Photographs by Jess Desaulniers-Lea.
So You Think You Can Dance has been airing since 2005, making this their 12th season. Each year, there is a tour consisting of the Top Ten Finalists. To say the least, the show was absolutely breath taking. I have never been to a tour of theirs before, but I will definitely be returning next year. I was in awe.
The show began at 8pm, and ended approximately at 10:30, with one intermission.
I really enjoyed the incorporation of “Team Street” and “Team Stage”, which they have never done before on any other season. This additive made for a great sense of diversity, and challenged the two teams to take a step outside of their boundaries. Although essentially they were two different “teams”, when they collaborated it felt as if they were one team (which in a sense they are). It was amazing to see a group of dancers that all came from so many different training backgrounds (i.e street, classical), and be able to blend together as one. I would have to say the only dancer who this was more noticeable with, would be Jaja. Her movement was not very precise, aside from the Hip-Hop numbers. I have a hard time understanding this because she should be able to use that sharpness that she knows from Hip Hop and be able to incorporate into other styles such as lyrical and contemporary, when necessary. I’m not saying that she is not a good performer, I just had a difficult time understanding that however, they have been touring since October which could be a factor of tiredness. Keeping in mind that there are over 70 tour dates, I was extremely impressed of the show that they were able to pull off.
The show had great fluidity between numbers, even if they were switching from a lyrical to a hip hop, etc. I went in wondering how this would be done, and it was all done very smoothly, with no delays. This is an important factor because you do not want to lose the audience’s attention, and to see each dance flow into one another does not really give anyone that option to do so.
I had such a great appreciation for Jim’s solo, which was ballet. This was probably my favourite solo of the night. I may be biased here because ballet is one of my favourite forms however, ballet is something that is rarely seen on So You Think You Can Dance so I went in not expecting anything of that sort, and it was nice for them to beat that expectation in a sense. They featured so many different styles from Tap (also a rarity on SYTYCD), Contemporary, Hip-Hop (many different styles of it), Lyrical, Jazz, Musical Theatre, and even Bollywood. I honestly was not expecting that much diversity, which made the show even better.
One of my favourite performances was the “Give Me Love” quartet- it was jaw dropping. The choreography was beautiful and it displayed all of the dancer’s technique very well. Each dancer did an astounding job of portraying the necessary emotion, leaving me with Goosebumps; that dance was so beyond powerful.
“The Day Of The Dead” inspired dance had a really cool concept, definitely a favourite of mine. I really enjoyed the formations and use of the stage, and the costuming and use of the guitar prop was very interesting and a great addition to the performance.
Another favourite of mine was the opening dance after intermission, for which dancers entered the stage dancing through the aisles, which is always exciting for audience members/fans.
I would have to say the two that stole the show for me would be Virgil and Hailee, these two had the best energy out of all the contestants. They seemed to be the ones that you could tell were enjoying themselves the most (not to say that everyone wasn’t doing the same, it was more-so just obvious for these two). They both had the best facial expressions, as well as the best ability to transition through different styles. Honestly, they just caught my eye. To be perfectly honest, I did not watch this season of SYTYCD and I went to this show not knowing who the winner was, and after watching the first few numbers I assumed it had to be one of them two, which it wasn’t (Winner was Gabby Diaz).
Overall, the show was amazingly diverse, and well done. I will definitely return to next year’s tour, and I highly recommend it to anyone else.