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Thread: SYTYCD 7/14 Performance Recap: Disease, Dugouts, and Disco Dancin' Shoes

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    SYTYCD 7/14 Performance Recap: Disease, Dugouts, and Disco Dancin' Shoes

    Top Seven At-A-Glance

    Dances:
    • Lauren & Mark, Tahitian Dance (Tiana Liufau)
    • Adechike & Anya, Salsa (Liz Lira)
    • Jose & Courtney, Broadway (Joey Dowling)
    • Robert & Allison, Contemporary (Travis Wall)
    • Billy & Anya, Jive (Louis Van Amstel)
    • Kent & Neil, Broadway (Tyce Diorio)
    • Billy & Lauren, Jazz (Mandy Moore)
    • Jose & Dominic, Hip Hop (Tabitha & Napoleon)
    • Kent & Adechike, Contemporary (Dee Caspary)
    • Robert & Kathryn (in Ashley’s absence), Disco (Doriana Sanchez)

    Best Moment: Kent and Neil’s Broadway baseball players

    Worst Moment: Jose’s sad sack stagehand

    Quotes: “It was like a duck in heat!” - Mia

    This week we welcome our Top Seven dancers. Wait, (one, two, three… oh, no – not again!) We seem to be missing a girl. (Not hard to notice, since there are only two.) Tonight Cat is costumed in a draped silk one shoulder multi-color print dress – the essence of summer style. Unfortunately, it looks like she invited Ashley and Lauren for a sleep-over and they decided to braid each other’s hair.



    And, yes we have another injury. Ashley was hospitalized for a rib injury on Monday night. Nigel reminds us that Ashley will be in the Bottom Three tomorrow, and if she can’t dance next week then she will be eliminated. Cat also gives us an Alex update – direct from Alex. He recorded a video message on his cell phone assuring us that the operation went well, and thanking everyone for their good wishes.

    Now we go back to take a look at the dance assignments for the week. Once again, they are doing things slightly differently. Last time the producers assigned both the All-Star and contestant partners. This time the All-Star is assigned, but the contestant pairings are done by a random drawing.

    Lauren - Tails of the South Pacific

    We have a new choreographer (Tiana Liufau) to go with our new style: Tahitian. Tiana give us some of the basic hip movements: Tanau (side to side), Ami (hip circles), and Fa’arapu (very fast hip shaking). In the routine Mark will portray Night and Lauren will be Day.

    All I can really say about the number (done to Jungle by Last Voices) is that Mark was amazing. This is hardly his style of dance, but he was commanding and could have convinced me that he’d been doing this all his life. Lauren was fine – I certainly don’t know whether she did the steps well or not – but she seemed to do well shaking her abundant tail feathers. But there seemed to be a clash of attitudes between the two of them: Lauren was having fun, but Mark was dead serious.

    Nigel admits he doesn’t have a clue how to evaluate that, but it was fun and he enjoyed Tiana bringing this folk dance to the show. Mia says “It was like a duck in heat”. She complimented their poise and posture and was surprised that they mastered that in such a short time. Adam (who has had some exposure to Tahitian dance technique) found it amazing.

    AdéChiké - Upright and Locked Position

    Liz Liara and Danny Davalos conceived a competitive salsa (with more “oomph”) to Oyelo Que Te Conviene by Eddie Palimeri. The opening is spectacular – Anya steps up into AdéChiké’s arms and he flips her hip into a double twist and then catches her. There’s a little wobble on the catch (and Anya puts her hand on the floor just in case), but he makes it. Anya is a daredevil in high heels, and she throws herself into this routine; and AdéChiké handles the tough partnering, including a lot more lifts than you usually see in Salsa. But while he hit all the steps, he still moves like an upright Contemporary dancer trying to do Salsa. His hips aren’t there, and he just can’t get down into the floor and drop his center of gravity.

    Nigel thinks that Liz must have been crazy to start the number with the double flip, but it worked. He praised AdéChiké for capturing the fluid movement of the Salsa. (If Mary Murphy was on the panel, I think she would disagree.) Mia liked the tricks and the leg hinges, but felt that there were “bumps” and with some more rehearsal it might have been really good. Adam agrees that the choreography was good, but it was also really hard. He was proud of the way AdéChiké fought to master it. (I guess this is “Be Nice to AdéChiké Week”.)

    Season Seven Tour

    When we come back from the break, Cat has important news: The tour dates have been announced! So You Think You Can Dance – SYTYCD Tour Dates Announced

    Here’s what we know:
    The tour begins September 19 in New Orleans and runs to November 17 with 40 dates. It will have our “favorite” Season 7 contestants and All-Stars. That could mean that all the contestants (minus Alex) are going, or not. They will probably take as many All-Stars as are available, barring other commitments. There is no indication that any Season Six dancers will be included. In fact that is unlikely given that they are taking All-Stars.

    Jose – You Can Look Right Through Me

    Joey Dowling has taken the song Mr. Cellophane from Chicago and put together a story of a stagehand (Jose) in love with a star (Courtney), who doesn’t know that he exists. Courtney sashays in a hot pink showgirl costume, and Jose mopes around her, but the number completely fails. It’s primarily Ms. Dowling’s fault and here’s her mistake: Jose enters beaten and dejected. That should be the end of the number – after he has tried everything he can think of to get her attention. But since he starts that way and never changes, there is nowhere for the story to go; he’s just sad (and Courtney’s near-sighted). It also doesn’t help that Jose’s technique is poor (it always has been), and that there is no chemistry between the pair by design. All in all, an interesting idea, but poor execution.

    Nigel blabs a bit before he comes to the point: this concept asks Jose to set aside the sunny personality, and what’s left is mediocre dancing. We see a close-up of Jose’s face; his big brown eyes dejected. He looks like one of those poor shelter dogs that Sarah McLachlan sings about. Mia says, “I can’t even look at you, right now”. But she has to agree with Nigel about the lack of technique, and also adds that the “pathetic“ quality was over the top. “There has to be a glimmer of hope.” Adam concentrates on where he needs to improve, which is pretty much everything: his lines, his feet, his jumps, finishing his arms and legs.

    Robert – Mother Lover

    Travis Wall’s mother, Denise, went in for surgery this week so Travis used his emotion surrounding that in his dance for Robert and Allison. This also cuts close to home for Robert, whose mother survived cancer. The music is Fix You by Coldplay. Travis has conceived a number with all of his trademark organic movement and emotion. But I can’t watch this without also seeing Tyce Diorio’s Woman’s Work from last summer with Melissa and Ade. Granted, they are different styles and they depict different relationships (husband/wife in Tyce’s routine, and mother/son in Travis’s). But there was a clear focus and beginning-middle-end with Tyce, while Travis’s number seems to go every which direction. This reflects the lack of perspective of someone who is still in the middle of the experience.



    However, there is no question about the high quality of Allison and Robert’s work. Robert, in particular, is masterful in riding the emotional roller-coaster, yet at the same time giving us every last bit of technique demanded by the choreographer. For me, this is his best performance to date.

    The judges give a standing ovation. Before they can comment, Cat says “There is something about a great piece of art, and I believe it’s when the right dancers come together with the right choreographer and the right piece of music… something magical happens and it moves you physically.” Nigel agrees that it took us beyond just a TV dance competition. He feels that Robert was superb, particularly in the part where he broke away and then came back to Allison. Mia is particularly broken up (she lost her mother this past spring). She says that she can relate to wanting to “fix” everything, and says that she knows Robert understands that. She adds that this was the best dancing that Robert has done all season. Robert gets a bit teary himself, standing there in his “Travis” costume. Adam predicts Travis will get an Emmy nomination. (Travis was passed over this year.) He continues “Robert, you were brilliant; and Allison, get outta here!”

    Billy – Jumpin’ Jive

    Louis Van Amstel is back! I guess he needed a vacation after DWTS. Billy is partnered with Anya for a Jive. Like most of the ballroom choreographers this season, Louis revs this Jive into high-speed; he’s setting it to Paradise By The Dashboard Light by Meat Loaf. Anya is keeping it snappy, but rounding off her movements to fit the pace and the jangly Jive style. I wouldn’t have thought it was even possible to hit every extension at this speed, but Billy does it. Which looks a little odd – kind of like someone sped up the film for comic effect. His performance and character, though, are right on. He’s confident and attacking the style with fun and attitude.

    Nigel feels that Billy worked hard to get the character and chemistry right, and it showed. He cautions Billy about carrying his body upright, when he should be down into the knees more to get the style. Mia calls it a stellar performance. She liked the fact that his training kept him pulled up. Adam says that it was his favorite Billy performance. Unlike Nigel, he liked Billy’s flexibility.

    Kent – Take Me Out to the Ballgame

    Perhaps in honor of the All-Star game this week, Kent is paired with Neil for a Tyce Diorio baseball number (Shoeless Joe From Hannibal Mo) from the musical Damn Yankees. The routine is high-energy, athletic, and with lots of bits of baseball business. Neil is a gymnast (as well as a professional Broadway dancer), but Kent is right with him on every dance step, flip, slide and spin. As a matter of fact, Kent’s character was more believable because Tyce allowed Kent to be himself – which always comes across on screen brilliantly.



    Nigel says that Tyce threw everything in to the routine and that tonight, Kent is the MVP. Mia starts out by saying “I love boys so much!” She loves seeing two strong male dancers take on choreography like that. She thought Kent’s character was perfect. Adam points out that Tyce incorporated some of the spirit of the original Damn Yankees choreographer, Bob Fosse; specifically, the masculine strength and athleticism.

    Lauren & Billy – Dancin’ Shoes

    Can magic sneakers help you win a TV dance competition? Billy and Lauren are set to find out in this Mandy Moore Jazz piece set to KC and the Sunshine Band’s Boogie Shoes. The number is cute, but Mandy’s concept of “shoe power” isn’t really reading. And without the magic, it’s just two juveniles doing a happy jazz dance. Better performers might have been able to add some character and magic of their own, but Billy and Lauren are just “pleasant”. Which is too bad, because they are both working hard through some brain-teasing choreography for not a lot of effect.

    Nigel finds it adorable and points out that Jazz fits Billy really well. He predicts Lauren isn’t going home. Mia says the dance was “completely in the pocket”. Adam called it “happy-making”. He compliments Billy losing himself in the choreography. He hints that Lauren is one of the top dancers.

    Jose & Dominic – Knights-Errant

    Jose drew the short straw this week – no contestant partner left, since there is an odd number. So he gets All-Star Dominic (along with input from Season Six’s Legacy) in a Tabitha & Napoleon B-Boy number. As Battle for the Beat by District 78 begins Dominic slides in first, followed by Jose. It’s an Arthurian theme with two knights fighting, but the story doesn’t go any farther than the set decoration. The whole routine is there to highlight the tricks. But the most impressive feats, (a one arm angled handstand, a body toss up to his feet) are done by Dominic. In the end, Jose gets the prize, but it feels unearned.

    Nigel proclaims that Jose redeemed himself. No one else this season could have done that routine. (Well, duh! They did that specifically for Jose.) Mia thinks that the opening traveling section was amazing. She again insists that even Jose’s break dancing will benefit from additional dance training. Adam says that he understands how difficult it must have been to hear the all the negative comments earlier; but he is impressed by how Jose then came out in the second half of the show and demonstrated why he is here.

    Kent & AdéChiké - Bad Romance

    Complicated relationships are usually at the heart of choreographer Dee Caspary’s routines. This time he does something of a love triangle, with one side missing to You Only Disappear by Tom McRea. Kent is in a bad relationship (with a person we never see), and AdéChiké tries to save him. Or AdéChiké is a manipulative control freak afraid of losing Kent to a promising new love. It’s all a matter point of view. The “invisible girl in the chair” concept doesn’t really come across. AdéChiké steps on “her” at one point, and from the direction of Kent’s gaze she appears to be the size of a gnome. (Acting tip: Don’t look at the chair; look at where the person’s head would be above the chair.) Still, the battle for Kent’s soul comes across with some great dancing, especially a gravity-defying leap from AdéChiké over Kent.

    Nigel praises Dee for bringing more diversity to this week’s show with that routine. He remarks on AdéChiké’s incredible leap over Kent. He tells Kent that he didn’t overplay the performance and he stands a chance of being this year’s champion. Mia says Kent is getting stronger each week, and the organic quality of his movement is unbelievable. She was praying that AdéChiké would have a strong night, and he is. She compliments them both for their power and vulnerability. Adam says that they taught him about dance and performance and that they were both brilliant.

    Robert & Ashley Kathryn – Panic at the Disco

    Our first Disco of the season! Choreographer Doriana Sanchez returns with one of her fast, killer routines, this time to Instant Replay by Dan Hartman. The routine proved too much for Ashley, aggravating a previous injury, so she is replaced by All-Start Kathryn. The strength required by Robert to pull off all the partnering moves is remarkable. He keeps his fun “boogie down” personality throughout, which is quite a contrast to his gut-wrenching first routine. The number is only marred by the transitions in and out of the lifts which feel a little rough. That could either be from Robert’s inexperience, or from the last-minute change of partners.



    Nigel points out that Disco is tough because there is never any chance to catch one’s breath. He thinks Robert had everything the routine required: beautiful lines, energy, and partnering. Mia doesn’t think that Robert had enough masculine weight to pull off the costume and style. (Nigel disagrees.) Adam lists the two things necessary for Disco: be there for your partner, and selling fun. “You sold it, and I bought it!”, he concludes.

    Cat replays the dances and the numbers, (and what an incredible variety of dances there were!) She also reminds us that Ashley will automatically be in the Bottom Three. As the credits roll, the dancers get down. Billy is dancing with Courtney in her show girl plumage. Lauren is on the floor doing “The Worm”. And Cat has absconded Mark’s Tahitian headdress and the two are shimmying in the back.

  2. #2
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    Re: SYTYCD 7/14 Performance Recap: Disease, Dugouts, and Disco Dancin' Shoes

    I love your analysis, TopCat.


    But there seemed to be a clash of attitudes between the two of them: Lauren was having fun, but Mark was dead serious.

    But there was a clear focus and beginning-middle-end with Tyce, while Travis’s number seems to go every which direction. This reflects the lack of perspective of someone who is still in the middle of the experience.
    I had to quote these parts because they are both observations that I strongly agree with.
    I wasn'ty sure if it was part of the "character" Mark was playing that he seemed so serious or whether he's just intense.
    I suspect it's some of the former and lot of the latter.

    Really enjoyed reading this recap.
    Thanks
    "That's Numberwang!"

  3. #3
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    Re: SYTYCD 7/14 Performance Recap: Disease, Dugouts, and Disco Dancin' Shoes

    I love your analysis, TopCat.


    But there seemed to be a clash of attitudes between the two of them: Lauren was having fun, but Mark was dead serious.

    But there was a clear focus and beginning-middle-end with Tyce, while Travis’s number seems to go every which direction. This reflects the lack of perspective of someone who is still in the middle of the experience.
    I had to quote these parts because they are both observations that I strongly agree with.
    I wasn'ty sure if it was part of the "character" Mark was playing that he seemed so serious or whether he's just intense.
    I suspect it's some of the former and lot of the latter.

    Really enjoyed reading this recap.
    Thanks
    "That's Numberwang!"

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