Friday, November 23, 2007

So You Think You Can Dance Live Tour 2007

There are practically no reality shows that I watch with absolute glee anymore. Survivor got tired five seasons ago. American Idol? The thrill is gone, baby. Even the crown jewel of reality TV, The Amazing Race, isn't as exciting to me as it once was. But there is one reality show that still makes me wag my tail like an overly-eager young puppy. It's So You Think You Can Dance.

We caught the live show at Oakland's Oracle Arena. (11/23/2007)
We caught the live show at Oakland's Oracle Arena. (11/23/2007)

I don't know what it is about that show. Everytime it comes on, I turn into an 11-year-old girl, gushing with over-the-top enthusiasm when I see my favorite dancers. Of course I still love the show despite the fact that I can't stand Cat Deeley, the toothy teabag that hosts. Naturally, the day tickets for the 2007 live tour went on sale, I bought two tickets for the Oakland performance when I knew we'd be in the Bay Area for Thanksgiving.

The show was at the Oracle Arena, formerly known as Oakland Arena (same place I saw The Cure in 1987 and a Virginia Slims Tennis Tournament in 1991 with Tom and Doris). I was glad to be back for the So You Think You Can Dance live tour, which, like the TV show, was off the hook! Seriously! I enjoyed it even more than last year's tour. Mos def!

We had 8th row seats! (11/23/2007)
We had 8th row seats! (11/23/2007)

The cast re-performed all the most memorable duos from this season, beginning with Neil and b-girl Sara's electrifying disco routine set to "Knock on Wood." This was the dance that won Neil praise for that high backflip in which he spread his legs mid-air. And sure enough the audience went crazy when he did it during the live show.

They did quite a few Mia Michaels routines, like the amazing number she choreographed for Lacey & Kameron to "Dancing" by Elisa, a favorite from early in the season. Or the Sabra & Dominic performance to the Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You." (Yes, the barefoot routine for which Dominic shaved his toes). Just the song alone gets me teary. Add the amazing choreography and pass me the Kleenex!

Lacey & Neil's contemporary routine in Manchester. Photo by Toastiness. (10/04/2007)
Lacey & Neil's contemporary routine in Manchester. Photo by Toastiness. (10/04/2007)

Of course the Mia Michaels routines would not be complete without the inspiring piece that she choreographed for Lacey and Neil in tribute to Mia's late father. The one with the flowers and white clothes, set to Billy Porter's "Time." They also included the Two Princes number that Mia Michaels choreographed for Danny and Neil. My favorite Mia Michaels routine, however, was the was the haunting black-mask group number to Imogean Heap's "The Moment I Said It," which really showcases the incredible Danny at his best.

The Broadway-stylings of Tyce Diorio were also represented. His numbers included my not-so-favorite number by Shauna and Kameron to "Ease on Down the Road" from The Wiz (originally performed on the show by Shauna and early cast-off Jimmy). But they did make up for it by including two of Tyce Diorio's better numbers: "The Lioness Hunt" from The Lion King and the Top 4 dance to Liza Minnelli's "Mein Herr" from the film Cabaret. (For some reason Lauren substituted for Lacey on this one, surprisingly since Lacey was there).

The Tyce Diorio-choreographed 'Cabaret' number from Hartford. Photo by Toastiness. (09/23/2007)
The Tyce Diorio-choreographed 'Cabaret' number from Hartford. Photo by Toastiness. (09/23/2007)

Naturally, the show also featured numbers from Wade Robson, who is always the most innovative choreographer (Charitably, I'm choosing to forget that craptastic little foxes number he choreographed for Lacey and Sabra in the final show). Robson's numbers included that fun pop jazz routine featuring Jesus and Sara, set to "Cabaret Hoover" from the Triplets of Belleville. Another favorite was the hummingbird/flower jazz number he choreographed for Hok and Jamie set to "Chariman's Dance" from the film Memoirs of a Geisha.

My favorite Wade Robson routine was the jazz number that Neil & Lauren did with the good vs. evil storyline, where Neil played the devil. Set to Roisin Murphy's "Night of the Dancing Flame," this number had me on the edge of my seat. I also loved the swamp-like group dance Robson choreographed to Tom Waits.

Wade Robson's swamp routine in Bridgeport. Photo by Toastiness. (10/02/2007)
Wade Robson's swamp routine in Bridgeport. Photo by Toastiness. (10/02/2007)

My favorite dances are the ones choreographed by hip-hop legend Shane Sparks. His numbers included the Matrix-themed routine set to Ciara's "Get Up" from the Step Up soundtrack. I have to admit I was a little disappointed to see that Lauren was replaced by Sara. That is until I saw that Lauren and Pasha came out immediately after to do the Shane Sparks-created transformers routine to Pitbull's "Fuego," which was some mad crunk.

Another Shane Sparks highlight: The Dominic & Sabra number set to Ne-Yo's "Make it Work," which rocks my world every time I see it. It was the one for which contemporary dancer (and Season 3 winner) learned some break moves. I get chills every time I see Dominic lift Sabra during that long embrace.

Dominic & Sabra's 'Make it Work' in Boston. Photo by Toastiness. (09/22/2007)
Dominic & Sabra's 'Make it Work' in Boston. Photo by Toastiness. (09/22/2007)

Lest I forget, they did several great ballroom numbers too, like the Danny & Jamie jive to Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend," or the Danny & Anya foxtrot set to Brian Evans' "It Had to Be You." Neil and Sabra re-created their Paso Doble, complete with that last move where Neil lifts Sabra above his head, and then she slides down his entire body while holding her pose. Amazing.

In one of my favorite moments from the audition stage of the show, Pasha and Anya re-performed their hot, hot, hot samba audition set to "Magic Carpet Ride" by Mighty Dub Katz. Talk about having two tickets on the Hot Tamale Train! (you have to have watched the show to get that reference).

Sabra & Pasha's quickstep at the Portland show. Photo by Toastiness. (10/03/2007).
Sabra & Pasha's quickstep at the Portland show. Photo by Toastiness. (10/03/2007).

In addition, Pasha & Sabra did the quickstep routine to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's "Mr. Pinstripe Suit." In a side note, Pasha actually wore a pinstripe suit that highlighted his perfectly round ass (not that we didn't notice it in every other costume Pasha wore). :)

I was thrilled to see them cover two out of three of my all-time-favorite ballroom numbers: 1) Pasha & Sara's west coast swing to Fat Boy Slim's "The Rockafeller Skank" (choreographed by the Season 2 winner Benji Schwimmer), and, 2) Danny & Lacey's samba to Club des Belugas' "Hip Hip Chin Chin" that was choreographed by Season 2 Russian hottie Dmitry Chaplin.

Performing 'You Can't Stop the Beat' from Hairspray. (11/23/2007)
Performing 'You Can't Stop the Beat' from Hairspray. (11/23/2007)

The only ballroom number that they didn't perform that I wanted them to was Danny and Sara's amazing tango set to Gotan Project's remix of Sarah Vaughan's "Whatever Lola Wants." It was the dance where Sara did that incredible pretzel like-move through Danny's arms.

Other memorable moments included the Mandy Moore-choregraphed business lunch jazz dance to Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams" — the one with the table and Neil's famous gymnastic plange that makes the girls scream (and me, for that matter). Another highlight: an awesome break-dance smackdown featuring all three breakers, Dominic, Hok and Sara.

The full ensemble at curtain call. (11/23/2007)
The full ensemble at curtain call. (11/23/2007)

Scattered in between the couple dances and group numbers, all the Top 10 dancers performed a solo (except for Lacey for some reason). The entire group re-convened at the end to perform "You Can't Stop the Beat" from Hairspray, which was a fitting closer to an amazing night.

3 comments:

TIM said...

This was a very fun concert. I like this show and enjoy watching it on TV but James was enthralled with the show. He memorizes who did what dance style to what song, etc. Also, the production value of the show FAR exceeded anything I've ever seen at American Idol concerts. Seems Mr. Cowell is a greedy bastard...

Lisa said...

Hi James!

I checked out your recap of the show and you summed up the whole experience very well! Glad you had such an amazing time and thanks for using my pictures.

-Lisa

Yeti9000 said...

Wow, your breathless blow-by-blow description of the show almost makes me want to give the televised version of the show another change when it comes back...

Wait, on second though, nah...I'll just wait for next year's review! :)