Sunday, October 09, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance: Tour

So You Think You Can Dance came to Foxwoods last weekend, on their nationwide tour, and we got to see it. Overall: good show. Those kids work hard and have fun, I can tell. While the whole experience wasn't great, the show was.

What went wrong:

  • The theater is the biggest I've seen in the state, but there wasn't enough staff to sell refreshments (so long lines) before the show, and the parking lot only had one exit lane, which ended in a stoplight. Foxwoods has a lot to learn from Disneyland in terms of service.
  • There was a couple behind us who brought their 5-ish-year-old son, who was sick. He spent the first half coughing, then puked at intermission. First, he was too young for the show (see Piece of My Heart), second, he was sick. Bad parents.
What went right:

  • The whole show was high energy and great dancing. I can't complain, and I loved seeing even the dances I already knew done live. There was just so much excitement in that room. When Melanie did that flying leap [this one has poor quality video due to copyright restrictions], the room went wild. I also noticed that the dancers danced more freely. They're better practiced, more confident, and not being judged. They're having fun. And that's good to see.
  • They grouped numbers together sensibly, and added smooth transitions, so it wasn't just number after number. It was well done. They also lengthened some of the shorter pieces and each of the top 10 contestants got a long solo. (I'm always mad about how short the TV solos are.) And they added dancers to some pieces! I was happy to spot Melanie, Ricky, and Jess, along with Tadd in Another One Bites the Dust. I still missed Lauren, but the other three make up for her absence, in that dance, at least.
  • We were pretty high up in that theater, but I could see the whole stage. They also had screens showing closer live camera work from a cameraman at stage level. It's nice to see the dances without all the crazy camera work on the show. (Too much spinning and close-up, you don't get a feel for their use of the stage.)
  • After the opening number, they did the familiar introductions (these are your boys, and here are your girls, etc.), but Marko was missing! According to Melanie and Sasha, who had microphones right after, he had an injury but would be on stage later in the show. He was, about 10 minutes later, no sign of injury. But while he was gone, who filled in for him? Kent! I decided there must be at least a boy and a girl all-star touring with the top 10, sitting backstage, waiting to fill in when needed. It's hard to miss Marko, when you get Kent in his place.
  • When I'm watching the show, the dancers seem so important to the character and execution of the dance. But as far as I could tell, the all-stars weren't going to be part of the show. How could they possibly do Misty Blue without Twitch? Answer: Ricky danced it with Sasha instead. Ricky also filled in for Neil in Total Eclipse of the Heart with Melanie, and for backstage Kent in the wall dance with Sasha. Caitlyn filled in for Allison in Marko's regret dance. In perhaps the strangest substitution, Mitchell and Clarice did Please Mr. Jailer, originally danced by Ashley and Chris, neither of whom made it to the top 10. The results of all these substitutions are:
    • Several dancers were more comfortable in their styles (e.g., Jess did Love Story with Melanie instead of Tadd). Melanie and Sahsa, though, can do anything.
    • I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who was dancing, especially challenging, given our distance from the stage.
    • I had to realize that they're all great dancers. Total Eclipse didn't work just for Neil; Ricky did a great job in it. They're all all-stars now.
  • They also had some non-top-10 dancers, Missy and Nick, as a big part of the show. They were each in several numbers, and both got to do solos as well. I think this goes to show how strong they are as dancers, and I'm happy to see them with the tour (even if they're not being advertised).
  • They only did one number from the last competition show, the Grease-inspired Tadd strip-tease (which went over well). I'm glad because that show, which I had waited two weeks to see, thanks to Fox suddenly deciding to postpone streaming for 10 days instead of the usual 5, was utterly disappointing. Even the stand-out favorites, Sasha and Melanie, had poor dances in that episode (the disco was a particular disaster), and though the Grease dance wasn't anything special compared to other dances this season, the crowd loves it when Tadd goes shirtless. That last episode left a bad taste in my mouth, and I'm glad the producers admitted it wasn't worth re-hashing.
  • This was the first time I liked that Coldplay song. I still don't like the geisha dance. Or pretty much any of the group dances from this season.
  • They didn't do one of my favorites, the hip-hop where Melanie and Marko kiss, but they did just about everything else I was hoping to see.
If the clips linked here aren't enough, here's a good tour highlights reel I found. And if you have some hours to spend, here's a playlist of my favorite SYTYCD pieces, from all 8 seasons.

3 comments:

  1. Kent was not and has not been in any of the tour stops. NO All Stars are going along. What dance did you think he was doing? Was it the Nutbush jazz with Jordan? If so, that was Nick. He has about the same hair color as Kent.

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  2. I was pretty sure it was Kent (he's shorter), but it's hard to say: I was high up and I didn't know Nick was there until later.

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  3. I also wish they had identified the dancers better. People around me were jazzed about how well Marko danced in the mirror Broadway with Melanie, when it was actually Jess who danced with her. Some people don't know the dancers that well. By the way, Kent has not been in any of the tour shows. Must have been someone else.

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