Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Top Two Favorite Routines

2. Ramalama Bang Bang
Choreographed by Wade Robson
Performed by The Season 2 Cast

I don't really know what to say about this piece, except that it was the moment I fell in love with the show. It's creepy fun, and it's a wonderful mix of genres: jazz, hip hop, contemporary. And it's one of the few examples of a group routine that truly works; usually choreographers struggle with large numbers of dancers on the stage, but Wade Robson handled it well. By creating levels, we get the impression that these zombies or whatever are taking over while simultaneously giving everyone space for both movement and expression. But how anyone could watch this number and not fall in love is beyond me. It's the best attempt at a modern-day Thriller I've ever seen.

1. Calling You (AKA "The Bench")
Choreographed by Mia Michaels
Performed by Travis and Heidi (Season 2)

Nothing on the show has ever been this good. It was the first truly brilliant routine to appear on the series, and I don't know if I'll ever like anything better. Mia's voice was really heard for the first time with this achingly beautiful duet. It's also the first example of a successful prop piece, one that 100% aids in the telling of the story rather than acting as a gimmick. But the hope on Heidi's face, the indifference on Travis's, and the perfect body language supplied by Mia make this dance unforgettable. I guarantee you will never forget the moment when these two dancers stare at each other through the bench, one on top and one beneath: close but unreachable. And that final moment when you think he will take the girl back, but reaches past her and walks on. Or Travis's complete bodily abandon when he slinks down the back of the bench and throws his head between his knees. There are so many moments of unparalleled beauty, both haunting and romantic.

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