Thursday, July 28, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance Recap: The Top 8 Perform!

I was exceptionally opinionated in the moment last night during SYTYCD so I decided I'd write up a recap today after I had time to sort out my thoughts more clearly.

Sasha & Pasha (Quickstep): This was a routine I may have judged too harshly. I commented that Sasha was too stiff, but according to the judges that was a "character choice" based on direction by the choreographer so I can't fault her for doing in what was asked of her.

Caitlynn & Ivan (Hip-Hop): After looking at this piece again, I think I praised Caitlynn a little too much. I think I was so surprised that she hit all the choreography that I failed to pay attention to style. She really did need to sit lower in the pocket like Ivan and her movements were too choppy for this smooth style of Hip-Hop.

Jordan & Ade (Jazz): All I can remember about this routine was that Jordan's legs were working. The fact that I saw it less that 12 hours ago and I can't remember anything else about it means that it wasn't a particularly great routine. I actually feel sorry for Jordan that she never gets any other praises or constructive criticism because the judges are so enamored by her legs.

Melanie & Neil (Contemporary): Another 80s-tastic routine from Many Moore. This was so gorgeous because these dancers can do anything but in terms of choreography, the only thing I will walk away remembering about it was that huge catch lift...and that's probably because Cat had them do it a second

Anya & Ricky (Jive): I love Ricky so I'll admit I had blinders on when I watched this piece. Though he did have incredibly energy and he always shows his love for dance, the Jive was not up to par. He was too upright and needed to get more into his knees.

Jess & Lauren (Hip Hop): Lauren is one of the most versatile dancers this show has ever had and Hip-Hop isn't even truly her style but she makes it look like it is. All the movements were there for these two, but there just was no chemistry as a couple. They looked more like a brother and sister competing a junior duet at Starpower Nationals.

Tadd & Lauren (Jazz): This was straight up a competition routine. It would have done really well at Starquest Nationals circa 2001 but for this level of competition, it simply didn't look professional enough. They did well with what they were given, which wasn't much.

Marko & Allison (Contemporary): This Sonya routine was far and away the routine of the night for me! The choreography was thoughtful and layered and dancers attacked it with a fierce intensity. It was so memorable and it held my interest so intently that I think I could perform half of the choreography right now. The two of them truly danced as one.

Caitlynn & Tadd (Foxtrot): This was very old Hollywood glam and I am repeatedly amazed by how easy a b-boy can transition to ballroom. Caitlynn was gorgeous, but I think she will be in the bottom tonight. She is wonderful, but she just is not a star.

Marko & Ricky (Hip-Hop): I think this guy-guy piece was mean to emulate "Tranji" from season 2, but the two just weren't on same level. Marko was flawless, but Ricky needed to get deeper into his knees and the two just didn't gel together.

Jordan & Jess (Rumba): This piece was boring boring boring because there was absolutely no heat between them. And that heinous costume made Jordan look twice her size. That is never good in such an aesthetic thing as dancing.

Sasha & Melanie (Jazz): I loved this choreography but I found the execution to be awkward because in my opinion, Sasha was light years beyond Melanie. I've been getting a lot of criticism for this opinion but then again it is just opinion.

Final wrap ups: Caitlynn & Jess should go home tonight, Gaga should shut up, and this show should actually be about dancing for once instead of the "Guest Judge Side Show" its been the past two or three weeks.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dance Moms Live-Blog: Episode #3

So I feel the need to provide commentary on this show because some of it is very real and some is so very fake....I know from experience.

10:58 Good for you Brooke! You finally got your priorities in line and chose dance over your friends
10:55 Brooke's mom is so right...all dancers dance through the comes with the territory
10:46 Oh my lord Vivy just said she was from her mother's studio!!
10:44 Kathy, how are you Abby's colleague when you own another studio????
10:41 If I were Abby, I'd be FURIOUS with Kathy and kick her ass out of the studio
10:39 Poor Vivy, she looks like she'd rather be anywhere but at this dance competition
10:39 I love how Abby has a medical opinion, that's too funny
10:32 Being told by your doctor that you can't do a competition and doing it anyway? I've totally been there
10:29 This Kathy woman is out her damn mind. Your kid doesn't want to dance Momma Rose!
10:27 Brooke is definitely going to be one of those girls who burns out. I also agree with her mom that she is too advanced and too mature to be dancing with petite dancers
10:20 These girls are all on very different levels. In a real studio they would not be in the same class or on the same competition team
10:18 Kathy came right in and started stirring the stink, I totally know all about that type of dance mom. She's smart because she knows which mom to be best friends with
10:16 This is a place where this show is fake. In a real studio, Vivie would be put in a much lower level class
10:13 In my opinion Brooke does not have what it takes to be a dancer. If she wants to do other teenager things, she should quit and do that
10:08 I totally agree with Abby when it comes to Brooke. She wants Brooke to commit to dance 100% which is absolutely what is needed to become a pro. You don't get a life when you are a dancer. I had to laugh when Abby told Kelly she settled for a husband and kids when she could've been a dancer....I just love that!
10:07 This pyramid thing, though I've not seen it before, isn't completely unreasonable. Many dance teachers use things like that to control their students
10:05 These moms are bitchy and snarky at each other based on the achievements and success of their daughters....this is absolutely happens everyday
10:02 So Abby is taking the girls to another new competition in New Jersey with a new routine. This is so unrealistic. There is no way that a serious competition studio would do a new routine each week. We spend months and months of painstaking rehearsal to prepare for these competitions.

So You Think You Can Dance Recap: The Top 8 Perform!

Here we go, we are down to 8 dancers and we have some really exciting all-stars joining them this week for their duets. Exciting stuff!

10:00 That's a wrap, see you all tomorrow!!
9:49 I guessed it, Sonya modeled these dancers after herself. Holy crap Sasha, she is making Melanie look like a total amateur right now.
9:45 Omg Sasha and Melanie that hair! I'm going to guess that they're doing a Sonya routine??
9:41 Jordan & Jess are an interesting duo...two mini-me spitfires. The cut of that dress is doing her no favors, it makes her look very hippy and twice the size of Jess. That rotational lift was lovely but the piece as a whole did nothing for me
9:31 Tabitha & Napoleon don't look incredibly pleased about that piece....I wouldn't be either.
9:29 Marko & Ricky doing a Nappytabs routine about Waste Management workers. This is so necessary. Ricky needs to get much lower, he looks like he isn't doing this routine full-out next to Marko
9:21 This old Hollywood look is so fetch on Tadd & Caitlynn. She is gorgeous and we already know he was born for the ballroom
9:14 Marko just kicked sweet little Melanie's ass!
9:13 OMG we just had a precious mother-son moment with Marko and his mom. This is just too much for me and live TV
9:10 I want Allison Holker on every episode please. This is a pretty god routine. Is it just me or does the music (sans lyrics) sound like Hallelujah? These two are truly dancing as one. This movement is perfection
9:03 Okay Gags I'm done with you doll face....pick up your trail of accessories and hit the road
9:01 You'll get this with Mandy Moore...a really great routine followed by something out of Starquest Nationals
9:00 Mandy Moore & I have the same musical taste....all 80s all the time. This routine is cute but I don't think its showing off what Tadd does well other than a few b-boy tricks.
8:59 The more I think about it, They definitely looked like a brother/sister duo, not a romantic couple
8:56 Mary is correct in saying that Jess was particularly strong in his isolations
8:55 Lauren is so versatile & Jess is proving that he is as well. They are perfectly in sync here with one another, its a thing of beauty
8:54 I love Lauren Gottlieb and she and Jess actually look like they could be brother & sister, which actually makes them really well matched to dance together
8:44 Omg I love a Celine moment!! Best song ever! Ahmaaazing footwork! Such performance quality
8:43 Ricky is going to win this competition
8:39 Cat is a great host because she goes with the flow. She just spontaneously had Melanie & Neil do the big jump again lol
8:37 OMG Ellen in the house...I die. Obviously Ellen is wearing flannel and Portia is looking glam
8:36 These judges act like she is the best thing since Isadora Duncan but I'm not quite convinced yet for some reason
8:34 Standing ovation from the judges, but it was started by Madame Gaga! Can Neil marry me? Thanks
8:32 Mandy Moore loves a good 80s throwback....its her favorite musical genre. I'm a little bit over Melanie but you can't deny that she is a phenomenal dancer. Those white costumes are gorgeous and just so ethereal. That running catch lift was pretty great, but also, we totally saw it coming
8:31 Melanie & Neil doing a Mandy Moore contemporary routine about....surprise....a love story. Get it together Mandy!
8:28 "Is there anything that little body can't do?" -Nigel to Jordan. And Gaga just gave Jordan a shout out to the short girls. Rob just commented that Jordan dances with abandon (which is oddly enough what he suggested Caitlynn work on)
8:26 This routine was made for Jordan and her legs and her ability to hit sharp accents. I LOVE this routine. Its a true jazz routine....not lyrical...not contemporary...not Broadway...just jazz. You know Jordan is fierce when I didn't even watch Ade
8:25 So we have a Tyce routine for Jordan & Ade which should be fierce as all get out
8:18 Nigel also said that Caitlynn no longer looks like a competition kid....amen sister! And Gaga called her sexy like 3 times.
8:18 Nigel just told Caitlynn to "open her legs a little" and Gaga laughed. Cat said "Gaga don't". So priceless!
8:16 Caitlynn has grown on me more than anyone in the top 20 this season from a little smiley girl to a very mature and versatile dancer
8:15 Why do girls always wear boys clothing in hip-hop routines? Its unnecessary. Caitlynn actually looks better than I expected. She has nice quiet attack on this material and pretty strong chemistry with Ivan. Nothing like what he had with Allison Holker, but granted that was built over many weeks
8:14 So now we have our little Caitlyn doing hip.-hop with Ivan. I swooned over him circa season 2 but now he just looks like a geeky white boy
8:09 I'm going to agree with Nigel that Sasha is too stiff. Gaga disagrees with us and thinks the stiffness was "a character choice"
8:08 PS Cat looks DIVINE in that white dress and the simple waves in her hair
8:07 Rob & Mary are eating up this routine but it really did nothing for me
8:03 Yay a Jonathan Roberts routine.....he has always been my Dancing With The Stars crush! Sasha & Pasha, now what a cute/awkward pairing. I get that this is supposed to be a "funky quickstep" but Pasha still looks refined and Sasha looks like a spastic robot. And those head movements are just too much
8:02 Yes indeed it is Gaga and what....she's in Nigel's seat on the panel?? I'm guessing Gaga refused to sit next to Mary or something. And of course we love Rob Marshall, director of the film Chicago
8:01 12 routines tonight, I hope we don't have any injuries.....
8:00 Here we go kids! 2 guest judges, could one perhaps be GAGA??

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance: The Top 10 Perform!

9:56 Thats it for me and until tomorrow night, keep dancing!
9:55 Its amazing how authentic Clarice looks in this Indian least to my eyes
9:54 I simply cannot listen to one more comment from NPH.
9:51 Its funny how they have no all-stars that specialize in Bollywood so they use Robert lol. He s so versatile and Clarice doesn't even look like herself. I loved this piece...its so high energy!
9:50 Great solo by Marko....he is such an enigma
9:41 OMG I die! Tori Amos, Ricky, and Allison Holker are too fabulous for words. I missed seeing Tyce do contemporary. Its so great to see a piece that isn't about a love story.
9:40 I love Allison Holker!!!
9:39 Caitlynn.....girl is killing this solo! Yeah she fell out of the turn  a bit but at least she went after it. I'd rather see somebody go after it than play it safe
9:33 There is something about Melanie that seems kind of fake to me.....anyone else feel that way? I'm just not sure what it is
9:29 Perfect song for the concept.........Everybody Hurts. Simply elegant
9:27 Tadd is so versatile that I always forget he is a b-boy and hot a hip-hopper, contemporary, or even ballroom dancer! That routine, however didnt show much
9:22 NPH needs to be done now. He gave Jess criticism on his facial expression when he was directed by the choreographer not to look at his partner. Why Neil why?
9:19 When Kathryn is onstage you can't watch anyonen else. Will that help or hurt Jess? Also, Kathryn looks like Tony-winner Laura Benanti
9:17 The surprise of the night is that Stacey Tookey is doing a love story?
9:16 I keep saying Jordan sn't a star because even though she has some amazing skills, she just isn't captiving, but she still has soooo much room to grow in this competition
9:09 Nigel has no words for this and I'm pretty sure Neil Patrick Harris has no clue what he's talkng about. He acts like it is a surprise that these choreographers choose the music, movement, and costumes. Ummmm Neil dear, in world world does that NOT happen?
9:05 Sasha is such a dynamo and we've always loved twitch! Nice nip-ups! What is with the back to front grinding in the hip-hop numbers tonight? That was so perfect emotionally and they were so committed to the "characters" was almost a little too realstic
8:59 Mitchell is such a strong and emotional dancer. He does so much with so little in terms of technical difficulty
8:58 I love NPH but not as a judge on this show. He is having a difficult time separating the "performance" and "execution" from the "choreography"
8:56 Mary is obsessing over Caitlynn in a big way
8:55 I like that this routine was slow enough that we could appreciate the beauty of it rather than getting lost in the crazy fast footwork
8:54 This routine is hot! Smily little Caitlynn is such an elegant Diva!
8:52 This looks like the same costume my friend wore in her senior college dance recital to Rama Lama Bang Bang. Did she actually do any dancing in that solo? Or maybe she just smiled a lot?
8:48 Wait why is Clarice still on this show?
8:46 I'm obsessed with Ricky and the abilities he has as a dancer, but moreso his performance quality
8:44 NPH is not all about this routine and while I don't agree with him, I respect that he is voicing his opinion
8:41 I love "Take Off With Us" from Fosse  and since Tyce was in the show, he knows the style so well. I love this routine and its so great to see Melody back all the way from season 1. I love that Tyce has made Mitchell the focal pointe of the routine rather than the  all-star
8:39 Not that I wanted to see her n the bottom 3, but I missed watching Melane's solos.....just exquisite. She is so well trained that she makes it looke easy
8:38 You know Tadd is good when he made his all-star look bad
8:34 Does many have to wear some obnoxious shoulder ornamentation every week?
8:31 This routine is not doing anything for me. They don't look like they are in synch at all and the routine just is not entertaning
8:29 Tadd & Comfort....this should be good since they are both hip-hoppers but I absolutely hated comfort on her season, especially when she came back after sombody suffered an injury
8:28 I don't think anyone could suit Jess's personality better than Harry Connick Jr. He showed such amazing control at the end of the pirouette sequence
8:26 Adding a solo round to the competition scares me a bit.....this is the point last year where dancers started to suffer overuse injuries
8:21 I don't think Jordan is necessarily a star, but she does indeed do everything that is asked of her and at a very high level
8:19 Jordan's legs are just nuts. Her leg tricks are unlike any I've ever seen
8:18 Desmond Richardsons routines requre such a high level of technicial training its crazy. I'm so happy to see Brandon back this season, though I wish he were dancing for Alvin Ailey
8:17 Sasha is so fluid in her solos, I love that her movements are so natural and not just tricks
8:11 We loved Marko & Chellsie in that Samba routine. He shows such genuine emotion and is so incredibly humble. I loved Chellsie on her season and on DWTS. She is such a versatile dancer and I love that she isn't built like a stick

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance: The Top 14 Perform!

I can't believe we are already onto week four of the live shows......this is So You Think You Can Dance!

9:57 Well that's it for tonight; look for my recap tomorrow and until then...keep dancing!
9:56 If they were a dance crew they'd be called "The Black Widow Brigade"
9:54 OMG I love Eartha Kitt; that opening image of the funeral was great! I love the unison and the quiet intricacy. Ok so we've had enough ripples for one routine, try another compositional structure Ray.
9:53 Its so great to see girls dancing in character heels!
9:49 Up until this week Caitlynn & Mitchell were blandsville but their stock just went waaaaaay up!
9:48 Go away Carmen! Come back Krazy Aunt Kristin
9:47 Nigel & Travis both had their breath taken away but Caitlynn & Mitchell
9:45 Mary is crying and she's on the verge of becoming hysterical....I love the crazy!
9:42 Another love story...this is starting to feel like pairs skating. OMG CELINE!!!!! I love a good Celine Dion moment, especially this song. That moment where Caitlynn's leg fluttered down out of her extension was gorgeous. This routine has really good speed and flow to it. I loved that pendulum lift, normally seen in swing dancing, and how Mandy Moore translated it to contemporary. That cartwheel entry lift was great! Mandy Moore could make bank by teaching these lifts to ice dancers.
9:40 Caitlynn is a skier/ teacher never let me do those things because I'm super accident prone
9:35 I totally forgot that Caitlynn & Mitchell existed....but they're up next in a contemporary piece.
9:32 That was was so very zombie prom. The judges all love it and it even kept Travis Wall's attention! He sees them well past the top 10
9:30 I am loving this routine already...its like 80s zombie diva chic! It wasn't a meaningful piece of anything, but it was entertaining and so fun to watch.
9:29 This jazz teacher is like crazy and I LOVE HIM!!! A piece about getting hit by a that is original!
9:28 Its cool that everyone on the show seems so family oriented. I love that Ricky was a cheerleader...I cheered like forever and I love everything about it!
9:25 Ryan is such a sentimental favorite for me! Its cool that Mia really took Ryan under her wing...Mia is great at spotty quirky talent like that.
9:20 OMG Nigel just agreed with me and said that Ashley worked her skirt like West Side Story...zinger!
9:18 I refuse to acknowledge that Carmen is still there because she can't put together a cohesive statement
9:17 Travis is doing job of being nice yet critical with these dancers while also giving constructive notes that they can apply to their future routines
9:16 I hate to say it but Jordan & Tadd would have look hot in that routine! Ashley & Chris...not so much...
9:15 Ashley is moving that skirt like Anita in West Side Story but she is way to jerky for me and that hip action is not in sync between the two of them. Chris is trying so hard and I really wish he didn't look awkward.
9:14 I'm genuinely scared for this Salsa routine, but I hope they prove me wrong.
9:13 What is it with breakers coming from Salt Lake auditions? Tadd, Chris, Gev from season 4...
9:12 Ashley grew up assisting her mom in dance...I grew up assisting my mom coaching cheerleading
9:06 This partner is truly growing, they're steadily improved each week
9:04 Travis is correct in saying this is a really believable piece and the choreography had a very nice arc.
9:02 This is a gorgeous piece of music and I love the lighting. They are really slamming those accents. I like Clarice more in these first 30 seconds than I have on anything all season long. She looked simply exquisite in that last moment.
9:01 Another Justin Gilles routine...a "hard hitting contemporary."
9:00 Haha Jess wouldn't come to meet anyone in his house unless he was him!
8:58 Clarice is talking about all the sacrifices her family made for her to dance. I know all about what it's like to be a part of a dance family.
8:57 I'm just obsessed with Travis tonight...I love that he is giving little nit-picky notes to the dancers about technique rather than just a broad sweep of the routine.
8:50 Mary just gave us the history of the was considered a scandalous in the 1800s. She complemented Tadd on the softness of his movement and Jordan on her floor sweep. Nigel is so right in saying that Tadd has fantastic port de bras. Carmen...please just leave since you are not doing or saying anything important.
8:48 I've missed Toni Redpath. This is a very cool piece conceptually, about a man trying to avoid a Siren's song. Jordan looks exquisite in that draped fabric and the hair extensions. She is exhibiting some gorgeous fluidity and Tadd has exceptional body carriage.
8:44 Jordan was a serious athlete....which explains why she has such a solid build. I mean that in a good way! She's a super strong, and muscular girl. Hahahaha Tadd thought he was it!
8:40 Jordan & Tadd are up next with a waltz....this is the second time they've pulled ballroom this season.
8:39 That was the kind of routine that was mediocre enough to be a bottom 3 dance, but the judges panned it so America will probably feel bad and vote them through.
8:37 Umm Carmen why don't you try putting together a coherent set of comments? Mary didn't see the swag but then again I didn't either. Nigel felt it was like "hip hop 101" which is pretty much true, it was a simple routine. I am surprised but I'm actually loving everything Travis is saying tonight.
8:35 Alex is a lovely dancer but he looks a little too feminine when he dances to be believable as a guy who just wants a kiss from a girl. What on earth is that tree doing on stage? I like this movement a lot...this routine is very easy to watch...just very pleasant. Sasha hit everything as always, but I don't know if she had the fire we're used to seeing from her.
8:34 Sean he a new choreographer? Also...what on earth is Sasha wearing? And now Alex is in swag
8:32 I guess the intro to each routine this week is all about feelings? Sasha & Natalia had some cool moments in Vegas Week. Its also insane that Alexander has only been dancing since age 17. He is quite obviously a natural.
8:23 OMG I'm actually loving Travis' hand gestures. His outfit looks very much like Kurt from GLEE. Mary is very into big sleeves this season. I like Carmen's comment that "they came out like a bull" because." Mary is correct....Melanie & Marko are masters of inhabiting a character. Nigel is exactly right in saying that these two have matching technical and performance levels.
8:21 Melanie may be a shorter girl, but she knows just how to use those legs. This is a very steamy routine and its interesting but it looks clunky to me. They are usually so fluid and smooth so I have to assume that is the choreography and not the execution. I hate these costumes, its like a cheap looking production of Nine.
8:20 I love Ray Leeper! So Melanie & Marko have had contemporary, musical theatre, hip hop, and jazz....when are they ever going to get something out of their comfort zone?
8:17 Marko was in a drag queen very Paul in A Chorus Line
8:12 Tadd is a standout in this piece for me, as is Ricky...Marko too
8:11 The unison movement is beautiful, very strong and masculine, nice lines and shapes
8:10 So according to whom are there 7 stages of grief? I am only aware of 5, according to Elisabeth Kubler Ross
8:09 The boys routine...welcome to the gun show! And the ab show.
8:08 Fourth of July party at Cat's house....woot woot!
8:05 The guys perform after the break....
8:02 Travis Wall....really? I hope he doesn't fawn over every routine like I think he will. Maybe he'll prove me wrong.
8:00 What on earth does Carmen Electra know about anything but being married to Dennis Rodman?

Friday, July 1, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance Recap: The Top 16 Results Show!

The opening number was very cool last night. I liked the simplicity-all black, not too flashy-and the clean technique. How great to actually see double pirouettes! I thought Ryan was a true stand-out in this routine. The editing was a little rough, I would have preferred less close-ups and more wide pans of the whole group.

Getting down to the nitty-gritty, the bottom three couples are Miranda/Robert, Caitlynn/Mitchell, and Ashley/Chris. No surprises here.

A dance group called Axis performed, consisting of a female dancer and a male dancer in a wheel chair, and what an inspiration!!

Now onto the solos. Ashley was okay...nice movement qualities, but overall forgettable. Miranda...KILLED IT! Sure she did some tricks like everybody else, but she danced it oh so well. There was so much passion there and she truly knows how to dance for her life. Caitlynn looked a little spastic to me. It was like she was rushing to get in all her tricks before her music ended. She also had a cheesy smile the whole way through. Chris did a decent solo, but I don't really feel like he showed all he could do. I felt the same about Robert. You can only get so far on  your "personality" alone. Now Mitchell knows how to dance for his life. His solo looked like something I've seen an Ailey dancer do and I just can't say enough about him.

While the judges decided, a ballroom pair did some wicked crazy partner worked that looked like something out of pairs skating. Maybe if Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig train with them, they can win Nationals finally.

Nigel's comments to the soloists last night were very weird and he just seemed like he was on pills or something. Normally he calls all the soloists forward before he announces who is leaving, but with the girls he seemed so distraught and told the dancer that the judges were not unanimous. Then he pulled Miranda forward and basically said she had grown so much as a dancer...and then proceeded to cut her throat. So here is my thing-yeah Miranda hasn't been a standout in duets, but she did a damn good solo-why even have the dancers do solos to "dance for their life" if you are going to choose based on the duets?

And this is where it got crazy. Nigel pulled Mitchell downstage (I got scared because the only girl he pulled out was the one he cut) and told him he was fantastic and really knew how to dance for his life. Then he pulled Chris down and told him they loved the woodpecker dance (which Robert did last week) but that he needed to grow faster in order to connect with the public. And then he finally pulled Robert and basically said his personality was great but he didn't have the technique to stay in the show. What is going on in your head Nigel??

So we lost yet another full pair, meaning all the teams will stay together yet again next week. Weirdest results show ever? Maybe yes, but I'm sure Nigel & Mary will be all kinds of crazy as we get deeper into the competition. So to wrap up, it was time for Robert to go, but Miranda's solo should have saved her. Oh well better luck next week kids. Viva la Chenoweth! And until next Wednesday's live-blog, Peace Out!