Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Live to Dance: Semifinals Week Two

I'm upset that Bev and Hap aren't advancing, but it wasn't unexpected. The two highest-voted acts, Jittin' Genius and D'Angelo and Amanda, were the most talented in terms of dance ability, and the latter will make a welcome addition to the finals. I just hope this doesn't show a trend for the other groups; the show isn't about the best child dancers, but I fear that may be what it comes down to.

Jalen: But if any kid should be in the finals, it is this one. His tricks are incredible, and his happy energy is infectious. The talent he put out on the stage is rivaled by the best breakers... the difference being that Jalen is likely less than half their ages.

Dance in Flight: I don't remember this duo auditioning, but I was not all that impressed with their routine tonight. Of course those aerial elements are impressive, even more so considering their ages, but the routine as a whole just didn't gel for me. Travis used the perfect word in his critique to describe why I disliked much of this pair: they were "sluggish." The whole thing just felt stilted, particularly any moment in which Kate was not being lifted; her feet looked lazy, like they were not on the same beat as the rest of her body (clunky shoes?)... and then there's the fact that Gary did not have the endurance for that last fall, as he let Kate's foot hit the stage pretty hard. I also found the whole "cat" theme to be ridiculous and age inappropriate; it would've better suited the 10 year old couple, not the 40-somethings.

Twitch: This was one of my favorite groups at the auditions. Anthony is such a brilliant dancer, so it's completely understandable that all eight of the girls in the group would be in love with him. As for the performance, I'm torn. On the one hand, it was excellent. They told a story, there was a lot of emotion, and the choreography served everyone in the group well. On the other hand, I wanted more. For whatever reason, I liked the audition piece more than this one. I wanted more real dance from Anthony and less lifts; give him some jumps, some choreography that moves him across the stage. And what was with the background graphics? Is this story set in the 80s? But I'm nitpicking because I really do love this group. Their mixture of styles is smart and not gimmicky. Right now they're my favorite.

Du-Shaunt Stegall: I didn't like his audition, and I didn't like this performance either. He's not dynamic enough to fill such a large stage all by himself. And he's not doing anything you couldn't see at any prom or drunken house party in America. Boring.

Dax & Sarah: Dax was injured. The music choice was awful. But the choreography was fast and difficult, so I have to applaud them for that. Overall though, I just don't see them going very far. Neither dancer has a very interesting personality, and the routine wasn't as over-the-top fun as a lindy hop should (and needs to) be. And Dax needs to shave the moustache, it's creeptastic.

White Tree Fine Art: Let's start with how I don't understand their name; I get that their last name is White, and they think their fine artists... where does the "Tree" part come from? And did neither of them realize that the name as a whole makes no sense? Whatever. Okay, let's rip this shit up. I was not fooled by the flashy-flashy: this just wasn't that good of a routine. The song was powerful, the aerial choreography was majestic, and they looked like a moving painting. BULLSHIT. They were hiding behind that red fabric and that beautiful rendition of the heartbreaking "Hallelujah;" take it away and what was left? Not much of anything. Some bad costumes, some mediocre ballet (mostly from Ethan, not really from Nikki). Don't be fooled by the smoke and mirrors; that was no Cirque du Soleil. The fabric served no purpose on its first entrance; I get that it must have been meant for ascension or something spiritual like that at the end, but why did Ethan need to be lifted straight up off the ground and then put back down as the fabric disappears? Because they wanted you to forget that they were mostly just running around the stage in circles and not really dancing. I can appreciate that they tried something different, but this piece reeked of pretentiousness.

I cannot believe they made it through to the finals. What a shit decision. Now I need to go vote for Twitch, the group who actually deserved to be in the finals.

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