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Flashback: SYTYCD Canada (and U.S.) Season 2 – Tara-Jean & Everett

Typically, I don’t have time to watch So You Think You Can Dance Canada where the primary judges were: Jean-Marc Généreux and Tré Armstrong. So once in a while a friend of mine would send me a video of another routine from another part of the world that would pique my interest some and then that was all.

So when a friend (and fellow PureSYTYCD blogger) of mine posted a video on my Facebook Timeline I wasn’t entirely too anxious to want to go and see it right away, instead I waited til I had a little bit of time before I decided to look at it.

She sent the video with the following comment:

It’s been so long since we had a really good memorable Broadway number (maybe neil & kent baseball from season 7 or robert & kathryn west side story, but I don’t have any memorable ones from last year!), I’d love to see more numbers with this kind of energy!!

Another friend commented:

I miss the old stage. And as long as Tyce is not directing, I tend to like the broadway, but not love.

So, upon reading the comments I decided to watch the video, and boy… my friend was right… it has been a long time since I have seen a Broadway routine with this much energy.

The theatre routine in question was choreographed by Sean Cheesman who just in the first two weeks of competition for SYTYCD Season 9 choreographed two routines that for some reasons the audience may not have connected well to from the get go. Now that’s interesting… Anyway when I say a “long time” I definitely mean a long time… like Season 2’s Benji Schwimmer and Donyelle Jones:

Ironically both were the second seasons of their respective series and both involve “power couples”. So that got me thinking, I already created a Dance Style Breakdown for SYTYCD U.S. edition, so how did the dancers breakdown of dance style fare in Canada? So I decided to take a look… Below is a quick dance style breakdown over the course of the four seasons that the show was on the air:

DANCE STYLE MALE FEMALE
Contemporary 20 24
Hip Hop 9 5
Ballroom / Latin / Salsa 8 8
Ballet 2 2
Tap 1 0
Jazz 1 2
Break Dancing 1 0
Krump 0 1

Granted, this is still a bit lopsided with Contemporary dancers building the bulk of the group… however, when looking at the individual seasons, two of them (Season 2 and 4) were rather decently balanced. While the other two seasons had an insane number of Contemporary dancers in comparison to everyone else.

The two dancers from SYTYCD Canada Season 2 were tap and contemporary and they did a rather good job of it. At the same time I found it kind of odd that Sean Cheesman would create such a technically challenging and high octane theatre / broadway routine. Yes, for SYTYCD U.S. Sean has only created Jazz related routines… what gives? Sure, Tyce is a decent choreographer and Spencer Liff just got an Emmy nomination for his Broadway routines… but if the above routine is any indication I would love to see him try his hand on Broadway as well. If only because it forces the high octane / technically challenging routines to also depends on characterizations for the dancers.

What do you think?

July 21, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

AdeChike joins the cast of the Broadway musical Fela!

According to an interview with Fox News New York, AdeChike Torbert has joined the cast of Fela!

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.

According to the show’s website:

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.

AdeChike is also on their cast page:

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!

July 16, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

Disney’s the Newsies Musical – Bloggers’ Impressions

When the official cast list for Disney’s Newsies the Musical came out, those of us that were fans of the original 1992 movie scoured the cast list for familiar names… and were we pleasantly surprised to find that four of our favorite dancers from various seasons of SYTYCD were part of the cast! Huge favorites like Evan Kasprzak and Alex Wong, as well as those that left too soon like Thayne Jasperson and Jess LeProtto were all listed!

So naturally we here at Pure So You Think You Can Dance went into a group email firestorm and tried to see if we could have a group outing / get together and meet up at the Great White Way to watch the Newsies together… And if by some twist of faith talk to some of the dancers.

In the end only Margaret and myself (Marianya) were able to make the semi-impromptu trip and we have so much to tell you about this gem of a show.

CHOREOGRAPHY
Marianya: OMG The choreography was AMAZING! Not only that but it really seemed to have challenged the dancers to their fullest potentials. The SYTYCD alumni all have special moments throughout the show, be it as a dancer, actor, or singer. The choreography wasn’t just on the stage itself, but all over the staging, elevated… it was thorough and I couldn’t help but tap along with the music. I would go again just to see the dancing. For more of my thoughts of Disney’s the Newsies musical please head on over to my personal blog.

Margaret: The show was choreographed within an inch of its life, and that’s a good thing! A lot of the dancers have said in interviews that Newsies was the first movie they saw for their generation that had guys dancing and singing but still being “dudes”. A lot of them said it helped them see that it was okay to be a guy and like to dance. Everything about the show is full out (it is Disney, after all) and the choreography, with a mix of contemporary but also time period-centric moves, fits beautifully.

THE DANCERS
Anyone that appreciates strong dancing can tell you that one person that will catch your attention and was not a SYTYCD alumni was Ryan Steele who played Specs (he wore glasses). In fact his center was so incredibly precise that the only SYTYCD alumni that could possibly compare was Danny Tidwell of runner up of SYTYCD Season 3 (he is SYTYCD Season 2 runner up Travis Wall’s brother). In fact we went so far to as to say that Ryan Steele would be a combination of Danny Tidwell and SYTYCD Season 7 hopeful Anthony Burrell. In a crazy serendipitous coincidence of SYTYCD connections, Ryan is close friends with Jakob Karr from Season 6! But you’re here for the dancers that were part of the So You Think You Can Dance family:

Alex Wong: Of course, anyone that has been keeping up with So You Think You Can Dance would know and love Alex Wong, and how he sustained an injury to his Achilles tendon that forced him out of the competition. After approximately a year of recuperation he was asked to come back as an All Star for SYTYCD Season 8 only for him to turn it down due to an injury to his other Achilles tendon. Well he has come back from both injuries to dance as if he was never injured to begin with (and mind you these were potential career ending injuries). He was as strong as ever and he looked like he was enjoying himself. His ballet training was evident but so was some of the growth from the time he was on the show. This is his Broadway debut & with such strong dancers throughout the ensemble (many with regional & Broadway credits) he could have easily gotten lost in the shuffle. However, he gets some nice shining moments & his talents are put to good use.

Evan Kasprzak: Dancing a style that he was known for during his season on SYTYCD, it’s amazing to think this is his Broadway debut as well. He is one of the holdovers from the production at Papermill Playhouse this past fall. To say that he has stretched as a performer is an understatement. He has a small bit part in the show and he has a couple of solos in the ensemble numbers. Plus he looks stronger than ever. He shines as a tapper during the rousing “Kings of New York” and gets a fun mini-duet with fellow alum Jess as well.

Thayne Jasperson: He also has a bit part in the second act of the show and he has improved leaps and bounds since his time on SYTYCD. You can tell that his dancing has strengthened quite a bit and his lines are smoother. According to his bio he was on the first national tour of West Side Story in the intervening time. Thayne wasn’t known as a “Broadway” dancer during season 4, but the performance where the judges said he really came alive was a Broadway number, dancing to “Cool” from West Side Story with Comfort. His time to shine is in the 2nd Act and he has some lines as well. He was always remembered as a very graceful dancer, which probably put him at a disadvantage during his season with big personalities like Twitch, Joshua & Mark. But he fits right in on the stage and his dancing has an “umph” and strength to it that wasn’t necessarily apparent when he was on the show.

Jess LeProtto: He’s been on Broadway a few times prior to his time on SYTYCD, and considering that he was just on the show last season there isn’t much to say except how we get a chance to see him in his element now and see his growth since his time on SYTYCD. And did he grow, Jess took a lot of flack during the season for being too much of a ham, and he seems to have reined that in. He and Evan are both “vertically challenged” but they dance as big as their smiles without trying to outdance some of the taller dancers.

After the show, we stood at the stage door in the hopes of getting to meet some of the guys. To our surprise, every one of the cast members came out and signed autographs. They were grateful, courteous to everyone and a pleasure to talk to. Marianya was able to talk to Alex for a bit about hopefully setting up an interview with some of the guys, and Margaret was able to talk to Thayne. They were both so happy to hear that SYTYCD fans were at the show and were definitely interested in sitting down with us, either over the phone or on Skype (gotta love modern technology!) We’ll see what we can set up as we head towards the beginning of season 9!

April 26, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

Newsies the Musical – Broadway Opening Night 2012

Newsies the Musical opened on Broadway on March 29, 2012, and Just Dance was there to catch up with the cast and creative team behind the new Disney musical including SYTYCD veterans Alex Wong, Thayne Jasperson and Evan Kasprzak. Video Below 🙂

April 2, 2012 I Written By

www.youtube.com/danceon

“Come Fly Away”

The new musical from choreographer Twyla Tharp. Last night we were treat to just one of the pas de duex from the show performed by Keith Roberts and Karine Plantadit. While watchimg I realized that I have seen and met these dancers before, both we apart of “Movin’ Out” another musical by Twyla. I was lucky enough to see “Movin’ Out” twice on broadway (which is where I met them a friend of mine had a connection so we were able to go backstage after the show) and I saw the tour when it came through my town. So yes Ive seen the show three times because its just that good. When I looked up “Come Fly Away” I realized the cast is made up of more than just two dancer from “Movin’ Out”. So now I really want to see “Come Fly Away” and if you are ever in New York and you love dance then go see the show. The cast is made up of incredible talented dancers and it is created by a brilliant choreographer. I found some video of Karine talking about what it take to do the show and the feature that Regis and Kelly did which includes a clip of another dance from the show and Twyla talking about how she came up with the idea. So enjoy.

daily grind

Regis and Kelly

June 18, 2010 I Written By

Dance is one of my biggest passions. I grew up dancing at Augusta West Dance Studio (the same studio that Kathryn McCormick). I have a BFA in theatre/dance from Valdosta State University. Tap is my favorite style of dance.

*Update on Ryan Kasprzak*

WOW! what a great Top 10 show last night!

As I’ve posted on our site before, I’m a HUGE Broadway geek (thus the reason I practically had a heart attack the first time I heard Spencer Liff was going to be choreographing this season, haha). Anyway, coming up next week is the Annual “Gypsy of the Year” competition for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows in New York City. I’ve attached the press release because it looks like the opening number for the show is going to include an appearance from none other than Ryan Kasprzak! Congratulations to him for booking such a great gig.

Ryan Kasprzak at Gypsy of the Year

check out this great cause, and look into getting tickets, anyone in the NY metro area who reads our site, we’d love to hear how it goes!

I’ll peruse YouTube for clips late next week, there usually are a handful and they’re very funny!
Here’s Daniel Radcliffe with the cast of Equus at last year’s competition (Spencer is one of the horses, can anyone figure out which one he is?!)

December 2, 2009 I Written By

Anya and Pasha on Broadway – Free Ticket Giveaway to Burn the Floor

Now playing through October 18 at the Longacre Theatre! International stage sensation BURN THE FLOOR is a breathtaking blend of Latin and Ballroom dance. Now starring Anya and Pasha from SYTYCD.

The good news is that we’re doing a nice giveaway of free tickets to see Anya and Pasha perform in Burn the Floor on Broadway. Just make sure that you can make it to NYC between now and October 18th.

Now, check out this promo video of Anya and Pasha headlining the show.

August 20, 2009 I Written By

Just call me Charlie...but where are my angels?

Burn The Floor Free Tickets Giveaway – Anya and Pasha

Life’s been busy here at Pure SYTYCD. We have a lot of things cooking for next season. I also just finished sending off packages for our Katee Shean makeup giveaway and the 5 winners of the SYTYCD Workout DVD giveaway. Good news. We have another really really nice giveaway.

Yes, we’re giving away free tickets to the Broadway show Burn the Floor. This is an awesome giveaway. We’ll be giving away tickets to see Anya and Pasha who will be performing on the show from August 18th – October 18th. If you haven’t heard about this broadway show check out this video:

The only real challenge to this giveaway is that you have to make it to New York city to be able to enjoy it. I just wish I could make it to New York myself. Luckily, I know there are a lot of people from NY that read this blog. Plus, we’re also going to offer some sort of discount to see the show if you don’t win. So, how to enter to win these free Broadway tickets.

There are 4 different ways to enter yourself to win. Do all 4 things and you’ll have your name entered into the drawing 4 times. The winner will be chosen at random from all of the entries.

Here’s how you enter:
1. Leave a comment on this post (easy enough no?). Just make sure to use your real email or we’ll have no way to contact you and you’ll forfeit your entry. Sadly this happened last contest and so I chose a different winner.
2. Send a tweet to all your friends about this website or this contest. Click Tweet This! to tweet a message about this contest. Make sure to include @tvblog in the tweet to enter.
3. Share a link to https://www.puresytycd.com on your Facebook, myspace page or blog. Leave a comment with your myspace name, facebook page, or blog post so I can verify.
4. Join the Pure SYTYCD email list (existing members of the list are already entered if they make note of it in the comments below).

Simple as that. All I ask of the winner is that you also come back and tell us about the show. Mostly because I’m completely jealous of whoever wins these tickets.

August 14, 2009 I Written By

Just call me Charlie...but where are my angels?