Monday, August 19, 2013

So You Think You Can Dance - 10x14 "Top 10 Perform"

I missed a bit of SYTYCD, didn't I?

Routines of note have been fairly sparse, too, with this week only offering two performances: Comfort's virtual solo, and Travis's routine for Tucker and Robert Roldan.

First, Comfort is a starving lion eating up that routine -- her hair even looks like a mane -- and NappyTabs serve up something that well avoids their twee-romantic impulses (although they do indulge in their tendency to over-literalize parts of the lyrics) and opts to channel aggressiveness through animal pantomime. (I have no idea how Nico fares, and I'm not terribly bothered to find out.) Oh, and? "Get  Ur Freak On", which needs little explanation.

As for Tucker and Robert, their routine marks the second time he's choreographed a male duet on the show, and the second time the results have been stunning and beautiful -- all the more so because the dancers involved have resided or continue to reside beneath the shade of my disdain. However, something about seeing guys performing balletic moves in unison cuts through a lot of the problems I have with the personalities of the dancers, though I should note that Tucker and Robert fall out of sync during a couple different runs (which may have been intentional, I unno). Moreover, for once, the judges add something constructive to the routine by expanding on the fact that the routine is based in part on Travis's relationship with Danny -- for some reason, during the rehearsal package, I heard "brother" but didn't make the connection, and was more focused on Robert, whose accident was total news to me.

Amy and All-Star Brandon - Disco
Welcome back, Brandon. You're one of the dancers who can make the claim that he can dance anything the show throws at him, and you come back for this, another herky-jerky Doriana hustle, and paired with someone who is very shaky in the routine: Amy has trouble with her footing more than once in the beginning. Anyway, when you make Brandon Bryant, AKA the Human Muscle, break transitions in order to prepare for a lift, then you're probably Doriana Sanchez better off choreographing for something like Cirque du Soleil rather than SYTYCD. (What the qualitative difference is from salsa, which can be as tricked out as anything Doriana offers, I'm not so sure.) What dancey parts there are are fun, high-energy, and cute, but at this stage in Doriana's collaboration with SYTYCD, that's all just an excuse for the tricks.

Aaron and All-Star Kathryn - Contemporary
Not bad if I forget Stacy's explanation of the piece, but once that gets into my head, the miasma blankets the routine and I start to suffocate. I do like the moment when Kathryn goes on full pointe in her bare feet, though.

I don't keep track of the lifts so I can't say if Aaron's pulling full-on forklift duty, but the one where he has Kathryn in a full press over his head looks dangerously uncontrolled at one point.

Fik-Shun and All-Star Melanie - Jazz
This is just me, but I like Fik-Shun in this, but more importantly, I'm happy to see that Melanie is still a cloying puddle of oleaginous giggles; nobody ever condescended to her by saying she was good at what she does, even though she never actually demonstrated any versatility... but that's an argument that's had its time.

Jenna and All-Star Neil - Contemporary
"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"All-Star Neil."

A quick list of notes that I've wanted to make over the past few weeks:
  • After 10 seasons, this old dog of a show can still learn new tricks and surprise: all three tappers remained in the competition at a point when three-quarters of the hip-hoppers weren't. (Of course, two of the tappers exit the following week -- plus ├ža change.)
  • On the other hand, seeing Nigel et al hang on to their pets past the bitter end is a song they'll never tire of.
  • The consequence of the hip-hopper/tapper elimination order leads to the best Argentine tango we're ever going to see in the competition, though, and displacing Jeanatte and Brandon's offering, something I never though would happen. Obviously, having not just an actual tango dancer but a tango lead puts Hayley's performance over the top, and as far as I can tell, Leonard is actually leading a lot of the routine, too. As for the showier stuff like the lifts -- they're exquisite, the way she melts through the air and back into the floor.


Sara said...

I missed this!

Also, I want Aaron to win.

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, seeing Nigel et al hang on to their pets past the bitter end is a song they'll never tire of."

Is this a reference to Jenna, or Makenzie, or both? Or someone else entirely?

Amanda said...

So you glad you're back sytycd blogging, Lee! And the gifs are particularly inspired. I'm dealing with it.

You're probably right about Doriana's discos, but I do so enjoy them. Tricks! Glitter!

I thought Nico acquitted himself respectably in this reptilian hip-hop, much unlike in the first week with Alexis.

Curious: did you see any homoeroticism in Travis's dance? I always thought that one with Kent and Neil was about a breakup, and to be honest I thought this one seemed more romantic than brotherly, but I could have been reading into it. I feel like Travis is the only one who's allowed to sneak it past Sir Nigel Phobe-alot.

Leee said...

Tucker/Robert is intensely intimate, but to me it doesn't involve eroticism -- more like two people who've both experienced life-threatening events and the deep connection they share because of it. Obviously, quite unlike Neil/Kent, which was dripping with eros.