Usually, the performance finale is okay with moments of brilliance, because the dancers are all so exhausted. I can’t wait to see whether this one continues the trend or bucks it with more amazing than not.
Each one is dancing 5 times. That sounds crazy. I did that, and more, in shows when I was in my early 20s, but not after having the intense season they’ve had, and having only a few days to learn all these dances. Nuts.
Eliana and Cyrus, paso doble; she’s going to be the matador and him the cape:
That was interesting. The first half was really good, slow and intense, but then when the music got more intense at the end, the slow movements didn’t work anymore. I think that must be because of Cyrus’s lack of traditional ability. The first half, though, their movements matched each other perfectly. He was appropriately macho, and she was strong. Their little footwork section, brief though it was, was crisp and fast. He’s a great partner, totally focused on her, which I love. I’d say this worked more than it didn’t.
Tiffany and Will Wingfield, jazz by Sonya Tayeh (haven’t seen him as an All-Star yet and I’m way excited. He was amazing in his season, incredibly trained yet able to be free and even funny in his dances; I still remember the James Brown solo he did. He’s in superbaggy clothes, though, which I am shallow enough to admit makes me a little sad. He has the most awesomely powerful thighs. ETA: he’s dancing shirtless, so if his thighs are hidden, we can see his very wide chest and shoulders.):
I LOVE that Sonya choreographed a happy song, joyful and passionate. It was wonderful. Loved the lift when she did the standing split thing and then hooked her top leg over his shoulder and he stood and lifted her. Tiffany could’ve related to him a bit more, but this made me happy.
Eliana and Chehon are going to do a traditional ballet together.
What they did was great, but I forgot that I don’t really like traditional ballet. They gave nothing cool for Chehon to do except one jump. I was a little bored. Their solos are so athletic and we saw none of that here. It was lovely and perfect, but not my favorite style.
Tiffany and Cyrus, lyrical hip hop
Good, but a little too much flailing about from Tiffany and I wasn’t crazy about the song. It all seemed a little too histrionic. But, indeed, they weren’t being “careful,” and that’s a good thing, too.
Group routine, choreographed by Tyce. I get the idea, have everyone do mainly what they are best at, but that meant that there was no point of view. So it felt like leftovers: lots of individual things that were good once, but turn kind of bland when mixed up.
Eliana solo: lovely. If they’d gotten the chance to be this expressive in the traditional piece, it would’ve been so much better.
Chehon and Allyson, contemporary by Stacey Tookie:
I loved that. It made me teary. How amazing that there was a “you must leave” dance, not because someone is being a jerk, but to set someone free to follow their dreams. It was glorious. Glorious dancing, glorious portrayal of conflicted emotion. That’s what I’ve been waiting for tonight. His face while he did that final pirouette was heartbreaking. His height in his jumps were amazing, just amazing. His dancing deepens when he dances with strong, strong women (his other best was with Anya two weeks ago).
Eliana and Tiffany, dancing on a pole (which I think Eliana teaches or does in her regular life):
Fun. The ending was great, when Eliana was twirling around the top in a cool pose and Tiffany was twirling around the bottom, but I wish they hadn’t gone for such a full-on sexy song for this routine. To have done it to a classical piece could’ve been even better, less “on the nose.”
Cyrus solo dubstep: the musicality of his style is sick, sick, sick. Sick!
Tiffany solo: a lovely solo (which would’ve been better if she’d waited a couple of years to mature), but I must say that I loved her interview piece, how she was aware of how underrated she was and she kept putting everything out there on the floor, throwing herself into routines. I respect that.
Cyrus and Chehon, chor. by Sonya Tayeh:
Gorgeous. There were all those tiny, quick movements that went with the music like Cyrus does, that both of them did in great unison. And Cyrus did a lovely, graceful fall to the side. Chehon lifted Cyrus as easily as if he were little Tiffany. They were marvelous together, fighting, but not against each other, which was perfect for them. Compelling dancing. I loved these two guys, and I loved this number.
Special guest: an international b-boy sensation … Jean Suq (sp?) who has one leg and dances with two crutches. First of all, I’m crazy about hip hop to classical music. Second, the stuff this kid does is amazing: using the crutches as a pommel horse and swinging his whole body around, doing gorgeous poses on one, and in general, dancing beautifully. I love the variety that this show reveals, the things that are going on in the dance world that are truly excellent, but that I’d never seen or even heard of before.
Chehon solo: I didn’t want it to end, but I loved how it went with his interview package (which made me teary, he was so adorable), all his leaps were open and soaring.
Eliana and Alex, contemporary by All-Star Travis Wall:
Travis usually choreographs such intimate dances, and that’s what I love about him, but this was a bit bombastic and histrionic. That said, what they did together was gorgeous.
This is feeling a little too much like a good-bye show, as if the show won’t be back next year. There are more comments about choreographers and All-Stars. I’d be so sad. So very, very sad. I hope I’m overinterpreting the vibe.
Tiffany and Chehon, rhumba by All-Star Dmitri (no, not another Latin dance, and as the last one he does, too. Boo, producers. Boo. Unless of course he winds up being brilliant and lets his hips go. Please let your hips go, Chehon.):
I am happy. It was a deeply romantic dance, slow and sweet and sexy. I got a little warm. His dramatic slide all the way across the floor was awesome. He is so great at not doing the overblown, “I am being manly now” thing. He just is strong and secure and always perfectly there for his partner. Tiffany was marvelous. She has really grown on me.
Cyrus and Twitch, both doing animation:
Wow. Wow. The slow-motion fight as if strobe lights were flashing was so cool. That was all just so cool. Love that they put Twitch on Cyrus’s home dance turf. And they had to dance on top of broken plastic after smashing through their doors. Why did Nigel have to go through that crap of saying he wasn’t voting for him — unnecessary.
This was a better show than some finales have been. I’m off to vote for Chehon.