May 30, 2014 by Nicole
Two important dance shows aired this week, with So You Think You Can Dance returning on FOX and the premier of brand new show, Big Ballet, on Ovation.
I’m excited for the return of So You Think You Can Dance because it makes dance part of the national conversation for a few months every summer. Dancers and choreographers are introduced into people’s living rooms, making household names of Mia Michaels, Tabitha & Napoleon and Travis Wall (among many others). There’s nothing better than when a dance is the “did you see…” moment the next day. I think this show is inspiring the next generation of dancers and I’m ready to see what this season brings us!
I was equally excited about the premier of Big Ballet..and while I believe in the concept, I can’t embrace this one wholeheartedly (yet). When the directors were ruling out girls for being “not big enough”, I felt that was a bit counterproductive to the mission and the message. I also questioned inviting dancers to audition who either had no training at all or very little, some twenty years ago. I felt like there had to be just as many current students who are struggling with body standards who were just as deserving of this opportunity.
However, the stories the women and men told were so compelling and relatable, especially for me as a dancer who struggled with body size. And they should be thought-provoking for those in the art community. Why should dancers, with obvious passion, talent and ambition, be shut down and shut out from pursuing those endeavors? You also have to admire the conviction of Wayne Sleep and Monica Loughman who are championing the idea of presenting a credible “big ballet” – they’ve already faced detractors (on camera) and they’ve not even started yet.
The second half of the show was much better for me than the first, so I think there’s still hope for this one. I’ll tune in next week for sure.
Do you watch dance on TV? What did you think of this week’s episodes?