June 5, 2008

Step It Up and Dance

I try to avoid watching reality shows because they just have too much drama for my taste however, I must admit I am drawn to the shows on Bravo such as Project Runway and Top Chef. So when this new show Step It Up and Dance premiered, naturally I got sucked into it. The show featured 12 dancers from various styles. They were required to dance a variety of genre from hip hop, stomp, modern, salsa, musical theatre and burlesque. The challenge was to be versatile and adapt to each style.

What I liked about the series was that it showed a lot of the behind the scene moments, not just the finished choreographed dance but scenes like learning the different choreography during rehearsals, nerve wracking auditions, the critique and discussion of the judges and even the injuries that occured. It really showed the difficulty of being a "working" dancer in a cut throat profession.

Tonight was the finale. There were 4 dancers left: Mochi, Nick, Miguel and Cody. They were asked to do a solo in their own choreography and style. Coming into this finale, I thought that it would be between Mochi and Cody (both dancers from Broadway --holla! Mochi in the Lion King and Cody in Grease). Upon seeing their solos, I must say that I was really moved by Cody's solo. Normally he's very technical and perfect but no emotion.........NOT tonight. I don't know there was just something in his dance that showed the passion and joy in dancing. It was very moving to see.

Before doing their solos, the dancers had 30 minutes with Broadway's Jerry Mitchell (the Tim Gunn of this show). I was really impressed with how he critiqued the dancers with their solos. He did it with very specific points in terms of their dance and also in an loving yet honest way. He has a way of saying things that would build up a dancer's confidence. Kinda nice to see than all these "tearing people down" style in other shows.

I hope this show gets another season because it's very well made.

Oh by the way, you can watch the episodes by clicking the link above. But as an adjunct to that, you guys have to watch this blog called Suck It Up and Dance. It's hilarious! It's done by these 2 guys, John and Collin, who deconstruct each episode and in addition they invite a different broadway dancer to join them in the discussion. Catch Marty Thomas (Xanadu) and Tommy Berklund (A Chorus Line).

(photo from TVguide.com)


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