Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Dance Friday #104 - SYTYCD Top 20 and Anna Finally Gets to Watch Bunheads

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TV's summer cornucopia of dance programming continues with SYTYCD's top twenty reveal, and I finally get to watch the first two episodes of Bunheads. Let's take them one at a time.

SYTYCD: Oh the pretty. Where to start, where to start? The Top Twenty episode can be a mixed bag. There's the excitement of finding out who made the cut and who we hope will try again next year. It's an emotional time for everyone, but since there are only twenty spots and thousands of applicants, as it were, not everybody is going to get the nod. Not sure what dance credentials Zooey Deschanel has, apart from the New Girl interactive video, blogged about here, but if someone can educate me, that would be appreciated. Still, she's fun and enthusiastic, so I won't complain. We get two winners this year, one male and one female.

I'm happy with this year's top twenty. Very excited to see ballroom dancers Witney, Nick and Lindsey, as well as the classically trained Eliana, Daniel and Chehon (aka "that guy who was really really good," as my DH calls him.) Amelia has been a favorite of mine ever since her first audition, and I'm thrilled to see Cyrus from Dragon House will be getting a chance to compete. With these two as finely tuned as they are in their preferred styles, it's going to be interesting to see how they tackle the wide variety of choreography inherent in the show. Season nine brings, IIRC, the first belly dancer and the first stepper to make the top twenty, and even a gent who likes to blend dance with martial arts. Best of all, the group as a whole marked the return of Mia Michaels' choreography, which made me a very, very happy camper:

Did your favorites make the cut?

Bunheads: This went in a direction I definitely didn't expect. Not as much dance content as I'd thought there would be, though I've only seen up to episode two, and it's a lot of worldbuilding, as it were, getting us used to the people and places. Lead character Michelle is a dancer, working as a showgirl when we meet her, though I'm guessing she'd class her preferred style as Broadway. Even so when she ends up in the tiny town of Paradise, sans the only person she kindasorta knew there, she gets dropped into a ballet studio filled with teen girls (and a couple of guys; would love to see more there)and a former ballerina mother-in-law, Fanny, whose career ended with her first pregnancy. Tragedy strikes, the girls rally, there's a lovely spur of the moment ballet performance, and...the jury's still out. This may be more about fish out of water Michelle than anybody's drive to dance, but time will tell.

In the meantime, we are less than a month from National Day of Dance. How will you be observing? This clip of 200 SYTYCD moves in 200 second should give some good ideas.

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