Dance on TV This Week

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July 25, 2014 by Nicole

The top 16 week of So You Think You Can Dance was a little “more of the same” for me. As a dancer, I look forward to seeing what each couple and each choreographer was given to do over the last week. And it is a LOT of work for one week, especially on the choreographer’s side, some of whom are called upon to create multiple routines, week after week.

As a TV show, I think the current format may have run its course. Maybe it’s just me, but it doesn’t have the same excitement; the snap, crackle, pop that it used to? I would love to see a major shake up in this area, maybe eliminating the strict boy-girl coupling? Work with the choreographers to create a cohesive concert experience? I’m not sure, but would love to hear your suggestions in the comments!

What I liked this week:

  • Lovely group number to start the show (choreographed by Mandy Moore)! A bit more traditional than most, at least in recent memory, with the highly synchronized sections and a breather from the more downbeat choreography/concepts we’ve been seeing in contemporary numbers.
  • The admission that Ricky’s first dance performance was at age 12…Emilio was 19! Proof once more that you don’t have to start at age 3 to have a future in dance. Talent is talent, regardless of age….and sometimes dancers are actually served by starting later. They’re more aware and in control of their bodies and the late start can fuel a desire to “catch up” with peers.
  • The reminder that perfection isn’t possible. We saw a dancer actually stumble on stage this week, a surprising rarity in a live show. But that is life. Shows don’t go perfectly. You slip on fake snow or trip over a costume piece. As a professional, you will be expected to pull yourself together and continue forward, without looking defeated. And that’s exactly what happened. Way to set an example, Emily!
  • A strong ending. I thought all of the group numbers this week were impressing, but Sonya’s was really riveting. I thought it was a concert-worthy piece of choreography and I love that we got to see in on our TV sets.

What I didn’t:

  • Costuming choices – Tanisha’s in particular. To me, her costuming was actually distracting. The costuming should match (and even better, complement) the tone, concept and choreography of a piece. But there were plenty of other ways to communicate the sensuality of that peice, apart from a mostly sheer catsuit. It was so provocative and unnecessary, when she has the ability to let her body tell the story.
  • The judges also tend to take up more time than I’d like….and sometimes without saying anything at all. What if to end their critique they have to give the dancers (and the audience) a definitive answer, like “would you hire this dancer, based off that performance for the job?” And if the answer was no, they would explain why. That would at least offer every dancer some direct, constructive feedback on the specific genre they were being evaluated on.

What did you think of top 16 week? Any thoughts on the show’s format & if it’s time for a refresh?


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