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Another SYTYCD Alumni heads to (Off-)Broadway as Choreographer

With all the talk of various dancers from the seasons of So You Think You Can Dance being in Disney’s the Newsies or other musical productions in the past… not one has made a splash as choreographer…

Until now.

Season 2’s Runner Up, Travis Wall has been tapped to choreograph the Off-Broadway production of Bare, according to Broadway.com.

“Bare: A Pop Opera” is a rock musical about two gay high school students and their struggle while growing up at their private Catholic school. The musical had its regional opening in 2000 at the Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles, California before popping up again on Off-Broadway in 2004 for a one-month run. Bare then resurfaced at Houston in The Country Playhouse Black Box Productions in 2008 and has had steady productions throughout the United States and Canada. It made its overseas debut in 2010 with a production in Sydney, Australia and in 2012 has additional overseas productions in the Philippines (Manila) and Great Britain (York and Liverpool).

This new Off-Broadway revival is expected to open on November 19th, 2012 for previews with an official opening a month later in December 2012.

You can hear clips from Bare at the Bare the Album website.

The new production team will also include:
– Director: Stafford Arima
– Producers: Randy Taradash, Paul Boskind and Martian Entertainment and Gregory Rae
Scenic Designer: Donyale Werle (Tony Award winner of Peter and the Starcatcher)

Ever since his time on SYTYCD, Travis has made a name for himself has choreographer for various pieces on the show as well as during the results show on ABCs Dancing with the Stars. His choreography has earned him an Emmy nod in 2011 for the following pieces:
Collide” – SYTYCD Season 7: Lauren Froderman and Kent Boyd
How It Ends” – SYTYCD Season 7: Kent Boyd and Neil Haskell
Fix You” – SYTYCD Season 7: Robert Roldan and Allison Holker

***Many thanks to reader, Leann Hoffrogge for the heads up.

June 19, 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

In Living Color Fly Girls Auditions – Allison Holker, Comfort Fedoke & NappyTabs

In Living Color is coming back! FOX is rebooting the iconic 1990s sketch series, complete with Fly Girls! Check out what potential superstars are at the Los Angeles auditions for the Fly Girls 2.0. including SYTYCD veterans Allison Holker and Comfort Fedoke. Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo a.k.a. Nappytabs are choreographing, and Keenen Ivory Wayans is the executive producer. Video Below 🙂

February 17, 2012 I Written By

www.youtube.com/danceon

Which New Choreographers Should SYTYCD Bring In?

With last week’s surprising news about the departure of longtime choreographer Mia Michaels, the door has been left open for some fresh new faces to possibly make their mark on the SYTYCD scene. I went to my trusty pal YouTube to find some choreographers I think might be good fits for SYTYCD.

Shannon Mather is a great choreographer with a surprising connection to SYTYCD. Her brother is S1 superstar Blake McGrath!! She and Blake work together often. I found this video of a piece Shannon choreographed and it’s danced by none other than Nathan Trasoras!

Speaking of Blake, he’s done some great work for SYTYCD Canada, but I’d love to see him come back to the US show to do a couple pieces, since Canada’s season is just about to end. Here is one of his pieces featuring eventual season 1 champ Nico Archambault and his partner Arassay Reyes.

This is another one of Blake’s pieces featuring S1 finalist Miles Faber and his partner Lisa Auguste. I’ve watched a lot of SYTYCD videos, and I can personally say that I’ve never been affected by a piece the way I was affected by this one. It’s artistry in motion.

Here’s Sean Cheesman, also from SYTYCD Canada. He’s a super versatile choreographer whose pieces range from afro-jazz to broadway (in Canada, they call it “musical theatre”. He also does contemporary. I’m including two of his pieces here. The afro-jazz piece is from season 1 and it features Vincent and Lisa. I think the mixing of their skin tones with their white costumes is exquisite. And the dancing is very grounded and they move with a lot of purpose.

The second piece is from this current season of SYTYCD Canada and it’s a musical theatre piece featuring finalists Tara-Jean and Everett. Everett is a tapper, and Sean was able to stick a lot of tap in there and he knew that Everett could pull it off. It has great musicality and they both ooze personality. With the possibility of as many as 3 tappers in the S6 top 20, having Sean, who has a tap background, could be a great pull.

If they’re looking for some fresh hip hop voices, Luther Brown might be a guy to consider. Here are a couple of his pieces. The first one features Nico and Arassay from SYTYCD Canada. It’s actually done to the same song that NappyTabs used for S4 with Twitch and Kherington and the “jail break” routine.

The second piece features S2 top 8 guy Cody and his partner, top 6 girl Melanie. They spent the season with the reputation much that like of US S5’s Randi and Evan, “they’re just so cute!” They both proved to be chameleons throughout their time on the show.

Gustavo Vargas is a latin ballroom choreographer from SYTYCD Canada, here are a couple of his pieces.

Salsa (Nico and Arassay)

Salsa (Nico and Natalli)

These are just a few names of people who could be a great fit on the new season of SYTYCD. Are there other people whose work you’d like to see on the show?

October 21, 2009 I Written By

And The Emmy Goes To…

SYTYCD for outstanding costumes, I also know who won the Emmy for outstanding choreography too. Well before I tell you who won there a few things you should know, who decides who wins. In this particular category there can be more than one winner. The panel is made up of peer choreographers who decide who wins and then has it confirmed. Yes I did a bit of research on the Emmy home page. As everyone know here the four dances for SYTYCD that were nominated. In addition to those there were two other nominees. DWTS Derek and Julianne Hough and Rob Ashford for the 81st Academy Awards that was hosted by Hugh Jackman. The only thing I don’t know is if they base it on the choreography alone or if the performance of the choreography plays apart.

On September 12, 2009 the creative arts Emmys were given out. This year there were two winners for outstanding choreography. The first winner was Rob Ashford for his “Musicals are Back”. The second winner was Tyce Diorio for “Silence” also known as Adam and Eve performed by Jessica and Will. Check out the video from the original airing…I left in the rehearsal process and the judges comments too.

I think Tyce is deserving of this award. All the nominees are deserving of this award, and don’t get upset if your favorite didn’t win, I’m sure they will be nominated again.

September 18, 2009 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.

SYTYCD Canada Top 16 Choreography Critiques

SYTYCD Top 16

The first piece that we saw was Emanuel and Kim’s Jazz routine by Blake.  My opinion initially was that i agreed with the judges when they talked about how sexy the piece was.  To the point that the technical aspects took a back seat.  They have really good chemistry together but I don’t think that it’s as organic as some of the other partners.  I loved the music selection and the sort of dirty magician story with Kim being the girl in the box.  Kim is no joke-she wore those boots and it could have easily gone the other way.  I can’t help but compare it to the Jayme Rae and Daniel piece in terms of sex appeal- I thought that Blakes choreography was more blatant and in your face than it really needed to be.  The dancers themselves were fantastic.  Emanuel is still showing his power and Kim is still showing her beautiful lines.

Next up were Vincent and Amy doing Hip Hop with a new choreographer Flii Stylz.  I really wasn’t sure that this piece would be good, but it progressively got better and better through the piece.  I think that once Amy did the bit where she was lip-syncing is when they really hit their stride.  The movements still could have hit harder and bigger but for what it was they did really well.  Although I don’t think that it will be a piece that is easily remembered, which is a shame.

Corynne and Austin who were a new pair together got a little luck and not only pulled Contemporary but they got Stacey Tookey on top of it.  I’ve always thought that Austin could go far if only he found the right partner and I think that third times a charm.  Corynne and Austin have an instant connection and trust with each other.  This piece was heavy with one dancer moving their body and the other reacting to it.  Sometimes when dancers attempt that- it can really show awkwardness between the dancers- that wasn’t the case with this piece.  I thought that they danced it with emotion and honesty.  Austin still got his tricks in but Corynne is such a strong dancer in her own right that it didn’t get distracting.  Their synchronization was perfect for the whole piece and I always got the feeling that they were constantly aware of each other the whole time.  That isn’t a small feat either.  It was also the first piece where the dancers were in the pocket of the music, I haven’t seen that enough so far this season.  After 3 episodes I think that we’ve found our first stand out couple.  Mark my words- they will go far in this competition.

The Mambo was the dance that Cody and Melanie chose with Gustavo Vargas as the choreographer.  This piece was cute.  I don’t really know what else to say about it.  It wasn’t particularly sexy, but it was cute.  Not to say that that is a bad thing either- I just think that somehow Cody needs to convince the audience that he can be more of an Alpha Male when needed.  The Mambo as a style is great and not a discipline that we see all the time either.  So I liked this piece- was it technically amazing?  Not really.  But it wasn’t a technical disaster either.  It was a fun and light mambo.

Oh God.  It was bound to happen.  The Kiss Of Death- Quickstep.  Everett and TaraJean were the dancers that chose it and lucked out with the choreographer of Pierre Allaire.  Not to say that just because a partnership chooses a more difficult dance that they should be given any consessions but I was relieved to hear it when Mr Allaire stated that there wasn’t a story it was just dancing for dance sake.  The Quick Step is enough on its own- without some complicated back story.  Tara-Jean has legs that could take us all into next week and Everett isn’t a slouch either.  Considering the amount of rehearsal time the dancers are allowed and the fact that you essentially have to learn how to float and glide on stage- they did a great job.  The lifts were beautiful and difficult.  I think that this could have totally fallen but they both really committed to the style.

The amazing Luther Brown got his turn with Jayme Rae and Daniel in a hip hop piece.  Holy sexual chemistry.  Let’s just get that out of the way.  Daniel dancing without a shirt also doesn’t hurt the situation.  But from the second and I know THE SECOND that Jayme Rae stepped on stage she was committed to that piece.  From start to finish it was so sexy.  They could have been wearing snow suits and it would have been just as sexy.  The biggest difference between this hip-hop piece and the first one was that the technique didn’t take a back burner to the smoldering chemistry between the two.  They were raw in the moves and they both danced the piece really really well.  I think that we have another couple that have stepped up their game.  Daniel is a beautiful dancer and so quietly powerful.  I’d like to see them do a pas de deux at some point, because they would be amazing in a classic style of dance.

I was thrilled to see Benji Schwimmer as the choreographer for Nicolas and JennaLynn with the Hustle.  I love Benji’s style and choreography in general because he has an ability to modernize any style of dance.  That was the case once again with this Hustle.  The Hustle is a little bit of a couple styles: Salsa foot work and some Swing influence put that to some 1970s pop and you have the Hustle.  I thought that piece overall was good- not great.  It was quite uneven and I didn’t think that the dancers believed in themselves enough to really blow it out of the water.  I like the couple though- I think that they make each other stronger together and the partnering together was top notch.

Finally Natalie and Danny brought out a Rumba to end the evening.  Gustavo Vargas was the King of Latin tonight and as a choreographer he really lived up to the title.  I like his style and interpretation of music.  I liked this piece more than I usually like the Rumba.  For some reason I have a hard time with the rhythm behind the Rumba but I liked this piece.  I didn’t agree with the judges when they said that Danny needs to believe in his talent more- I got the opposite feeling from him.  Both Natalie and Danny were great in this piece- however on the heels of that someone should suggest to Natalie to keep her tongue in her mouth.  That seems like a weird critique- but she’s been doing it the whole time and it’s distracting.

That’s it!  Top 14 next week!

September 8, 2009 I Written By