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 Post subject: So You Think You Can Dance 2010
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Thought that it might be worth starting a thread since there is at least one ballet dancer in the running for the final 10...

Alex Wong, who has left MCB, got a pass straight through to Las Vegas and looks to be one of the main contenders for the Top 10. Admittedly, I still don't understand why someone would leave a 'leading soloist' contract at one of the top ballet companies for the uncertainty of reality TV. Especially in this economy. But if he's really that unhappy with ballet life, I'm sure there are plenty of other people who will happily join MCB.

That said, I would be thrilled to see him dance each week and see what the choreographers can create for them.

The format is tad bit different - only 10 contestants, but each contestant will be paired with an 'all star' from previous shows. Probably a good idea, as it will ensure that a competitor isn't disadvantaged by being paired with someone who has no partnering experience. But it's going to be more of a challenge since some of the all stars have distinct strengths and weaknesses, and the men at least, seem to be heavily tilted towards hip hop.
It also doesn't speak completely well of the 'all stars' if they have open time to do the show. If they are such great dancers, shouldn't they be booked with other gigs?


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 Post subject: Re: So You Think You Can Dance 2010
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:27 pm 
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Well, Alex Wong has made it to the top 10.
They were questioning his ability to bring personality to his dancing. I doubt he'd have made it so far in MCB without passion and personality, so I suspect there were a lot of nerves.

They notified the dancers in person this year, and Alex elected to do it at the MCB studios. They flashed back to the contract situation last year, and there was a nice little piece with Edward Villella providing a little explanation about the realities of contracts. It's nice that they are treating the ballet world with respect, rather than taking the 'silly ballet people' approach. I have to wonder what the situation really is at MCB - the company has lost a lot of top male talent this year, so would Villella really not take Wong back if he didn't get on SYTYCD? In any case, I still think Alex is taking a huge risk, but I will be thrilled to see him on TV. However, from now on - since he can stop stressing about giving up his contract - he needs to cut done of the flow of tears. It made him look a bit silly since he was in a much better professional position that almost any other dancer in the top 20. Put that emotion into the dancing!!

Other ballet news. According to internet SYTYCD spoiler forums, Daniel Baker (also MCB) made it to Las Vegas, but withdrew after getting another ballet company contract. The company named hasn't listed them in their roster, so I will not name it here, but it's out there if you want to search. Also, David Hovhannisyan who is leading artist at Milwaukee Ballet apparently was cut after choreography at the city where he auditioned. It seems odd that a ballet dancer couldn't pick up choreography quickly, so I suspect he wasn't 'well rounded' enough for the judges and perhaps they felt he was a bit old. I think he made it to Los Vegas last year. But unlike most of the other 'rejectees', he has a contract to go back to, so not a huge loss.

Former Alvin Ailey dancer Anthony Burrell also did not make the top 10. People seem very upset about his exclusion, but I can understand it as I think there's a lot we don't see on the screen. First of all, he danced in Los Vegas with a very bad hamstring injury, and since he's hardly a dance youngster at nearly 28, the judges may have been worried about his continued health. (We also don't know whether it's a chronic issue or a one-off injury). However, I suspect the bigger issue is his age - I think almost all of the other top 10 are under 24. At almost 28, with a substantial resume already (5 years at Ailey, other companies,ballet training and dance captain on Rihanna's tour), they may have felt that he was too "made" for a show that's really about spotting and developing new talent. Yes, many of the dancers have some pro experience, but not usually so varied and so long.
(I wonder if they need to start limiting previous experience - perhaps have a cut off for number of total months/years worked on an AGMA/SAG/other union/professional contract. That would cut out dancers who really already have made it, and leave room for the oodles of talent that for one reason or another haven't gotten recognition. Or drop the upper age limit to 24 or 25. It might be blunt, but dance careers are short, so if a dancer is older than 24 or 25, and isn't working professionally on a relatively regular basis, they're probably not going to make it in the dance world as a main career.)

They also decided to take 6 guys, taking two Julliard students, Billy Bell and Robert Roldan. Roldan danced with the Bad Boys of Dance, which has included a lot of SYTYCD alum. Including Danny Tidwell, who despite making it pretty far in the show, I think has slipped off the radar dance-wise though he teaching and managing MVMT magazine. He was a real loss to ballet world, and I think could have used some better mentoring, especially since he came from such a rough childhood.

Anyway, with two Julliard students and professional ballet dance on the men's side alone, it's going to be one heck of a season!


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 Post subject: Re: So You Think You Can Dance 2010
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:51 pm 
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I'm sad to report that Alex's time on SYTYCD has ended suddenly - he tore one of his Achilles' tendons in rehearsals on Tuesday. He goes under the knife next Tuesday, then has many months of rehab before he is on the dance stage again - wherever that may be.

Still, in his short time on the show, Wong has become a real star and shown millions of people in the US (and beyond) what ballet dancers can do. His hip hop routine with Twitch last week brought down the house - it's a must watch on You Tube. And he's probably become the most popular ballet dancer in the US as of late, given his many fans and the huge press coverage of his injury. How many ballet dancers have their injuries reported in publications from the Wall Street Journal to the Toronto Star to People Magazine?!

I wish him well in his recovery, and his future dance career. Apparently he has an open invitation to the next SYTYCD season, but I suspect he will go on to bigger and better things since he's become such a star on the show.


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