SYTYCD season 8: part 7 By Jennifer Tarrazi-Scully

We continue on our journey to explore just the highlights of the past few weeks. The week of July 6th and 7th was a fairly anticlimactic one. Especially since So You Think You Can Dance was featuring many new choreographers I was expecting to be wowed and moved, but just didn’t feel much of anything about the show as a whole. There were a few moments worth mentioning, one of the best being the opening group men’s routine.

There is something about a group of very talented men dancing together. I don’t know if it’s because they are a rare breed, I’m a heterosexual female or that I am privy to the fact that most men don’t have this kind of training (this is changing, however), but it is a really an exhilarating experience. Their strength, flexibility, artistic choices coupled with the good solid choreography by Justin Jiles was … The seven dancers each expertly manipulating their own prop, represented the seven stages of grief and love; shock, anger, denial, depression, guilt, bargaining and acceptance.

Justin Jiles was the star of the evening. His contemporary piece about a love that has run its course was another can’t miss moment. The interaction between Jesse LeProtto and Clarice Ordaz was low, combative and hard hitting. Jiles brings his own vocabulary to the music, and since I think really highly of this group of dancers, you know I’m going to say the dancers were amazing.

Another new choreographer this evening was Chucky Klapow. He was lucky enough to get Ryan Ramirez and Ricky Jaime for his wild punk rock meets David Bowie piece. They strutted around with their pelvises thrust forward and crazy eyes. It was very stylized but I think it wore them out a bit. I felt there was more dance than energy.

In the results show on Thursday we had the pleasure of seeing the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. This is definitely my kind of ballet. It was punk rock and gorgeous. There is nothing like modern dance with the perfectly sculpted bodies only hard ballet training can create.

Thursday is the “Day of Judgment”. Six dancers had to defend their place in the competition. All of them were decent to virtuosic. After the most excellent treat of getting to see Florence and the Machine perform the show had to send two more fabulous dancers home. This week we said goodbye to Ashley Rich and Chris Koehl. I agreed with the judges, but I also think it is going to be brutal from this point on. These dancers should all get metals, money and jobs because they should win as a tight knit amazing company. I’m really going to hate to see any more go.

 

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