Wednesday, July 23, 2014

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 16

It's So You Think You Can Dance night!  The top 16 dancers performed an opening number choreographed by Mandy Moore.  It had a water theme and was set to "Take Me to the River" by Annie Lennox.  I loved it!  I think Mandy Moore is often overlooked as a choreographer on the show, but I really consistently like her work.

Misty Copeland is sitting in as a judge again tonight.  While I like her, I really miss seeing some of the familiar faces from past seasons, like Adam Shankman.  

The bottom 6 dancers were announced:
  • Bridget 
  • Brooklyn 
  • Tanisha 
  • Marquet 
  • Serge 
  • Zack
I'm disappointed to see Zack on this list.  I think he is a really strong dancer. 

Tonight we saw clips of the dancers' first performances (home movies - very cute!) prior to their pairs dances.

Valerie and Ricky danced a Bollywood number choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan to "Dilliwali Girlfriend" (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani).  It was energetic and fun!

Bridget and Emilio did a contemporary number by Travis Wall about removing the past from your memory to move on.  They danced around an empty bed frame to "The Leaving Song" (Chris Garneau).  It was very intense, and I thought that Emilio stood out.

Tanisha and Rudy did a Dave Scott hip hop number that he envisoned like a black and white comic book.  The danced to "Good Kisser" (Usher).  Nigel said Tanisha reminds him of Uma Thurman, and I agree.

Jessica and Marquet danced a Dimitry Chaplin choreographed foxtrot to "I Put A Spell On You" (Nina Simone).  Marquet portrayed a very powerful businessman.  It didn't grab me - and evidently the judges agreed.  Mary did not like Marquet's hold, and Nigel didn't like the routine.

Carly and Serge danced a Mandy Moore contemporary about desire to "Foolish Games" (Jewel).  It was emotional and well danced.  Serge is one of those dancers who sort of flies under the radar for me.  I keep forgetting to mention him as a favorite, but I think he is very strong.

Emily and Teddy did a ballroom number by Oksana and Jonathan to "Bruk It Down" (Mr. Vegas).  It had a lot of lifts!  It was okay but not a standout to me.  Nigel related that Emily has a dislocated shoulder.

Jacque and Zack danced a Sonyah Tayeh jazz number about a couple who had a past fling and want to rekindle things.  They danced to "Back to Black" (Beyonce).  Zack is so versatile!  Misty was very critical of Jacque. Nigel asked her point blank if she is more critical of the girls than the guys.  Misty answered that perhaps she is because the guys are at another level.

Brooklyn and Casey danced a Wildebeast hip hop number to "Hustle Hard" (Ace Hood).  It was not a really memorable number for me, and I am not sure that either of them sold the hard hitting hip hop.

Then there were two group numbers.   Sonya Tayeh choregraphed a number about a village of broken people to "So Broken" (Bjork).  It was odd and unsettling with lots of falling and angst.  Tanisha was a featured dancer.

The second group number was by Travis Wall.  It was about outlaws escaping the city.  There were a number of dramatic group lifts.  It was performed to "Love Runs Out" (One Republic).  Ricky is such a star!  When he was dancing with the group, he really drew so much attention.

Lucy Hale from Pretty Little Liars "sang."  (Enough said.)

The judges closed the show by sending the two dancers with the lowest audience votes home.   Marquet and Brooklyn, who auditioned together, also left the show together.  Marquet was an early favorite of mine, but I don't think he lived up to his potential.  I think he is very young, and perhaps not quite ready for the competition.

Next week four dancers will be eliminated.  That should be a very dramatic show!   

Did you watch this week?  I would love to read your thoughts in the comments, below.

Free Online Courses: Laura Ingalls Wilder and Modern Poetry

Hi all!

Just popping in with some fun news.  I'm going to try online courses for the first time this fall.  I'm excited!   I loved school (especially college).  In addition to classes related to my primary studies (Creative Writing, English, Theatre), I loved taking arts-related electives that captured my interest -- Film History, Art History, Sketching, Modern Dance, etc.

There are some great resources for FREE online courses.  I have heard very good things about Coursera and FutureLearn.   

I've signed up for two free classes:

Laura Ingalls Wilder:  Her Work and Writing Life  - Missouri State University (begins September 22)

Modern and American Contemporary Poetry - University of Pennsylvania (begins September 6)

If you sign up for either of these courses, please let me know so we have a milkshake in the virtual malt shop and chat about the classes together.

Have you taken free online courses?  Do you have any free online course sites that you recommend?  I would love to hear from you in the comments, below.