “Nutcracker” travels all over the world, so during [the Spanish segment] Neil and I will be doing the paso doble we did on the show, which is awesome, because I love that dance.


Pasha & Anya are back in their element when they appear with other ballroom luminaries at the Rhythm Of Love.
Performances are scheduled at 8pm on Friday, December 21 and Saturday, December 22 (2007) at the Palace Theatre in downtown Stamford, Connecticut. A post-performance VIP Pro Party is scheduled following the Saturday evening performance. Pro VIP Party tickets are limited, so buy early.
Tickets for Rhythm of Love are $42-$45-$48.

Rhythm of Love highlights its dramatic love story with champion dancers staged by Broadway veterans. The show offers some of the best showcase dancing by such dynamic competition dancers including Pasha Kovalev & Anya Garnis, Benito Garcia with Emilee Peterson, Felipe Telona, Jr. & Carolina Orlovsky-Telona, Garry & Rita Gekhman, JT Thomas & Tomasz Mielnicki, and Jose DeCamps & Joanna Zacharewicz.


Jesús Solorio and fellow top 20 finalist Jimmy Arguello perform in another production of The Nutcracker, this one in Paso Robles, Ca.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Latest Bus Video

One more from Sara and Shauna. It's a long one, some might say too long, but it has its amusing moments and is all in good fun.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Australian SYTYCD Preview

During the Australian Idol finale, we get to see a random selection of 20 of the top 100 dancers. I guess they haven't finished the equivalent of our Las Vegas round yet. We also meet the 3 judges, Matt Lee, Bonnie Lythgoe, and Jason Coleman.

Which New Dance Shows?

Which upcoming dance reality show or shows, are you most interested in seeing? Below is a listing with brief descriptions. The poll is in the side bar.

Bravo's Step It Up

From the reality wizards at Magic Elves, the producers of Project Runway.

Bravo is giving talented people the chance to prove that they can dance in "Step It Up" -- the new dance reality competition series. "Step It Up" will show what it really takes to make it big in the cutthroat dance industry, bringing together dancers from around the country and challenging them to master every conceivable dance style, from ballet and ballroom to Broadway and burlesque.

Casting video For Step It Up.

Dance Machine, aka All The Right Moves
Details are still sketchy, but it appears it will be a similar format to Dancing With The Stars, but without the stars, just ordinary people.

Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann
Dancing With The Stars judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli will put their reputations on the line as they battle it out across the dance floor to create the ultimate performance group on a new, live, one-hour primetime reality series, Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann. Hosted by second-season Dancing with the Stars champion Drew Lachey, the six-week series will air this winter on the ABC Television Network.

Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew
MTV's hiphop So You Think You Can Dance, with crews of 5-7 dancers competing as a group.

So You Think You Can Dance Australia

So You Think You Can Dance Canada

SYTYCD News Roundup

Kristin at Eonline is reporting, amongst other things, that Neil Haskell has a movie role lined up.

Jenny in Sherman Oaks, California: I went to the So You Think You Can Dance show in L.A. this week, and it was awesome! Any scoop on the cast?

Sí! Korbi went backstage after the show and said the kids were in very good spirits, getting ready to drive up to San Fran for a big Thanksgiving dinner together (and their next performance). Kameron told her they're just trying to really enjoy these last couple weeks of the tour, because it's quickly coming to a close. The posttour plan? He's moving to New York with season-two finalists Ivan and Travis, while B-girl Sara's hitting L.A. And Neil has already booked a movie, which everyone's psyched about!


Cat Deeley will again host Fox's New Year's Eve Special:
"We are pleased to have the talented and gorgeous Cat Deeley return as the host of our New Year's Eve live celebration," said executive producer Phil Gurin.

"She is fun and gorgeous and so likeable. She brings tremendous enthusiasm and freshness to her Times Square duties - and she connects with audiences in quite a special way."


Here's a story about a Huntsville Chiropractor who has been the "tour physician". Are chiropractors considered physicians?


Sabra Johnson is quoted in this story from the Portland Tribune:
Johnson viewed her time on the show as a kind of 12-week-long “workshop,” she says. Granted, it was in front of millions of spectators, and her teachers included folks like Mia Michaels and Wade Robson, choreographers who both picked up Emmys for their work on the third season of the show.

“It was really about making myself better and better,” Johnson says. “And there are still things I have to work at – like my turns! I’m lucky if I have a really good double turn.”

...Johnson preaches persistence.

“I started dancing for fun,” Johnson says. “It wasn’t something I actually was planning on doing the rest of my life. But I just ended up loving it, and then trained and trained. … My mom just started taking classes in ballroom, and she’s not in there because she has to be there, she’s there for fun. And that’s the main thing: It has got to be fun.”


Tour Reviews

MellieMel, a reader of our tour coverage partner, Duckie Does TV, has written a review of the tour date in LA.


LJ Blogger caroleanfruge has a lengthy post of her experiences delivering hand turkeys and flonkerton to the dancers after the show in Houston. There are a few interesting read-between-the-lines moments in her meet-n-greet report. Flonkerton? You'll have to read her blog...


Monday, November 26, 2007

Moon Over Sacramento

It looks like the tour has taken a toll on Dominic Sandoval. He dropped trou and mooned the crowd during a scripted portion of the show.

He later apologized.
Videos courtesy of muddi1015

Off Topic - Soul Music

I've only gone off-topic a few times here on the blog. I covered the Paul Potts story, and the Cebu Jailhouse Rockers. If you see a thread of continuity there, you're more observant than I. This is for anyone who misses real soul music in the tradition of Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, and Al Green. Thanks to a reader in the UK (who wishes to remain anonymous), I recently discovered Lemar Obika, simply known as Lemar. British and European readers are probably saying to themselves "well, yeah", but Lemar is pretty much unknown in the States. He reminds me of what Meshell Ndegeocello meant when she wrote I'm Digging You Like An Old Soul Record.

Lemar's Myspace page.
Lemar's official site.

More after the jump, including a brief appearance by a certain 7 foot tall TV host with white teeth and a French accent.


Someone Should Tell You

Lemar visits Fame Academy, a British show hosted by Cat Deeley. She looks fabulous in her brief intro. Oh yeah, Lemar sings Let's Stay Together, though there's a much better version of him singing that song here.

Last Interviews From Toronto

Marine Gobert of Down The Road Webzine concludes her series of interviews with the tour cast.

Jaimie and Kameron:

What are your plans after the tour? Will you stick to dancing or try other things?

Kameron: Well I think a few of us are trying to branch out into acting and stuff, but I just want to keep dancing, keep learning for this next year, ‘cause before the show I wasn’t really dancing at all until January of this past year so I just really want to keep learning for this next year and just keep going and take whatever opportunities come my way.

Jaimie: Well first I thought I would probably want to branch out into TV, a little bit, commercials and stuff, and I might still - but after the tour, lately I’ve been hearing that I’m a lot prettier in person than I was on TV. [laughs] So I might stay away from the camera for a little while! I love theatre work, the tour has made me appreciate theatre and being able to feed off people’s energy, having that instant reaction and not kind of wait for it and read it on the blogs, so definitely, I’d love to do some more theatrical stuff and I want to move to New York ‘cause everything I love is up there.

Kameron: Me too, I’m going to New York too!

Jaimie: Oh my gosh, that’s perfect, ‘cause now we can go shopping together every day.

Kameron: Not if you wake up and leave without me.

Jaimie: Okay, alright.

Kameron: We’ll work on that.

Jaimie: We will, I’m sorry!

Kameron: It’s okay Jaimie.

Don’t fight!

Jaimie: He’s been doing this to me all day!

Kameron: I do it to her every day, all day.

It’s cool to see a guy who likes shopping.

Kameron: Are you making fun of me now?
[They both laugh]


Lauren and Neil:
You were the last original partnership standing on the show – how did that feel?

Neil: That’s what’s up!

Lauren: I actually really wanted to dance in the final 4 so I could dance with Neil again just to see the difference from the very beginning of the show and then how much more we got used to it and use of partners and everything, see how it was at the end, it would have been really fun.

Neil: I would have loved to compete against- I mean, with Lauren in the finale. It would have been great to see her win the whole thing ‘cause she’s such a nice girl.

Lauren: Aw. I also think Neil lied once in the show, in the final 4 when he said he couldn’t pick a better final 4, I really think he wanted me to be there. [laughs]

Neil: I did, I did, because it was on national TV and I was put on the spot!

Lauren: Every time I watch it, I get really sad.

Neil: I’m sorry. I don’t lie but…

Lauren: That’s a large lie.


SF Chronicle Shows Love For SYTYCD

The San Francisco Chronicle's Dance Correspondent, Rachel Howard, attended Friday's show in Oakland. She has a few reservations and critiques, but overall, thinks So You Think You Can Dance is a positive influence:

If "SYTYCD" is becoming part of our default national arts education, frankly, we could do worse. It's often criticized for cliched, commercial choreography, and on Friday you could see why. However heartfelt Mia Michaels' flower dance in memory of her father may be, it's sentimental mush (her dueling-princes showdown for top two male finalists Danny and Neil, though, is brilliant), and the imagination behind something like Wade Robson's swamp-creatures group number hardly stands up to the simultaneous wit and emotional complexity of a master like Mark Morris.

But a lot of the dance-making here is fantastic by any standard, especially the ballroom (Danny and Lacey Schwimmer smoking through that samba) and the hip-hop (Sabra and Dominic building heat in Sparks' strangely touching chair duet). And a lot of what the audience loves best tilts toward artistic ambitions, like Hok Konishi and Jaimie Goodwin in Robson's hummingbird dance, resurrected Friday.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tour Reviews

Courtesy of Kiches

Reader Kiches posted a lengthy review of the Oakland show, and the meet-n-greet afterward, to IDF forums.

LINK to show review.
LINK to meet-n-greet review.

Blogger Gura talks about 2 of my favorite things: food and So You Think You Can Dance.
Friday we slept in. Made some duck noodle soup from the leftover duck. In the evening we went to the "So You Think You Can Dance?" tour in Oakland. It was a relatively small crowd, so parking was easy. Along with the top 10 they brought along 4 of the other top favorites: Shawna, Hok, Jesus, and Anya. Danny is just simply mesmerizing and Pasha is quite hot, especially when he did his cape solo. The girls screamed for Neil and he played to them by showing off his body. We finally got to see a hip hop routine by the three hip hop dancers: Hok, Sara, and Dominic. Dominic was from Sacramento so he was enjoying performing in front of his home crowd and had several comedic interludes as part of hosting the show.


SYTYCD News Roundup

Our friend Jayne, aka Wintermute, may be writing Project Runway reviews these days, but she didn't let that keep her from the So You Think You Can Dance tour date in Oakland. She reports at her blog, Thrown Under The Bus:

"Ohmygod, ohmygod, OHMYGAAWD! YEEEAAYY!!!!" Every time Pasha, Neil or Danny took the stage, the group of three *very* sharply dressed middle aged men sitting next to my mother at last night's So You Think You Can Dance show would scream with giddy glee. I even witnessed fist pumping. Several times. OK OK, so some of those giddy screams may have come from me, but who's keeping track, right? They were awesome. Behind us sat the unofficial Pasha fan club, headed by what I thought was the cutest 14-year old girl EVAR. Then I heard her scream. My eardrums are still ringing! Holy cow. They sure did love them some Pasha!

MORE Link fixed!

Speaking of Pasha, here he is dancing with Anya in LA. From what I'm hearing, they have both grown in stature through the course of the tour.
Uploaded by hannahmontana25

LJ Blogger fixyoux has posted 3 lists of rankings. You are free to disagree.

LINK to top 10 contemporary dance routines from all 3 seasons.
LINK to top 10 11 dancers from all 3 seasons.
LINK to top 10 group routines from all 3 seasons.

I enjoyed this little story about what a certain song on "Mommy's Dancing Show" did for LJ blogger turtle_head's family.
Now the kids love that song, because they associate it with me, and a show that made me happy and always put me in a good mood. For them, this song is a joyful memory that reminds them of a happy time.

And I didn't think it was at all possible, but now I have completely changed my opinion of the song. I can hear it now and I feel...okay. I think of my own kids and how awesome they are. I think about great dancing and how my kids love stuff that I love just because I love it and they love me and it's one big lovefest.


Blogger Shana at Head-on Relief compares SYTYCD to Dancing With The Stars:
I love Mary Murphy. I might sometimes say I don’t like her, but really, SYTYCD would be nothing without her. Nigel is boring, and when Mia Michaels is a judge, I want to run through a foggy forest while wearing a long, flowing white gown, and once I reach the end, burst out into a sun-lit meadow where I can sing and frolic in yoga pants and a tanktop. And then I awake in a cold sweat, hoping to never see the MiaMullet ever again. When does the new season of SYTYCD start???