Archive for August, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance

Monday, August 8th, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance?

Choreograph, Too?

Each week I watch So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD), sometimes with morbid fascination – how can these dancers keep on going without getting injured? What clever things are the judges going to say? How emotional can this show get? Especially in the play-offs each week?

One thing is for sure, the show is highlighting choreography and choreographers. I remember a piece I wrote in 1988 for the LA Reader, “The Oscar that Hollywood Forgot” – a piece on the short-lived Oscar for choreography (in the 1930s). It was awarded for only three years.  Then, the Oscar category disappeared. Now, the Oscar had been traded for an Emmy – and choreographers like Tabitha and Napoleon D’Umo, Sonya Tayeh, Travis Wall, Mandy Moore, are rising to the top, along with their dancers.

This season, I followed the show closely. I am fascinated with how it’s catapulted into fame some of these choreographers (and dancers).  Bravo! Each week is full of both life lessons and tips. If you watch very closely.

Catching Up

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Goodbye: Season Encore Performance
Pacific Northwest Ballet

Hello: Career transitions

PNB’s June encore program this year was particularly bittersweet – with seven stellar dancers leaving the company — most transitioning to different careers in dance, as I reported in Dance Magazine (June and July issues). So many lovely dances, including Kylian’s Petite Mort with Chalnessa Eames, Ariana Lallone and others. Departing dancers, in particular, showed the focus and strength demanded by Kylian’s wildly clever piece. Stacy Lowenberg’s Rushed Goodbye (a duet with Karel Cruz) was lovely and lyrical, and Jeffery Stanton and Lesley Rausch heated up the house in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. Eames was her stunning, lucid and fluid self in Nine Sinatra Songs (danced with Jerome Tisserand), Jeffrey Stanton an utterly romantic partner to Carla Korbes in Who Cares? Stanton and Lallone were particularly honored for their long years of service at PNB with a file montage of their lives. They returned the favor of recognition by dancing in their signature pieces – Stanton in his solo in Silver Lining and Lallone sweeping the stage with Lambarena. Longtime PNB principal Olivier Wevers was acknowledged with Andree Bartee and Lucien Postlewaite dancing in his widely-acclaimed Monster. What more can I say? Encore! Please. Wevers obliged with sold-out performances of Whim W’Him’s June program. With gorgeous performers, a willing theater, and Wever’s trademark wit and honesty, his new company is here in Seattle to stay.