Monday, March 31, 2008

Elizabeth Berkley/Jerry Mitchell Interview

Bravo's new dance reality show Step It Up & Dance premieres this Thursday night. posts a lengthy interview with host Elizabeth Berkley and mentor Jerry Mitchell. On the show's similarity to So You Think You Can Dance:

Elizabeth Berkley: I’ll tell you a little bit and then Jerry will share as well. Truly - I mean, what’s really, really exciting about our show is each week - it’s the producers who did Project Runway as well.

What’s exciting about that format that works so well is you really, first of all, get involved with the dancers’ personal lives because you see them at their apartment as well together.

The stakes are so high on our show where you’re seeing them learn choreography and the turnaround is so fast where they have to then perform for the judges and the guest judge.

What’s also incredible is each world that we’re taking the dancers and the audience into is so different every challenge. So I mean, one week it’s Latin. One week it’s burlesque. One week it’s Broadway. One - so it’s really exciting what the audience gets to - kind of the journey they get to go on with the dancers.

They’re so invested because it’s new and different every week. So you get invested in the dancers because you get to know them personally as well.

Jerry Mitchell: I would add that, 'So You Think You Can Dance', the series, as I’ve watched it -- which is spectacular and the dancers are tremendous -- is based more on the competitions that go around the United States where dancers compete in competitions just like that - young dancers from different dance schools. It’s…

Elizabeth Berkley: Like they’re different conventions like Tremaine and all of those kinds of different things.

Jerry Mitchell: Yeah, and it’s pretty much based around one style. This show -- Step It Up and Dance -- is going to expose these dancers to choreographers who actually work at the top of their line in different styles of choreography.
And on the episodes, those dancers will get a chance to really do things that they probably never would have been asked to do before. And that’s going to be interesting to watch how that evolves.

Elizabeth Berkley: Oh, definitely and to see them with the skill that they have being thrust into these new circumstances is - I mean, anyone watching at home, it’s going to definitely be entertaining for them to see these people they begin to care about, and then just have to see them and how they literally step it up.