Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Can

Updated to add: All of the videos I had as part of this post are "no longer available" (which really sucks) so I've removed them.  But they were super cool dances!

A while back, some of y'all (not mentioning any names *coughMcGone* *coughDillingcough*) expressed surprise at the fact that I was admitting to watching So You Think You Can Dance.

Seeing as I feel no need to defend my love of this awesome display of talent, I thought, instead, I'd do my best to explain a little bit about what it is that makes this show so damn good.

I should preface this essay (read: rant) by giving a little bit of history; I grew up dancing. I started as a little girl and grew to love it. I danced for close to fourteen years, was part of a professional touring company, and if it hadn't been for an injury, I would probably have kept on doing it. I was never the very best, but I loved to move and I loved expressing what the music and choreography was trying to say. That being said, I have an appreciation for the skill, talent, work, ability, and fitness level that dancers need. Dance is a beautiful, challenging art form and takes a crapload of hard work to boot.

Dance, is also under-appreciated.

A couple of years ago, my Mom told me to come watch this tv show she'd heard about. It was called So You Think You Can Dance and I imagined some kind of Star Search talent show with embarrassing consequences. I skipped over half a season before her enthusiasm won me over and I watched an episode.

I was blown away.

This show auditioned thousands of dancers and chose those they felt were the best. They chose ballet dancers, modern, jazz, hip-hop, ballroom, you name it. They didn't pigeon hole or limit the idea of "good dancer" to the classical, traditional forms. Then they partnered them up and gave them to some of the most talented choreographers in America. Sure, there's voting and elimination like in most reality tv shows, but that's not really the point.

The point is; they take these artists and they give them the best choreographers and they ask them to perform outside of their comfort zone and you just get to watch these kids do amazing things. It's like taking Steve Nash and asking him to play a hockey game on an NHL team, or getting an MLB pitcher to play midfield with Real Madrid. It's completely amazing and mesmerizing.

I don't think you have to love dance to enjoy the show, but in case you're not a big fan of ballet and tu-tus, don't worry; there's all kinds of dance performed. Plus, the girls wear skimpy outfits if that helps at all!

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the ballroom numbers or the hip-hop kind of stuff, but I am a huge sucker for what they call lyrical or contemporary. The easy way to think about lyrical/contemporary is that the dance is supposed to use the music to tell a story, to make the watcher feel something. And, if you let yourself, you'll see and feel and hear and learn.

Last season, I had some favourite dancers and some favourite dances. The company that "owns" the clips doesn't much like sharing, (so watch them soon, they get removed real quick like) but I've managed to scrape together some clips of some of my last season's favourites.(Updated to add: Actually, in the week since I first started this post, they've all been "removed" so now all I can find is video of someone videoing their tv. Go figure) They may not convince you to watch the show, especially if you don't enjoy the same style as I do but maybe they'll show you a little bit of why I enjoy this show.

Remember, these kids are learning new routines every week, while trying to work with a partner and understand and interpret what the choreographer gives them, often never having danced in that style before. It's seriously cool.

(Cool dance videos used to go here! Here, here's two I've managed to figure out I had up via the comments... Ramalama Bang Bang, Calling You, )

At the very least, it's a fun show and, really, what else is on tv these days, right? Now, I'm done, and if you don't want to take my word for it? Perhaps you shall take hers! HA!

P.S. It's about damn time dance got some recognition. Woot!

P.P.S. I'm going to have to return this loaner computer soon so I may disappear again, although, perhaps you won't even notice. If I'm not back before the weekend, Happy Canada Day!!!!!

P.P.P.S. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to write posts on a different computer and on a different browser? Yikes. Please excuse typos, etc. And all. And stuff.

P.P.P.P.S. I just saw a grey squirrel with a yellow tail. Punk rock squirrel?

10 Comments:

Blogger Likalia said...

I really liked that Ramalama one, very cool.

Well all of them were. (Though I totally would have preferred if the third one had had Jevetta Steele's version of Calling You over Celine Dion's.)

I hate reality tv though, can't stand watching it. I wish this was less reality and more just people dancing. Or maybe just not filmed in front of a live audience, I prefer silence when watching dancing not people cheering when their favourite contestant happens by.

It also makes me wish I had stayed in dance longer than just five years as a girl, and reminds me I miss my DanceSport class from Victoria.

Ok that was mildly rambling - though basically on point. :) It is the end of the day what can I say.

Hope you have a great Canada Day Weekend! Long weekend YAY!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 4:07:00 pm  
Blogger Likalia said...

P.S. Totally agree!

P.P.S. Yay your computer coming back, maybe?

P.P.P.S. Yes that can be annoying espeically if you go from windows to linux, or mac to windows.

P.P.P.P.S. Rock on Squirrel! Do the rebel yell! (Does anyone remember Billy?)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 4:10:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

Likalia, I thought the Ramalama one was so cool I went out and found the song! And I have to just pretend it's not Celine Dion singing in the other one ; )
I know what you mean about reality tv and the screaming, but I also get to watch it on tape so I can fast forward through the bits I don't want!
The show really does make you wish you were still dancing doesn't it?


Oh, and, Yay long weekend indeed!

P.P.S. Am waiting for the part to ship to the store so am crossing my fingers for the end of the week.

P.P.P.P.S. She cried MORE MORE MORE! : )

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 4:42:00 pm  
Blogger Yvonne said...

Hey girl, if you like contemporary dance, check out La La la Human Steps - they are absolutely phenomenal! I completely fell in love with them after seeing their film "Velasquez's Little Museum". (You can probably find some clips of them on Youtube.)

I love dance but unfortunately suck at it. lol

*fingers crossed* that your computer is back safe and sound SOON!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 7:20:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

I will check them out Yvonne, thanks!

And, yes, let's all cross those fingers! ; )

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 7:26:00 pm  
Blogger Laura said...

Wow, loved watching those dances from last season again, especially the ones of Heidi & Travis and Alison & Tyler. Those were definitely two of the most memorable ones all season! I'm guessing you liked the dance that Jamie & Hok did this evening. It wasn't exactly contemporary but although they were assigned jazz, I didn't really consider it a jazzy style but it did tell a story!

Also, Pasha's dance made me rewind and watch about seven times. I don't know how you can NOT like ballroom! Well, okay. The waltz and the quickstep kind of suck.

I am going to stop gushing like a twelve year old fan now. Happy Canada Day weekend!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 9:16:00 pm  
Blogger dilling said...

you know, it's not the dance, it's the reality show aspect that always turns me...it's the pain, the disappointment, the tears, the critiques....
they make me squeamish and
I don't like it...all the enjoyment is then gone...let me watch Fame reruns on VH1...that way the pain is reserved for the mullets and the spandex!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 9:30:00 pm  
Blogger McGone said...

I was just shocked that you had time to watch this show at Spy Girl School.

When I was going through my Covert Espionage Training, I hardly got to watch any reality TV.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 10:18:00 pm  
Blogger Ryan said...

Unfortunately when ballroom dancing was taught in high school I did terrible and I never pursued dancing any further. But after having seen a couple of episodes of that show I agree with you V that if dancing weren't as regimented as ballroom and had my high school class used contemporary dancing I think I would've fared so much better.

I also enjoyed the clip where the chic runs, jumps and is caught by her partner... kinda reminded me of a woman I once dated who would frequently enjoy doing similar to me.

I never quite understood whether she was doing it to test my strength or her weight! ;o)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 10:23:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

Laura: It's true, those two dances were the most memorable of last season. I haven't seen this week's dances yet, I usually don't get them until the weekend, but I'll look forward to it! Happy Canada Day!

Dilling: I hear ya!

McGone: Dude, I'm not at spy school anymore so I can watch what I want!!!

Ryan: I can't believe you got to take ballroom dance in highschool! Lucky! Ballroom is the one thing I am yet to try. As for the girl, she was probably trying to test both! tee hee

Thursday, June 28, 2007 3:35:00 pm  

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