I want to preface this review by issuing a disclaimer: I have never, ever watched “So You Think You Can Dance”. I have no idea what the show is about other than it’s a knockoff of American Idol and it does basically the same thing that Idol does for someone who is light on their feet. Thus, to review Friday night’s SYTYCD tour show at the BOK Center presented a bit of a challenge.
The experience I do have in this area comes from right around 20 years ago when my sister was taking dance class and I attended her recitals and various competitions. Now at the time I approached going to those shows with all the enthusiasm of a man sentenced to life without parole, but after seeing a show like I did tonight it put a lot of what she was doing into perspective. All of the performers were students of dance and showed how much passion they had for the craft, much like my sister did back in the day.
The show features the season 5 top 10 finalists, performing various dance numbers they performed on the TV show. The dance numbers had a lot of spirit and energy in the upbeat numbers, and were very strong and powerful in the slower numbers. All of the dancers presented studied different forms of dance from ballet to Broadway, and they worked the crowd as much as the scripts would allow them to.
The problem was that their between-number banter became a bit cumbersome when it was obvious that they had come to a line that ended with (wait for laugh). This is not to say they weren’t funny when they’d talk, it’s just that I didn’t get a lot of the jokes. Another annoying aspect of the spoken part of the show was the how I was encouraged to cheer for a particular performer.
Example: “GIVE IT UP FOR BRAN-DOOOOOOON!” or “I’M JEANENNE FROM MIAMI FLORIDAAAA”, and so on. I know that these people are dancers and not necessarily public speakers, but it became quite annoying through about 4 dance numbers. Luckily, the expert dancing made up for that and then some. Each performer had short video of their journey through the audition process followed by a biref solo dance number. Notable among the dancers was Brandon, who was a “lock” dancer.
“Lock” dancing, from what I could tell, is something similar to break dancing that involved a lot of quick angular movements with your hands arms legs and feet, and what Brandon did impressed me. Melissa was another standout, as she was a classically trained ballet dancer who in tonight’s show performed Romeo and Juliet with a male performer that was very smoothe and graceful.
Al-in-all, the “So You Think You Can Dace” show was a good one. I liked it. Will it prompt me to give the show a look? I can’t honestly say, but the dancers on this show had a lot going for them, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they went on to broadway or other theater venues.
Photos: Kevin Pyle