Friday, August 22, 2014

Season Eleven, Week Eight: Top Six Performances

Welp, I'm ready for this season to be over. You too? Great, come cut with me!

Group Performance (Choreographed by Nick Demoura)

This was kind of cool, visually, but ultimately pointless. Another lackluster start to an episode with some nice moving patterns but seemingly not much difficulty or choreographic flair.

Valerie and Ricky (Broadway by Spencer Liff)

First things first, Ricky's shoes were fantastic. (But I wish his tie and shoes would have matched her dress.) This was an adorable, classic movie musical moment. There were a few beats where they were just a hair out of sync, but overall it was really cute. Of all the dancers left, I think these two would be the most natural in On the Town, an ensemble part in which the winner will be offered.

Jessica and Casey (Disco by Doriana Sanchez)

This was really good choreography, and it was well danced for the most part. Casey traveled a bit on the spinning lifts (but that first one was impressively fast), but they both sold the energy and fun attitude.

Jacque and Zack (Foxtrot by Jean-Marc Genereaux)

Technically, both were decent. Their carriage was nice, but their feet weren't great. Zack sold the character well; Jacque was a little bland. They didn't feel connected either, and Zack mentioned in the intro that he thought it was weird that you don't look at your partner in the foxtrot. That's true, and probably is the reason they felt disconnected, but the whole point is that you're supposed to be connected through your body in this style rather than through your eyes, and that is where they failed, for the most part.

Valerie and Twitch (Hip Hop by WilldaBeast)

This was a cute concept, but I didn't like the execution. I wish they would have performed more for and with each other, rather than to the audience; it would have fit better with the concept of two crazy people getting down at their own wedding. I loved Valerie though. She's such a great performer and always affects a great character and shows a lot of spunk and energy. I wasn't really a fan of much of the choreography, but Valerie did well with it.

Jacque and Will Wingfield (Contemporary by Sean Cheesman)

This was sweet, but it felt a little immature, like contemporary for young adults or something. I mean, that ending with all the balloons falling was really cheesy and childish. I don't do cutesy, so I didn't really like this one. On the plus side, Jacque looked beautiful. This isn't a routine I'll ever think about again, though.

Jessica and Ade Obayomi (Jazz by Ray Leeper)

I'm sorry, but I absolutely hated this. I imagine this is what drunk people at a Lady Gaga concert dress up and dance like. Props to Jessica for trying her hardest to sell this crap, but it just wasn't gonna happen. You know she felt ridiculous in that outfit and doing this terrible, nonsensical choreography. I mean, that lift at the end when she twitched over Ade's head? Ugly, stupid, YUCK. Nope.

Ricky and Anya Garnis (Cha Cha by Jean-Marc Genereuax)

Ricky did better with this style than I thought he would, but I have suspicion that the strobe light was hiding his weakest pass. I couldn't really tell, but it looked to me like there were a few times in which he was moving too much with his feet and not enough with his hips. But I'll give it to him for not giving away any discomfort he may have felt or any missteps he may have made. Still, he looked great and was almost entirely successful.

Casey and Makenzie Dustman (Contemporary by Stacey Tookey)

Casey is a very good dancer, but he'll never be at the level of a Jakob Karr or a Neil Haskell or a Billy Bell or a Travis Wall or anyone similar, because he doesn't feel the movement. He dances it, he performs it, but he doesn't lose himself in it. There's a recklessness and depth of emotion to the movement of this show's better dancers that Casey just lacks. I mean, go back to some of the best contemporary pieces this show has had, and the dancers come out of them sobbing, emotional wrecks sometimes because they become the performance. And as well as Casey danced this piece, he didn't get to that level. We've seen that already from both Ricky and Zack, but not Casey, at least I don't think.

Zack and Fikshun (Hip Hop by Phillip Chbeeb)

This was really weird but really cool to watch. It's totally Phillip in a nutshell, but I was shocked by how well Zack adapted to his bizarre style of movement. I don't really know how to critique it, so I'll just say that it was fun to watch and pretty awesome.


The Final Four: Jessica, Ricky, Valerie, Zack

This is the right four people (of these six, anyway) to go to the finale. No complaints from me.

My Top Two: Ricky, Valerie

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