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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:41 pm 
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The new Superstars of Dance includes some ballet dancers. Either the website is lacking or coded only for Explorer, so I can't find any bios online. But apparently one of the solo dancers for Russia is Maria Kochetkova from SFB (I missed the first half, so can't confirm this).

From what I've seen, the show is pretty bad. The dancing is very uneven and since they are trying to have each country represented by 'national dances' the variety defies judging.

Kate


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:35 pm 
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The show has not improved...I agree with observations elsewhere that there seems to be no standard of judging and that many programs are more about acrobatics than dance.

I found out that one of the Australian dancers is Reed Luplau, a dancer with the Sydney Dance Company. A brief Google suggests that he is a very well regarded dancer, having won many awards at the Australian Ballet School and at Sydney Dance Company, and also has gotten kudos for his first choreography.

Apparently his performance last week was amazing (just checked out an online video and it was excellent), but he didn't make it through today. He's clearly talented - you could see his Australian Ballet School technique shine through, but IMHO, he was horribly let down by disjointed and uninspiring choreography. Australia has a great tradition of modern dance, but his routine had no cohesion and included more acrobatics than dance. I really want to see him again in a better piece.

The Austr


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:17 am 
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By Jill Serjeant of Reuters, in the Boston Globe:
Quote:
'Dancing' takes leap in the ratings
....
The season premiere of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" drew the largest opening audience ever Monday for the four year-old ballroom dance spectacle, scoring 22.8 million viewers and causing industry watchers to wonder whether the reign of "Idol" atop TV ratings charts is now in jeopardy.

More...


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 Post subject: So You Think You Can Dance
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 6:50 am 
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In the Boston Globe Joanna Weiss discusses the TV show "So You Think You Can Dance": Reality show 'Dance' puts best foot forward


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 10:13 am 
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I actually love this show. My husband and I watch pretty regularly.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:42 pm 
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SYTYCD has started, and the top 20 have been chosen.

It would appear that there a couple ballet dancers on the women's side.

On the men's side, Miami City Ballet principal soloist Alex Wong was going to be a slam dunk for the top 20, but Edward Villella would not let him out of his current contract. It was a bit of an awkward scene, but kudos to SYTYCD for being honest with the viewers and with Wong. I can certainly understand Villella's position, and it's probably a good wake up call for Wong as to the reality of contracts and having to make decisions in life.

That said, I am curious as to why Wong got this far without someone checking his contract status. My guess is that he probably knew that Villella was unlikely to release him (MCB season starts in October and full to the brim with challenging programs), so did not inform the company of his audition plans.

He seemed very crushed by the contract problems, crying on the stage. It was a bit awkward, as it wasn't clear whether Wong may be unhappy with MCB or whether it was the frustration/embarassment of the moment. He mentioned that he wanted a chance to express himself in multiple forms of dance, though with MCB doing contemporary and ballroom this coming season, he's hardly stuck in classical ballet.

However, as I think the judges tried to point out, Wong should remember how fortunate he is to have a soloist contract with a major company. I suspect most of the dancers who auditioned for SYTYCD could only dream of a full-time, well-paying professional dance job. Even if you're not 100% happy, with the current economy, it's probably not a time to be leaving a good contract without a secure alternative. Danny Tidwell seemed to be on his way to great things at ABT, but doesn't appear to have continued that trajectory since his time on SYTYCD.

I'll be interested to see whether he remains with Miami City Ballet after his current contract ends. My guess is that unless he is truly unhappy now, once he gets into the swing of rehearsals, he'll be too busy and too engaged to have doubts. After all, MCB's upcoming season includes Company B, Dances at a Gathering, Who Cares, a ballroom program by Villella, Symphony in Three Movements, some Tharp, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue and the Nutcracker.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:57 am 
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I haven't been watching yet. I don't usually start watching until after they choose the top 20. I hate all the manufactured drama in the Vegas episodes. I do watch the city auditions though.

Anyway, looks like there is some serious talent this year and I'm looking forward to this season. I think the Alex Wong situation should be a good lesson to the public about what really goes on in ShowBiz.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:37 pm 
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Very interesting... tonight there was a SYTYCD first...

A classical pas de deux. Yup - a rather watered-down, very short excerpt from Romeo & Juliet. The female half of the couple is a former professional ballet dancer, the guy is not. He was not bad at the lifts and has decent posture, but not much ballet technique.

The coaching was done by Los Angeles Ballet co-director Thordal Christensen. Even if it's not really pro-standard and a WAY too small stage, it's nice to see them add ballet and use a top quality choreographer/coach.

The judges comments were very good - though clearly this a far cry from what you'd see from a pro company. However, it was nice to see ballet get some air-time in the US show (Canadian audiences saw plenty of pointe shoes last season when a ballerina was the runner up), and especially to hear Mia Michaels make a point of how ballet really is the foundation/underpinning of all dance. To have a very contemporary choreographer talk on national TV seriously about ballet and it's importance is no small thing.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:53 pm 
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But a thumbs down to the big hoopla about the new Dizzy Feet Foundation...

Don't get me wrong- I am all for scholarships for worthy dancers, but the PR was over the top. To claim that no-one else is giving monetary support for young dancers is very dishonest. There are umpteen programs for dancers, from scholarships at ballet schools to prizes at the many competitions. It hardly makes SYTYCD stand out to help young dancers, no matter how worthy an effort. Give some credit to others out there who have been doing the same thing without being so self-serving.

And to promote the foundation, they are getting Katie Holmes to dance on the show (the worst secret in the world). If it's all about dancers, why not get a REAL dancer to perform, not an actress with a bit of dance experience. How much better would it be for the dance world to bring on a well known dancer - my favorite SYTYCD episode ever was when they had dancers from Alvin Ailey (did they give up on the whole guest dancers thing?). They were fabulous and the audience was blown away.

Why not get a famous (single, couple or group) tapper or ballet dancer or jazz dancer. Can you imagine getting an Angel Corella or Savion Glover or Sylvie Guillem (sp?) on the show. Or even get someone like Hugh Jackman who has actual on-stage dancing experience. To show where taking dance can get you ... but, nope. They're dumping the dance world for Hollywood. Sucks.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:17 pm 
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I missed it last night 'cause I was at the theater, but I am impressed they are finally starting to talk about what everyone else knows: that you NEED to have ballet training to be a successful dancer of any kind.

Although there are a lot of scholarship opportunities in the world of professional ballet training, there is very little money available to dancers who are pursuing other dance forms in a non-university setting. For that reason, I think a scholarship program is a great idea. I also think Katie Holmes is a wildly BAD idea. What did here husband promise to get her that gig.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:31 pm 
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Don't some of those big modern/tap/etc. dance gatherings award scholarship prizes?

Tonight we had guest dancers - Desmond Richardson and Patricia Hachey, dancing a pas de deux choreographed by Richardson and Dwight Rhoden. Interesting, though I'm not sure it was the best piece to highlight contemporary ballet. But great to see real professionals get to show their stuff!

Kate


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:05 am 
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From Richard Rushfield and Claire Zulkey of the LA Times, published in the Boston Globe:
Quote:
Fox’s dance show waltzes into fall
Thursday night’s “So You Think You Can Dance’’ celebrated the dance competition’s 100th episode, a fact that executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe is still digesting. “Who would’ve thought?’’ said Lythgoe in an interview this week. “When (co-creator) Simon Fuller said ‘We’ve been successful with “American Idol,’’ do you think this would work with dancing?’ I said, ‘No!’ ’’

more...


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:19 am 
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Hmmmm...

Well, I for one, was not impressed with Katie Holmes. Her singing is average at best, and the routine consisted more of posing than anything else. It's a stretch to call it dancing - she had guys dancing around her in yet another rip off program by Tyce DiOrio, but the most she did was to wiggle her hips. A waste of time - I sat there thinking of how much more they could have done with a real professional dancer. To be blunt, I think she bought her way into the program with the donation to the new charity.

What attracted my attention were the former contestants returning to perform some of the Emmy nominated routines. Those were intriguing to watch and fascinating to see how the dancers had improved (or not) since their time on the show.


While that has been on TV in the US, we've been fortunate enough to have another reality program up here called "Triple Sensation". It involves dancer/singer/actors from 16-26 (though I think all the finalists are under 24) or so, and is all up to the decision of the judges. I find it much more watchable because, thought he performers are much less polished, we don't get all the pretentious fluff off SYTYCD and other mainstream reality shows. They started with auditions, then the top 12 got to work through master classes, with the performers ranked twice in each show and the bottom two eliminated in each show (there are only 6 episodes on CTV, but CTV's cable channel is showing 16 more in depth episodes).

And the coaches are top professionals from dance and theatre, so we get to see real, serious work going on, and the clips don't have the totally made-for-TV feel of SYTYCD. It feels like it's about the performers, not about the coaches/judges going for Emmys and stroking their own egos. Best of all, because there's no silly audience vote, the true talent gets to keep going, not the prettiest or the most popular.

They've also worked on choreography with Desmond Richardson and Sergio Trujillo, opera with Marlena Malas (Julliard), Shakespeare with Andrew Wade, and other coaches have included Cynthia Dale, Adrian Noble, Marvin Hamlisch, Donna Feore, Jeffery Huard, Gillian Lynne, Brian Bedford (Stratford Festival), Mick Napier (Second City Improv), Leah Cherniak (circus), Deborah Lapidus, Thomas Morgan and Larry Moss. The finale will include Jason Alexander and John Kander with numbers from Chicago and Cabaret (so yes, that John Kander).

Many of the final contestants are in or just graduated from the prestigious theatre three-year course at one of the colleges near Toronto. So they are professional in their approach to criticism, but you can see the growth through the process and can see how this show could really propel one of them into professional musical theatre.

Even the host has a joint college degree in education and theatre, and runs an acting studio, so he's knowledgeable and interesting, not another bobble head in high heels.

The top prize, incidentally, is a $150,000 performing arts scholarship. with $25,000 going to the runner up. I think that's actually more than the prize money for SYTYCD, not including any contracts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:33 pm 
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From ABT:

TUNE IN!
American Ballet Theatre's Paloma Herrera
appears on tonight's episode of
Fox-TV SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE,
8-9pm est.

In a special guest appearance, Paloma performs
Kitri's variation from the third act of Don Quixote.


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