World of Dance: Duels Part 2

World of Dance showcases the best of the best in the dance world of all styles, from around the world.  The second round of the competition involves two (occasionally three) contestants within the same category to battle it out to see who continues in the competition and who goes home.  After the last two nights of the duels, here are my favorite routines/battles and reasons why:

Watch the last two episodes of the duels here:

https://www.nbc.com/world-of-dance/video/the-duels-3/3772032

https://www.nbc.com/world-of-dance/video/the-duels-4/3775666

Lucas Marinetto.  It was sad to see him go.  He made his name in dance on Abby Lee’s Dance Competition and has stayed true to his style from the beginning.  He puts a modern flare on the classics: Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.  No matter what he brought forth to that stage in this dual, he still wouldn’t have beat Jaxon Willard as his technique is flawless and his story makes the judges cry every time.

Connection is a great, well-rounded group.  They are entertaining every performance and bring new moves to each routine.  It’s fun just watching them dance and give it their all.

Thamost is an up and coming group but I don’t think they’re there yet.  S-Rank was the superior crew in this battle.  Their choreography and thoughtfulness behind it combined with their grit and grooves sets them apart from the other crews in the competition.  They also know how to put up a good fight and incorporate burns into the routine in a classy manner that fits with the rest of the choreo.

Second to None came in second to Josh and Taylor.  Honestly the trio aspect didn’t work to their favor and I was watching the guy in the middle the entire performance with the other two falling into the background.  Josh and Taylor are kind of Mari and Keone like with a sharper, hard-hitting edge to it as well.  They always tell a great story and make up the perfect duo.

The judges said it best, we’ve never seen anything quite like Morning of Owl.  While they put on a good show and are very entertaining, they just don’t fit into the competition that well as what they do is so abstract even for dance.  Ashley and Zack are two powerhouses that fit together to be an awesome duo with relatable storylines and perfect technique.

 

Share your thoughts in the comments!

World of Dance: Duels Part 1

World of Dance showcases the best of the best in the dance world of all styles, from around the world.  The second round of the competition involves two (occasionally three) contestants within the same category to battle it out to see who continues in the competition and who goes home.  After the first two nights of the duels, here are my favorite routines/battles and reasons why:

Watch the first two episodes of the duals here:

https://www.nbc.com/world-of-dance/video/the-duels-1/3764363

https://www.nbc.com/world-of-dance/video/the-duels-2/3768298

Expressenz is one of my favorite groups in the competitions.  As the judges have said multiple times, their technique is astounding.  I’ve never seen anything like their turn sequences with that many dancers being completely in sync from their leg level to their rotation speed to the placement of their heads and arms.

Michael Dameski.  He is one of the most athletic contemporary dancers I have seen on the show.  The height on his jumps is un-matchable.  His choreography shows off all his strengths and his perfect technique.  There was no comparison between what he put on the stage and what Angyil put forth.  I see him making it very far in the competition.

Although they went home, I always have to pay homage to the tappers.  The Jam Project brought the grittier side of tap to the stage, but in my opinion wasn’t strong enough as far as the performance went.  Their choreography had a decently high difficulty level, however the routine didn’t showcase it.  To a non-dancer/non-tapper it was hard to see and hear it in the number.

Eva Igo became Eva Igone in the duals this year.  I loved watching her grow through last season and her pieces this season as well.  I believe one of the judges commented that her performances this season were slightly one dimensional.  They were all strong, emotional routines that showed off her strength and tricks but that’s what we’ve seen before.

Avery and Marcus were the ones to send Eva Igo home this season.  Their different style mixing and choreography sets them apart from every other individual/duo/group in the competition.  Avery’s daring-ness to go on pointe on World of Dance makes what they do that much more intense and interesting.

My favorite group in the competition is The Lab.  They drew me in last season and I love being able to see their growth since then.  They had some tricks and cool movements, but they definitely brought a whole new arsenal into this season.  One of their biggest issues was cleanliness, but with their routines so far this season, you wouldn’t know it.  They bring their own style and leave everything on the stage with every performance.  Again, there wasn’t much of a competition when it came to them versus Lil Killaz Crew.

Sean and Kaycee.  They are new, different, interesting, captivating, and oh yeah, just teenagers.  They established themselves on the show with their qualifier number and stood their ground in the duals.  Their chemistry and the way they move together is insane, not to mention Sean’s choreography skills.  They’re really going to need to step up to take outlast Charity and Andres in the competition, but I think they have what it takes and could easily have the second perfect score in World of Dance history.

Since I just mentioned them, Charity and Andres.  They blew the judges and the world away with their qualifiers performance, and while I thought it was really good, I wasn’t impressed.  They definitely changed that with their duals piece.  In the pre-performance clips they run, Charity had said that most of their tricks just come from them messing around in the studio and with choreography.  Did I mention that they co-choreograph all of their routines?  Cause that is awesome.  With their technique, musicality, choreography skills, personalities, and overall performance quality, it’s no wonder they earned the first perfect score in World of Dance history.

Who are your favorites and why?  I want to know!  Share them in the comments.

So You Think You Can Dance: Tap Critics

This has always been an issue for me with this show and after this past week’s episode, it’s time to address it.  To recap in case you don’t watch, one of the top ten dancers was paired with a tap dancer when they’ve had limited experience with tap. All in all, it wasn’t a great routine.  The dancer’s limited experience constrained the choreography and the execution of the simple steps was subpar.  This led to the partner, who is an absolutely phenomenal dancer, having a lackluster routine in their own style where they’re supposed to shine.  Okay, so that was issue number one.

Issue number two arose when the judges (not one of them a tap dancer themselves) over-criticized the performance, especially the dancer out of their style.  One, they all knew it would be a struggle for this individual and still put them through it, and two, it’s not like any of them would have been able to do any better!  Yeah, Twitch won the show, but he never had to execute a tap number.  Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, while I’m sure have had some experience within the tap genre, most likely could not handle anything beyond the basics.  And finally, Vanessa Hudgens, who tore the piece apart the most and claims to have all this dance experience which I can’t find evidence of, probably couldn’t even put on a pair of tap shoes by herself.

With that being said, one would think that “America’s Favorite Dancer” should be able to perform every style of dance regardless of what their auditioned style was.  The creators/producers/directors expect jazz dancers to take on the tango and ballroom dancers to put the hip in the hop and animators, poppers, tutters, etc., to perform emotional, contemporary pieces.   Meanwhile, tap dancers have to excel in all of the aforementioned styles during “Academy Week” and in the live shows, but none of those stylists have to wing a time-step across the stage.  How does that make any sense?!  Oh right, it doesn’t!

Aside from this last week, the ONLY dancer of a style other than tap that has performed a tap piece during a live show was Lex, last year’s winner.  Lex auditioned as a contemporary dancer and from his audition alone, I knew he would win the whole thing.  The all star he was paired with was Gaby, the winner of season 12, who just happened to have been a tap dancer.  Yeup, you read that right.  A tap dancer won the whole show, yet the style is still shunned.  Back to the point, Lex and Gaby killed their tap duo that wasn’t watered down due to it not being Lex’s style (watch it here:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmKXVtbv504).

So again, why isn’t tap a style included in “Academy Week”?  Out of the thousands of dancers I suspect they audition every year, is it too much to ask that they have at least some rudimentary training in tap as it is expected they master other styles as well?  If they want it bad enough, it’s not like they’re going to be all, “I’m not doing this if I have to tap.”  They are trying to make a career out of dancing and everyone knows that dancers who aren’t cross-trained and well-rounded don’t turn out well.  (Get it? Turn out well, cuz dancers turn out their feet and legs and all!)

When I danced, tap was my favorite and my best style so I probably take more offense than most to the lack of it on well-known dance platforms such as So You Think You Can Dance.  However, we need to see more of it on these platforms lest this wonderful art form be left to die.

Oh, and one last side note:  So You Think You Can Dance has freaking ahhhhhhh-mazing tap mics on that stage, like the best I’ve ever heard through a broadcast as compared to World of Dance and America’s Got Talent NEED to get those mics!  SYTYCD has so few tap dancers that make it through to the live shows that the mics don’t get the use that need for their quality.

 

 

You can watch this past week’s episode for yourself here: https://www.fox.com/so-you-think-you-can-dance/