I have to say that I have a soft spot for reality tv that has to do with *making* things and using some creativity. The Sing Off, Master Chef, Project Runway… and the guilty pleasure of the bunch is So You Think You Can Dance. I can’t explain it, but the athleticism, my own experience with dance, and the real elevation of the choreographer-as-storyteller in the show puts me in awe all the time. I know I’m behind the times and this stuff has all already aired, but I’m savoring it on Hulu, so you’ll have to put up with my delays.
Since my drawing time keeps being widdled away or put on hold by other projects or a booked schedule, I decided that I needed to have *my own* creative output to justify taking the time to watch the show. I’ve decided to do a sketch inspired by my favorite choreography each episode until the end of Season 9. I’m starting with Episode 6 since there’s just too wide a field in the audition episodes.
The dancers this season are just ridiculous. In past seasons there have been participants where I think “I don’t think they’ll go far,” but this season has so much wow factor going on in the top 20 that I am just excited to see where they go, and I know I’ll be sad to see folks leave.
On to Episode 6… this episode introduces the audience to the top 20 who will be competing in the show, and sub-groups of these dancers perform small group choreography. This episode was a toss-up for me. I really connected with the range of motion and utilization of dancer talent in Christopher Scott’s baseball piece. It’s just so jaw dropping and fun, and allows Brandon, Cole, and Cyrus to really show their stuff. Unfortunately I connected with the piece so much because of the movement, and visually I just couldn’t distill that into a picture idea.
The best thing about the piece is it showcases the strength each of the dancers. Still, if we want to talk about strength then I am going to come to my favorite choreography in the show from Sonya Tayeh. My visual cortex is generally weirded out or awed by the stuff that Sonya creates, and it finally dawned on me why I like what she does so much: she plays a lot with physical interaction. It’s not just lifts and dance, it’s throwing, hitting, kicking, and climbing all up and over each other. It embodies some of the things I’ve grown to love from watching so many parter acro routines, but takes it to somewhere deeply musical.
Two of the jazz girls, Audrey and Tiffany lit up the routine. I can’t get over how tiny they are. I just like the interplay of pretty with fierce, and an overall message of “these women are absolute beasts.”
There were so many moments from that routine frozen in my mind that it became a sketch, and then that sketch once scanned had to get colored. It was definitely a fun exercise.
We’ll see if it’s broadway, contemporary, lyrical hip hop, or ballroom that woos me next episode.