If you remember from Season 7, Adechike was a fluid contemporary dancer that created a little bit of controversy during his time at Las Vegas Callbacks. Performing a comedic tap routine for his opening solo before wowing the judges with his contemporary routine.
From Brooklyn, given a Nigerian name with origins from Jamaica, he will fit right at home with the cast.
FELA! is based on the life of Fela Kuti, who created Afrobeat—a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies—and mixed these sensual eclectic rhythms with simple but powerful lyrics that openly assailed Nigeria’s corrupt and oppressive dictatorships.
ADÉ CHIKÉ TORBERT (Ensemble) was born in Brooklyn, NY and began studying dance at the age of eight. He graduated from LaGuardia High School and studied at The Boston Conservatory and the Alvin Ailey School. He recently competed on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance Season 7 where he became a top four finalist. Adé Chiké is extremely excited to be a part of FELA!
So after the show on Monday night I went up and spoke to Kathryn’s family and Megan (one of her dance teachers and someone I used to dance with). I told them that I had supported her during her season on this site and still do. Then her dad asked me if I had gotten a backstage pass. I said no, so he grabbed one from his wife and handed it to me. I think there might have been 50 to 75 people that received a backstage pass. Basically this meant we were able to meet the dancers before those that were waiting outside behind the barrier. We were all gathered in one section of seats in the arena to wait before going the meet and greet area. Yes like the people outside we had to wait, just not as long. So the reason you have to hurry and wait is that the dancers take showers and then get notes about the show from the director. I waited about thirty minutes to go back to the meet and greet area. Once were there we spread out in the room, that way the dancers could just walk around the room. Kathryn was the third dancer that entered the room and went straight towards her friends and family. So I decide to go meet some of the other dancers first. I’ll post in the order that I met them.
Billy: I was greeted with a warm smile and a big hug. I told him how happy I was to see him come back this season after having to drop out the season before.
Ashley: I read many comments on here and other sites that many wanted Ashley to come back next season. As I expected she wanted to go on tour instead of going through the audition process again. I can’t say I blame her I would have done the same thing.
Courtney: I ended up talking to her with Kathryn’s dance teacher, about “Two Steps Away”. Courtney said she had to walk that one off after she watched it…safe to say she was a Kathryn fan.
Russell: Is a very down to earth person and he does have a certain charm about him. I was so die hard pulling for Kathryn during season six that Russell just flew under the radar. I have to say watching him Krump live is as Lil C would say very bucc.
Kathryn: She saw me before I even tried to get her attention and next thing I knew I was in a big hug. I wasn’t sure if she would recognize me because I was off at college by the time she really started dancing in the companies of our dance studio. Though I often stopped by the studio to visit and take some classes during the summer. It a cool thing to have a very large extended dance family and even better to see someone you know succeed in dance world.
Jose: He was more quiet and reserved than what I had expected. I would have missed him completely if he hadn’t walked by me.
Dominic: The stage persona had left but he is still very personable. You can tell that he is very grateful for all the opportunities he’s had. He was my brother’s favorite all star. Also the interview in the program is very funny.
Allison: She is missing her little girl while she is on tour. I was listening to her when she was talking to someone else and I didn’t realize that she doesn’t like to on the stage talking. It makes her nervous…I can so relate to that. We did talk a little about Travis too, and they did know each other before the show.
Ade: Loved meeting him the year before and still loved meeting him again. I told him how much I enjoyed watching him this season and that I wish he had done more contemporary on his season…he was like “I know right”.
Robert: My favorite and yes I told him that too. I said that when it got down the three of them I voted for all three and thought Kent was going to win. To my surprise he agreed with me. Also passed along that after they danced “Fix You” there was a lady in the front row crying. So if that dance meant anything to you tell him, he really like to hear about it. On a side note, he is a great hugger.
AdeChike: I didn’t get a chance to talk to him much but he does have a good attitude about him. He did say he would have gone by Ade on the show had all star Ade not been on the show.
Laruen: I just love her. We talked about the wardrobe malfunction she had when dancing with Neil. I learned it is a common thing with her. “Clothes just don’t like to stay on me, but I couldn’t say that on tv, thank God for boob tape.”
Kent: He stayed busy the entire time, so I really only had time to say hi and get a picture. Though he is exactly how you think he would be. I also loved the banter between him and Courtney during the show.
Monday night is was my turn to see the SYTYCD Season 7 tour. The weather in Atlanta that day wasn’t that great. It rained on and off on the way up and of course poured rain before I decided to head into the arena. Thankfully I was prepared and didn’t get too wet. So I purchased my program and made my way to my seat. I had great seat, third row center on the floor. I actually ended up sitting two rows in front of Kathryn’s family.
Finally it was time to the show to start and once the intro’s and the screen starts to go up the excitement in the atmosphere is contagious. During the opening number pay close attention to the screens to see how they included Alex into the number. If you can’t wait go back to Emilie’s post about tour. “My Chick Bad” was up next, a duel between two winners, Lauren and Russell. Russell did a great job stepping into Twitch’s place. There were three other dances where one of the original dancers was replaced by another dancer. Ade pinch hit for Neil in “Shoeless Joe”. Ade did a great job but when it comes to Broadway I’d rather watch Neil dance. Lauren took Comfort’s place in “Fallin” dancing the powerful hip hop with AdeChike. Robert joined Kent on stage for “How It Ends”. I have to agree with Emilie, I didn’t miss Neil as much this time. Robert is an amazing dancer so he did a fantastic job.
The b-boy number, like Emilie said is better live, but Dominic in my opinion still comes out on top. At the end of every dance the dancer take a moment to bow Jose still had the sword in hand as he made his way to the front of the stage. So Jose looks back and motions for Dom to join him, so Dom picks up the rock and stands beside Jose. What really made it funny, in my opinion, was the fact that ROCK was written on the bottom of the rock. The rock does reappear when Dom and Ade are introducing a number. Okay back to the b-boys add Russell into the mix and you get one of the new numbers created just for the tour. I loved this number, it was fun and the guys got to do their thing. Jose dance to some old school music which was fun. Then it was Dom’s turn and his music of choice was “Baby” by Justin Bieber. As you can imagine the song alone enticed some screams and of course the goofball Dom is played into it. If you are going to the tour this is one dance I suggest you youtube.
I was happy to find out that “Transform Ya” Kathryn and Russell’s number from their season made it into the show. I did manage to get video of two of the numbers “Heaven on Earth” featuring Kathryn and Robert and “Mad World” featuring Billy and Ade. “Mad World” was my personal favorite dance of this season. Also I’m glad we got to go back to prom with Lauren and Kent, and like Emilie said there is a nice surprise at the end of that dance. I made the mistake of reading the program while waiting for the show to start so I figured it out. Let’s just say they go into another dance.
Many of the new numbers were the group dances. One choreographed by Sonya, a Broadway one, and a Bollywood one that closed the first act. Mia’s “Everything She Does is Magic” opened the second act, Lauren and all of the boys. My personal favorite of the night was the group disco to “When Love Takes Over”. It was just so much fun to watch, not to mention seeing all the tricks up close was cool too. The dancers looked like they were having fun. To end the show they brought back a tradition that also ended the show for seasons 2-4. This tradition is to end the show with “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray. It never gets old in my opinion. Okay I’m done for now but part two the meet and greet will be posted soon, along with some of my pictures.
So, my mom and I attended the 2010 SYTYCD Tour in New Orleans last night. This is our second year – last year, we saw the show in Duluth, with Amanda. This year, you’ll get write-ups on two different cities from us.
There will be some tour spoilers below, so stop reading if knowing ahead of time will bother you.
First of all, we were the first date on the tour and each show is always a little different, so I don’t know what they’ll change up.
We were on the side of the stage, so the girls started shrieking whenever they caught even a glimpse of the dancers peeking out from the curtain. They kept calling Kent’s name, so I was pretty sure that he hasn’t lost any fans since the finale.
The opening was pretty stellar, all intense music and spastic lights, but honestly, I was just so glad to see all those dancers again that I think I would’ve enjoyed them reading a phone book on stage. They flashed the names of the dancers on the big center screen and then lifted to reveal the dancers standing in a line.
Just to give you an idea scope of the intensity of last night’s opening and the phenomenal New Orleans audience, check this out:
I think one of the most interesting things about the tour was seeing who replaced the original dancers who weren’t dancing. For instance, the first dance was My Chick Bad with Russell stepping in for Twitch and he did a great job with Lauren. When Ade stepped in for Neil in the baseball Broadway routine, I have to admit that as much as I loooove Ade, I missed Neil. Though, I didn’t miss Neil nearly as much as I thought I would when Robert replaced him in the Travis Wall betrayal routine with Kent. Kent and Robert danced the hell out of that and Robert really made it his own. It’s a tough thing to make me forget about Neil, but I was totally absorbed in the routine.
They showed the “Outta Your Mind” on the big screen and I thought it was a good solution. Obviously, they had to have it but they couldn’t just re-cast the two dancers. As they proved when they had Ellen dance the tribute with Twitch.
There always seems to be a running joke, or at least there was last year (Russian folk, anyone?) and this year, it was the rock used in the King Arthur-themed Dominic-Jose piece. Even though I enjoyed it better live, I still object to Dom bowing to Jose. No way Jose dominated, sorry. Dom = dominate. Anyway, I won’t tell you how the rock became the running joke – you’ll just have to see for yourself.
The last thing I’ll mention about the performance is that there’s a surprise in the second half involving Lauren and Kent and that infamous prom dance. It’s a really cool surprise and it ended the show. So, look for it when you check out the tour.
Oh, I guess it’s worth mentioning that some of the dancers were naturally a little more natural while introducing the other performances. Kent and Robert, for instance, didn’t really sound different at all from their regular selves, while some of the dancers (who shall remain nameless) were cute but pretty unnatural while speaking on the sidelines. I think it’s an invaluable part of their process – learning public speaking.
And, as we did last year, my mom and I waited to meet all the dancers after the show. And waited. And waited. We waited about two hours. It was not my favorite part, especially because they kept telling us it was going to be 45 minutes and then 45 minutes would pass and then they’d say 45 minutes again. But, while we were waiting, we befriended all the folks in line around us. And I caught these priceless homemade shirts.
Kent take me to Wapokenta
Robert you make Heaven a place on Earth
I want to lay Ade
And meeting the dancers MORE than made up for the two hours’ wait. It was midnight and it was still hot and we were all exhausted. But, they were ALL so grateful we came to see them, that we waited to meet them. They were humble and sweet and so wonderful. They spent time with each and every person, gave hugs and took pictures and signed everything put in front of them. And I got pictures with all of them. Of course, I cropped myself out of them as best I could and they were taken on my cell phone, but check out the pictures below.
Some quick notes of introduction:
-These photos are in the order that I met the dancers.
-Even though he acted like he remembered my mom and me, I’m not sure Ade possibly could, but I love him for faking it. He gives the best hugs.
-Kathryn asked me where I was sitting and seemed to recognize me. I told her I was waaaay up on the side, but that I wrote for this site, along with her former studio-mate Amanda. She spent a good amount of time with us and had to help me find her picture in the book for her to sign cause I was so tired. Lol
-Robert is lovely. He also spent a lot of time with us and also with everybody I saw him talking to. That kid is going far.
-I told Ashley how upset I was that she had to withdraw from the competition and she seemed really touched. I think it’s really cool of her to go on tour with her Season 7 peeps rather than go for another season next year, though I’ll miss seeing her on t.v.
-AdeChike is really funny and personable. He had no trouble connecting with everybody in line and seemed to really enjoy all the fans.
The dancers of season 7 officially kick off their tour in New Orleans tomorrow night to a sold out crowd (Although you can still buy SYTYCD tour tickets in other cities). Paying attention to the tweets of the dancers, I say they are anxious to get the tour started. Unfortunatley I have to wait till the 27th to see the show but I can’t complain too much because I have third row seats. As always I am so looking forward to the show. I haven’t missed a tour show since they started touring in season two. So I got to thinking about how many of our readers will be going to tour for the first time, and trust me you will enjoy the show. This time I have a feeling we will see more new dances compared to other tours. Mainly because they have to work in Russell into the tour but still should see many of our favorite routines. I can’t wait to see if some of my favorite dances make it into the show but I am also looking forward to the skits. Though I don’t think they can top the Russian skit from season five (if you don’t know what I am talking about surf youtube for it). Anyways I thought I would share some info for those who haven’t been to a tour.
First make sure if you want any tour mechandise get it before the show starts or during the intermission so you can get a good spot for the meet and greet after the show. I recomend the program, it has great pictures and short Q&A with each dancer. Second you are allowed to have a small camera(non professional) but you can’t use the flash. The flash can affect the dancers while they are dancing. Thrid bring extra batteries just in case, I learned that lesson during the season four tour. I almost didn’t get a picture with Mark because of that but thankfully I was able to save up just enough and caught up to Mark and he gladly posed for one with me. Lastly if you stay for the meet and greet know that they will take their time and make sure they get meet all of their fans.
Here are some of my pictures with some of my favorite dancers.
Enjoy the show a I will post my review and pics soon.
I don’t know how many of our readers are planning on going to the Tour for Season 7 but I’ve got my ticket (3rd row, yay!) and I’m excited. Now that the season 7 contestants are allowed to tweet, they gives us a little insite on what they are doing to prepare for tour. This seasons winner Lauren is tweeting a little something extra for us fans. Behind the scenes video. So for those of you not on twitter I thought I’d share one of her videos and the link to youtube page.
I decided to share the video of Robert and Ashley “Bad Dancing”. Pay close attention in the background you will see Russell, Dominic, and Jose working on a hip hop number or at least thats what it seems to me.
Well…on the discussion post, I said that I might have to flip back and forth between the SYTYCD finale and the first Saints pre-season game. Well, the good news is that I won’t have to flip back and forth. The bad news is that my local FOX channel has pre-empted the SYTYCD finale in order to show the first Saints pre-season game. I won’t be able to see the show till 10:30 local time.
You have to understand that little else matters in New Orleans during football season. We love our Saints. Though, I’m a little ticked off with them at the moment.
My mom lives in Atlanta, so she’s gonna help me out with the music. If you can see the show and would like to help me, please do.
Top 3 Group Routine:
Choreographer: Christopher Scott from LXD
Song: My mom says it was Nation Lanier’s “Ra,” but I can’t find them on iTunes, so help me out if we got it wrong. Ha! Marianya just said it’s NATHAN Lanier’s “Ra,” which isn’t on iTunes, so try is “Invisible Children Theme” – instead. I know it’s not the same, but enjoy anyway.
Kenny Ortega’s Chosen Dance:
Dancer: Kent Boyd
All-Star: Neil Haskell
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: “Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo” from Damn Yankees –
Nigel’s Chosen Dance:
Dancer: Billy Bell
All-Star: Ade Obayami
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: Michael Andrews ft. Gary Jules’s “Mad World” –
Dancer: Quest Crew!!!
Song: Caravan Palace’s “Suzy” –
Dancers: Season 6 winner Russell Ferguson and Lil C
Song: Buckmouth’s “Hazardous” – which I haven’t found on iTunes yet
Mary Murphy’s Chosen Dance
Dancer: Jose Ruiz
All-Star: Dominic Sandoval
Song: District 78′s “Battle for the Beat” –
Dancers: SYTYCD UK Season 1 winner Charlie Bruce and Neil Haskell
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Song: Celine Dion’s “I Surrender” –
She and Drew danced this on SYTYCD UK, but I loved seeing her dance it with Neil, I have to say.
3rd Place goes to: Robert
Song: The Undeserving’s “Something to Hope For” –
My Power Rankings tonight are going to be VERY risky indeed. Or perhaps not so much if you agree with me and I’m right…
Robert Roldan had the strongest night, hands down. I’m sorry, but he did. He’s been picking up steam the last few weeks, there’s a major campaign over at ISM for him and some of us…not naming names…but ME, have said how wonderful he is all season. Oh and that’s not even counting his routines tonight. He was the one who stood out to me in Tyce’s group Broadway, which is saying something cause it was three guys and one girl. I guess you could say that you’d notice whichever of the three guys you liked best cause you’d be looking for them. However…Robert had the most partner time with Lauren, he was always at the front or middle of the three boys in unison sections and whenever there was a guy on his own of the group, it was him. Then, the Viennese Waltz with Anya was lyrical and romantic and showed him off in all kind of wonderful ways. I think it was a moment. The right song (popular here on the site most of the season), the right pair of dancers, the right timing. But if it was just the waltz, maybe I wouldn’t have put Robert here. However, his Nappytabs hip hop with Dominic truly showed what he was made of. It was perfect for him – it had story and character, which he does best. And he killed it!!! Marianya “prescribed” hip hop as what Robert needed to conquer next and boy did he!!! Ricky is predicting that he’ll win.
Middle Two Dancers
Kent had his worst dance all season with that disco. And I’m not just saying that cause I hate disco. Really, I’m not. I have to agree with the judges. It was lackluster even compared to other discos. The saving grace was Kent’s unshakable personality, but here’s the snag. He’s been the clear favorite most of the season (i.e. since Alex left), so then it would be his competition to lose. And he had one bad routine. While a lot of his fans will vote for him anyway, this routine didn’t do him any favors and he blended into the wallpaper for that Broadway group routine, except at the very end. HOWEVER, and this is a big but, he had the biggest blessing a dancer could ask for in this – he danced well in the last routine of the night which happened to be a hugely memorable Travis wall routine with Neil, a very popular All-Star. I would’ve said Robert’s hip-hop was the best routine of the night if not for this one. That’s going to remind a LOT of people why they love Kent.
Adechike danced solidly, but his routines are still the least compelling (in terms of voting and “best of the night”), in my mind. But here’s why I think there’s a good chance he’ll edge out Lauren – people are going to be moved by his journey package (see, I told you the judges were stealthily supporting him by ragging on him), which was featured last of the night and separate from the other dancers’. And it was a moving, moving package at the end of which he gave very humble and heartfelt speech about how lucky and grateful he is, as if he knows he’s not going forward after this week. Not a dry eye in America after that, even at my house where I’ve become a late and begrudging Adechike fan. But about his dances. He had some little splashy moments in the Broadway, but was largely ignorable (ducks flying veggies). I really liked the African jazz (looove Sean Cheesman) and I thought that Adechike really connected with Lauren (if not the audience) and danced it well. But it felt like the Tahitian routine – you either got it or you didn’t and it was almost impossible to critique/consider alongside the other dances. I liked it. It reminded me of a paso doble somehow (probably because of Lauren’s skirt), but without the dominance factor and just the strength of movement. I think he actually danced even better and with more abandon in the contemporary with Kathryn. However, I felt like that piece was handicapped by the absolute wrong song choice, a frantic energy and some weird movement. All in all, it was an even better performance from Adechike once I watched it back. But it comes down to this… When I thought about what routines had been danced tonight, I thought of Kent’s contemporary, Robert’s hip hop, Robert’s waltz and even Kent’s horrendous disco before I could recall what Adechike had danced. It kind sounds like I’ve just devoted a lot of energy and space to explaining whey he’s leaving tonight. And he might. But…
I think the vast majority of the audience are going to concentrate on “saving” either Adechike, Robert or Kent and they’re going to neglect Lauren like they did last week. She’s been proving she’s a phenomenal dancer with EVERY routine, especially lately. But when was her last big routine? You know, that really memorable routine that a dancer hopefully gets at least once in a season. Routines like the two we saw tonight (Kent’s contemporary and Robert’s hip hop), routines like Adechike’s hip hop with Comfort or Alex’s with Twitch. In movies, they’re called “set pieces” because they take the most money and energy, usually, to deliver upon. The Argentine tango with Pasha tonight (which Marianya totally recommended she dance) was that moment for her, but it was the FIRST routine of the night with TWO KILLER show-ending routines by the guys. And her jazz with Ade was strong and awesome, but lacked chemistry and some true malicious intent. She hasn’t really had any show-stopping phenomenal dances choreographed especially for and around her (as ALL of the remaining guys have had). She’s had to rise to every challenge, despite her experience and her prepardness and she HAS. Adam says he thinks of her as an All-Star already and I think he’s right that she’s quietly done whatever was asked of her and matched her partner to the best of her abilities. I think she deserves to win the season for that reason alone. But in reality, while I hope I’m wrong, I think people are going to forget to vote for her in the rush to protect their favorite of the three guys.
Some Final Thoughts
-I missed the group and the tango, so I came in on Cat standing next to Lauren with her new short haircut. I was a little stunned. And I loved hearing Lauren say to the audience, “I hope you’ve enjoyed watching it as much as I’ve enjoyed living it.” Hell yeah, LoFro.
-I liked Sean Cheesman’s African jazz, but I think I would’ve liked the second jazz a lot better without the “story” behind it. And also, with different music.
-I really hate disco. They either need to find a new disco choreographer (if another one exists, if there’s ANYBODY ELSE who hasn’t yet given up the ghost) or retire the style. C’mon, get with it! Stop using disco and quickstep UNLESS there’s a completely unique way of doing it or dancers who just happen to be able to kill it.
-I think it makes sense that Adechike danced for Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden and I can see him having a career working with them. But I don’t dig their stuff. I almost never really love or remember their routines.
-Adechike made me cry. I’m so glad he’s opened up in the last few weeks (that I’ve seen). I’m glad I’ve gotten to “know” and appreciate him. Even though I hope he leaves this week instead of anybody else (ducks flying fruit).
-Nappytabs have been KILLING it this season. They’ve had three or four really great routines this season. Namely, the Alex-Twitch “Outta Your Mind” and now this one with Robert and Dominic.
-Alright, this has to be said. I love, love, love the Kent-Neil-Travis contemporary tonight. LURVE IT. It was perfection and reminded me of why Kent has such a following when he’d started to be redundant to me. But here’s my beef. Well, it’s not a beef. It’s an observation. The “background” or “story” to the routine was that it’s a friendship breaking up and that worked because they both danced very “masculine” (read: straight). And bravo to SYTYCD/FOX/everybody for having a male-male contemporary with that much physical connection between the two men – even if they had to dress it up as a “friendship” that was breaking up. But it was about lovers. It was about two men who love each other and hurt each other, any way you read it. And while it’s remarkable that it’s “okay” to have a dance like this on a t.v. show (same sex marriage news today, how timely!!), let’s get to the point where we can say, “this is a story about two lovers breaking up” and it’s OKAY for the lovers to both be men. Or women. That’s it, I’m done. It was beautiful.
Nothing else has gone to plan this week in cursed Season 7, which is why I’m predicting for the “surprise” twist. Agree? Disagree? Lemme know!!!!