This media release, titled Your Guide to So You Think You Can Dance Australia gives us more background on the host and judges, but also introduces us to 3 choreographers.
Performer and choreographer Kelley Abbey brings broadway and jazz to the show. Here, she performs in an Australian production of Fame. That's her choreography.
Nate Mendelsohn, aka Nacho Pop, grew up in New York, but has been one of Australia's leading hiphop performers for several years. This video shows him teaching a beginner class.
Former Latin Ballroom champion Jason Gilkison (with his partner, Peta Robey) is now a producer, director, and choreographer. His shows, Jason Gilkison's Ballroom and Floorplay, bring a stripped down, organic form of ballroom dance to the stage.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
"I have to say, I believe that if you put the American top 20 against the Australian top 20, you'd have a battle on your hands. I'm astounded. There were tears of emotion here. I've been in this business for so long but to see some of your dancers do what they did was tremendous."
There's word around the web that we may see Hok Konishi and Quest on Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew this Saturday on MTV (2pm ET). Here they are performing at Grinnell College.
Scene-Guy recently interviewed Hok:
You’ve said before that you’re “obsessed with beauty,” and we saw some of your artwork and saw you playing violin on the show. I’m wondering, was there any dance numbers this season that stood out to you as particularly beautiful?
A contemporary piece done by Lacey and Neil by Mia Michaels. That was just amazing. I don’t know the words to describe the piece, it was just… they created a whole new world. I actually feel from the bottom of my heart that when you see something so beautiful, it’s like nothing else in the world matters. And it really seemed like time didn’t matter. When you’re in the moment, you don’t have to think about time going on. It was a really amazing thing to actually see that.
A lot of people think the same thing about your own number, the Hummingbird and the Flower by Wade. When you were going through the rehearsals for that, did you know that dance was going to have as much of an impact as it did?
Definitely that piece was really different. Not just the depth of the music, but we had to go in depth on what the piece was really about, and how it feels inside. I think during the rehearsals I didn’t know what it would turn out like, just because I’d never done anything like that before. When I watched it on TV back in the apartment it was really weird because I love that piece and I felt it was beautiful – but the person dancing on TV was me. It didn’t actually connect when I first watched it. It was amazing.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Rickey.org found a great video of Nick Lazzarini, Danny Tidwell, and Ben Susak performing Mr. Bojangles at a dance convention.
BuddyTV catches up with some former SYTYCD contestants.
Choreographer Dave Scott is interviewed at AllHiphop.com in advance of the release of Step Up 2 The Streets on Feb. 14th, a sequel to Step Up, not to be confused with Bravo's upcoming Step It Up And Dance.
AllHipHop.com: How difficult was the jump from choreographing videos to full-scale movies?
Dave Scott: I love a challenge. When I do a video, I always have way more than a video can hold. So to do a movie, I get the chance to go for broke. Instead of doing 30 minutes, I have two hours. There were moments that I had blocks. I was like, “What am I going to do next?”
AllHipHop.com: How did you get passed those creative blocks?
Dave Scott: By sleeping, [laughs] I just needed to get away from it for a moment. Sometimes you need to step away and appreciate what you’ve done already. I am the biggest critic of my own work, so I always think that something is horrible. I had to step away once everything had started to look the same to me. I would also step away by getting out and going to the clubs.
AllHipHop.com: Dancing changes so much over the years. How do you stay on top of it all?
Dave Scott: I like to keep my ears to the streets and see what’s new or what’s coming out. I also like to be innovative and different from everybody else. A lot of times I go outside of the box, leave the stuff that everybody else is doing alone and come up with my own thing.
MC Hammer has some interesting things to say about dance in this interview promoting his new dance video site, DanceJam.com:
Q: Are there ways in which environment and geography are affecting current dances?
A: The way we dance in Northern California is a lot different from the way we dance in Southern California. Up in Oakland, the styles called hyphie and turfing were born. Both of those involve "going dumb," which means just letting it all go. It's the urban African American expression of a mosh pit. To go dumb like that is a reaction to unemployment, to feeling abandoned, to feeling like there's no hope. You want to let it all go, so you just go dumb. In Los Angeles, that type of pain is expressed in a much more tribal way. Look at krumping. It looks like young men ready to go to war ... like they're fighting when they're dancing.
Q: What kinds of dance are you doing these days?
A: I'm a master dancer. A master dancer can go through all of the dances in one record. He can cha-cha and then turn around and krump. Come out of the krump and do a little turf dancing - then slide into a move from the 70s, add a little 80s cabbage patch, and then keep on going.
Q: The cha-cha? You?
A: The cha-cha is a stalwart to the West Coast African American community. No matter what else comes in or out, the cha-cha is always in.
Monday, January 21, 2008
So You Think You Can Dance makeup artist Amy Strozzi shares her favorite dance moments from season 3 (and one from season 2) and gives us some behind-the-scenes insights:
Hok the Hummingbird - my favorite of all favorites was doing this makeup. Firstly, I adore Hok. What a talented, smart kid with so much potential in life. When I asked him if he was okay wearing way more makeup than the typical male on the show, he didn't give it a second thought and told me he trusted any vision I had. How awesome. The main colors for this number were: TEAL, GOLDEN LEMON, DARK SOUL, EMERALD GREEN, and STEEL BLUE. ***TIP*** Always start with your lighter colors first. Gold in the corners of your eyes or over your lids will really open them up and draw attention.
We don't generally do gossip here, but speaking of Hok, word around the net is that he and Lacey are no longer an item.
I have said before that I think Jimmy Arguello is the most under-appreciated talent we saw on season 3. Shimmy Online catches up with Jimmy:
Shimmy:We didn't really get to know you that much on SYTYCD so what would you like people to know about you?
Jimmy:I am going to school for psychology. I want to become a children's psychologist.
Shimmy: What advice would you give for people trying out this year?
Jimmy: Be yourself and don't hide it. You're unique in every way, enjoy the process and experience.
Wade Robson publicly endorses Barack Obama on his Myspace blog.
The Arts, et al... surveys upcoming TV dance offerings and gives us a shout out. Thanks!
Season 3 has begun airing in the UK.
So You Think You Can Dance Australia begins airing February 3rd. Performance shows will be Sunday nights with results show on Monday nights.