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make your day dance

SYTYCD: so you thought you could disregard…

July 24th, 2009 · 3 Comments · Tags: ···

disregard vb. 1. to give little or no attention to; ignore.  2. to treat as unworthy of consideration or respect.

So You Think You Can Dance has been going on for 5 years now, but I’ve only just hopped on the bandwagon.  Despite having seen it once or twice a couple years ago  — and appreciated the fact that the dances are really good because they use good choreographers! — it’s taken me this long to join the audience for a couple reasons: 1. I don’t generally support the idea of dance as a competitive activity, & 2. I don’t watch much TV, so I couldn’t remember to turn it on.

But it’s summer vacation, I’ve been watching for 3 weeks (that’s 6 shows) & I’m a fan! These are things I like:

  • There’s great choreography, with a focus on the expressive power of dance & dancers;
  • It’s a good showcase for all styles of dance;
  • Meaning takes priority over style — you quit caring whether it’s ballet, modern or hiphop because you’re caught by the dance;
  • Respect is front and center — respect for dance styles, choreographers, the audience, family members, and especially for the contestants (even as contestants lose, the show features footage of their best moments, and the contestants themselves appear grateful for what they’ve gained — no coverage of them walking sadly out the door, with bitter words);
  • Cooperation & mutual respect — key players in the dance world — are apparent.
  • They found a place for Ellen Degeneres as a judge, and she was fabulous — human, humorous & humble!

I do have some bones to pick:

  • Why on earth do dancers/choreographers refer to dances & choreography as routines?!  Yes, one of the definitions of the word is as “a set sequence of dance steps,” but the first definition is “a usual or regular method of procedure, esp. one that is unvarying.” So even when the word routine means dance steps,” it connotes “boring.”
  • The televised audition phase of SYTYCD (which again, I haven’t seen much of, but that doesn’t prevent me from forming an opinion!) is less respectful than the actual competition, with more time spent on the usual histrionics of reality-TV.
  • I often don’t agree with the voting audience.  But then, I’m not voting yet, so what’s my beef?

Regardless, I’m finding the art more important than the competition in SYTYCD, & I now have a TV show that I remember to turn on.

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