It was bright, cheerful, energetic, and had the absolute right music for the Bollywood group number on SYTYCD last night. It set the tone for a string of satisfying and entertaining routines to follow. Even the hip-hop with Jasmine and Aaron was good.
The Broadway routine “Kiss of the Spider Woman” by Sean Cheesman and performed by Nico and Haley, was unusual with a couple of striking surprises. Nico’s flip over Haley’s head where he lands flat on the floor is the first one, and it’s so fast you barely have time to appreciate it before they go into more astonishing stuff. I’m talking about when Nico flipped Haley backward over his head by one leg from a straight-up standing position, then went into some back flips. Haley’s strength in being able to hold that one leg straight during that maneuver was indescribable. But it wasn’t just a gymnastic routine. It was pure dance even while performing these highly physical movements. It took Nico a couple of moments to position himself for Haley’s one-leg flip, but the end result was worth the small interruption.
Sorry. Videos have been pulled from YouTube.
Kiss of the Spider Woman routine with Nico and Haley
The jazz routine “Come Dance with Me” choreographed by Mandy Moore and performed by Malece and Alan, lacked energy and inspiration on the part of the dancers. And that is so hard to say since I love Malece and was hoping she would go all the way. I also love Alan and was hoping to see them in some great routines rather than the junk they’ve been given
so far. I can’t say whether the choreography was any good. I couldn’t tell by the performance. I do know I did not like the costumes. That checkered, colorless dress on Malece made the whole routine look washed out. I can’t recall what Alan was wearing, but it must have been some of the same dull dreadful. I understand this was supposed to be fashion from early 20th century, but it was still dull. And, of course, if you did watch the show, you know Malece and Alan went home, which left them out of the tour. They were both trying very hard to hold it together, though they were obviously devastated. However, Nigel promised to put in a good word about them as alternates, though that is as far as he could go.
All-star Alex Wong gave it a good go standing in for Tucker on the pirates of the Paso Doble last night, but he was too short and too stocky to fill the bill. Jenna looked great and her performance was all that the routine called for. But I was distracted by her partner and hoping to see him grow taller and slimmer. But, of course — didn’t happen. Wishful thinking. Also, since she was as big as him, that last toss and catch was more than a little labored and left a lot to be desired.
Paul and Mackensie’s “The Edge of Glory” was breathtaking. Guest judge, Kenny Ortega, summed up Paul beautifully, comparing him to chorus line performers and how he lights up the stage. I’ve been saying all along there is something about his presence. I can’t take my eyes off him while he’s performing. Paul is a gifted dancing superstar and Mackensie makes a beautifully strong partner for him, but she always comes in second.
Paul and Mackensie/The Edge of Glory
I was blown away by Amy and Fik-Shun. This little guy has risen in my estimation all along, but to perform an Argentine Tango with those lifts and the exactness of the movements. Man, they were great. Fik-Shun’s lifts were as smooth as though he were muscled-up and 10 feet tall — like Aaron. I told sister Katie on the phone that the judges would probably make a comment about his footwork, but I didn’t care. Loved their performance. Sure enough, his footwork was mentioned but didn’t take away from their admiration for him. I think it was Nigel who said if a choreographer gave Fik-Shun instructions to fly he’d find a way to do it. You gotta love him. And I love choreographer Jean-Marc. He seems to exude compassion as well as passion.
Amy and Fik-Shun/Viennese Waltz
I’m not a a big fan of hip-hop, though there have been some exceptional routines. Jasmine and Aaron drew one of the better ones last night, though I disagreed with the judges on who was the stand-out performer. For me, it was Aaron who captured the limelight. He seemed to hit harder and sharper on the beats. And that face. My goodness, Aaron’s facial expressions are as good as the dance routine itself. Though, of course, Jasmine was no wallflower herself.
Jasmine and Aaron/ hip-hop
Winding up with the group routines, I must say the one with the guys and the rope got the old cardiovascular going. Since I don’t normally like props, especially one that runs the length of the routine, this was less distracting than most, though it was still somewhat distracting. But the boys did such a great job, I couldn’t really get into the slower, less energetic routine of the girls. I think it’s just that they came after the high octane boys. And it could be because my husband yelled “Boring!” just as it started. I’ll have to watch it again sometime when I’m more in the mood. Apparently, it was beautiful and moving and somehow I missed it.
Boy group performance/ masculine, strength routine