Jul. 17th, 2014 12:09 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (DeCordova Laura Ford Bird)
[personal profile] alonewiththemoon
I loved loved loved the opening number by Pharside and Phoenix of the Academy of Villains crew--it was super busy yet always felt cohesive.  The costuming might have had a lot to do with this but the overall drama of the conflict between the chess teams stayed high throughout.  It was a beautiful surreal Wonderland of a dance piece.  All the dancers were highlighted well and all of them looked like they were having a blast performing.

Jacque and Zack's hip hop by Keone and Mari:  I'm not sure I would have pegged this as hip hop if I hadn't been told that's what it was.  There were definitely hip hop elements in the choreography, but I could have just as easily accepted it as contemporary of some sort.  Some of this is the choreography, but some of it was also the dancers.  Jacque in particular had too fluttery, too loose hands and wrists.  It was an interesting piece to watch, but I don't think the piece or the dancers were successful in presenting some hip hop.  They do dance well together, though.  The parts where they were traveling around the stage (taking advantage of their ballet and tap abilities to move their feet fast) were a joy to watch.

Jourdan and Marquet's Dee Caspary contemporary:  I missed the first several seconds of this.  What I did see failed to grab me all that much.  No idea what the umbrellas were there for, and the dancers didn't seem to really know either.  There was too much thinking in their execution.  I disagree with the judges that these dancers are failing to connect with the audience; this audience member anyway likes them both.  But they didn't have much connection with each other.

Jessica and Stanley's Tyce D'Orio jazz:  this was... huh.  I think it must have been the camerawork, but I didn't see the face pulling that the judges saw at all.  I felt a bit like they were critiquing Stanley for the contrast between the whites of his eyes and the darkness of his skin when I think it was Nigel made the comment about his eyes looking like they're bugging out if he's not careful about the faces he makes.  Which, if that's his physique, is maybe a valid critique but it still made me uneasy to listen to.  I also think the costume department has not done Stanley any favors at all in dressing him in drab colors when he's dancing against dark backgrounds two weeks in a row--way to ensure he doesn't stand out, literally.  Technically they both performed very well, but the connection wasn't really there.

Bridget and Emilio's Anya and Pasha jive:  that was actually the first time I ever heard the song Happy.  I live in a cave.  They did look pretty happy dancing to it, which made up for some shortfalls in technique.  It was probably one of the more successful jives on the show, but it wasn't super exciting.

Emily and Teddy's Tyce jazz:  finally, something *good*, and I can't believe it was a Tyce piece.  Of course Nina Simone's Ne Me Quitte Pas is going to give a dance piece any boost, but Emily and Teddy filled it out and brought it to life on stage.  I would have expected Emily to do well in this style but I was so impressed by Teddy, both for his technical accomplishment and for his emotional depth.  I knew they'd both ensured their continued place on the show with this performance and I'm really looking forward to seeing what else they can do.  (also, it looks like they do put Teddy in pancake make up for performances, due to his uneven skin.  I'm sure the make up doesn't help with that at all :-/ )

Brooklyn and Casey's Bonnie Story jazz:  kind of boring.  The cliched choreography idea of high school kids in love should be banned, because it always seems to hurt the dancers stuck with it.  I also felt I could see the dancers thinking too much.  And that Michael Buble cover of Crazy Little Thing Called Love sounds like it was recorded for an old folks home, sucking all the energy out.

Valerie and RIcky's Lacey Schwimmer Viennese waltz:  just gorgeous.  Valerie had a few clunky moments (that big dress benefited her by disguising them a little) but overall they looked like a dream.  The way she came out of that extended spin smiling so serenely as she sat on the floor waiting for Ricky to rejoin her--perfect.  They looked like something out of a Merchant Ivory production; I wanted to see more of their story.  So much the couple to watch!

Carly and Serge's skeletal hip hop by Luther Brown:  I thought this was a very cool piece, a funky little skeleton dance party.  Carly definitely hit it a lot harder than Serge.  There was one move where they were standing with knees bent (kind of like utkanasana in yoga), swaying knees and hips back and forth, where she completely sold me on her performance.  Serge was ok but he looked like a guy doing some hip hop, not a hip hop dancer, and didn't project a lot of feeling. Carly looked like she was loving the whole experience.  The music contributed to making the piece feel like a slinky hidden little world.  So, not perfect, but very enjoyable.

Tanisha and Rudy's Warren Carlyle Broadway:  I loved this, both dancers were outstanding--but as a dancer who regularly dances with a big stick herself, it bothered me that they held their dance canes with so little conviction.  At the start they looked like they were afraid the canes would bite them.  They got better as they went on, but that one little detail would have tipped the balance for me from amazingly good to absolutely incredible.  Both dancers have great stage personalities and the ability to project them without overdoing it.  This was probably a breakthrough week for Rudy.  I've always liked Tanisha so I'm looking forward to seeing more from them.

Stanley and Jourdan were sent home.  I was sadly unsurprised by Stanley's leaving.  I stand by what I said at the beginning of the season, that he's brilliant at what he does but doesn't have the kind of versatility the show requires.  That's not a bad thing, really--he's not commercial, but he's an artist.  If this show got him some notice in the world where his career lies, that's a good thing.  It was funny to see him looking more relaxed and animated in the post-boot banter than he ever did on stage.  I was okay with either Jourdan or Bridget leaving.  I think I overall liked Jourdan a little better, but based on what they did tonight there wasn't much to choose between them.  I think if the show hadn't been butting up against 10pm there probably would have been a dance for your life scenario, but there wasn't time for that, so by the numbers, apparently, Jourdan it was.
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