After a 2-week hiatus to avoid clashing with ratings quasi-juggernaut the “Olympics”, SYTYCD is back. With a tribute to … Mia Michaels?
According to Entertainment Weekly tonight’s SYTYCD will be all about Ms. Michaels, the emotional contemporary dance choreographer, showcasing 7 of her most popular numbers (note I am embedding the numbers I love, but you can go to EW for all the dances):
“Time” originated by Lacey and Neil in Season 3. This has been commonly known as the “dead daddy dance.” I appreciate the sentiment behind wanting to reunite with someone who has meant so much to you, but this has never been a dance number I liked. It seemed like emotional manipulation with not enough good dancing to back it up. Harsh to judge someone on something that clearly means so much to them, but it’s art, on a competition show and there to be judged.
“Hometown Glory” originated by Katee and Joshua in Season 4. I have always loved this number. There is artistry in the movement as well as emotion, and the music choice just hits home. Mia Michaels gives this long explanation about the dance that it’s about competition with a friend, or something like that. Personally, I never saw that, but I think like most art, the artist’s intention is all well and good until the public sees it and makes up their own minds on the piece’s intent.
“Mercy” aka “The Door” originated by Katee and Twitch in Season 4. Overall I’m not crazy about props. I think the a piece can become too dependent on it and that really happens here. First of all, they don’t really start dancing until 27 seconds into the number and then until 1 min 12 seconds into it, they’re really just banging around on the door. The number is a lot of fun, but there’s precious little actual dancing in it.
Even thought I don’t care for this piece, here it is so you can see what I’m talking about:
“Dreaming with a Broken Heart” or “The Bed” originated by Kherington and Twitch in Season 4 (yes there’s a lot of season 4 here). Again, over dependence on a prop and not a whole lot of actual movement. There’s a nice emotional pull every so often, but apart from the very kitschy flower throwing, there wasn’t much that made me remember this number.
“Calling You” or “The Bench” originated by Travis and Heidi in Season 2. This piece is an example of a dance with a prop done right. Heck, this piece has TWO props and both are used well. There’s a wonderful fluidity of movement with the dancers and they get across the underlying feelings behind the choreography without anything too showy. There is a reason this dance has remained in the forefront of people’s minds since season 2.
“Gravity” originated by Kayla and Kupono in Season 5. Now this is more like it. Kupono’s intensely malevolent expression combined with Kayla’s battle between fight and surrender was perfect. This dance required some very on-spot timing, especially with the hands, and they made it work. Just like with any addiction, they captured the way that sort of thing just clings to you, even as you struggle to free yourself. Just a very well choreographed – and executed – number.
“Koop Island Blues” or “The Butt Piece” originated by Randi and Evan in Season 5. Evan was my big disappointment in season 5. I loved how effortless his audition piece was, how smoothly he made all those jumps and turns. But once we got to the competition, that magic faded a bit. However, he and Randi captured some of that magic back with this dance which is wholly and completely centered around a sort-of prop: Randi’s butt. Mia Michaels says that she choreographed this because:
‘The Butt Piece’ was inspired by the fact that my butt was getting bigger, and instead of freaking out about it, I did this.
Works for me. The dance has a nice slinkiness to it as well as a lot of that bounce that keeps it fun and from becoming too salacious.
I’m really not all that sure WHY they are devoting an entire 2 hours to Mia Michaels. It’s not like she died or seems to be leaving the show for good. Could it be they are running out of ideas, or wanted to give the choreographers a 3-week vacation mid-season? Who knows.
I suppose we’ll know more tonight at 8.