Friday, February 29, 2008

Pussycat Dolls Lose Another Member

Carmit Bachar has quit the Pussycat Dolls.

The singer - who joined the band in 1995 when it was a burlesque group - announced yesterday (28.02.08) she is leaving to "pursue other projects".

Carmit was one of the band's three main vocalists along with Nicole Scherzinger and Melody Thornton. It is thought they and the group's other members - Kimberly Wyatt, Jessica Sutta and Ashley Roberts - will continue as a five-piece.

Carmit was the longest serving member of the Pussycat Dolls. Former Dolls include Christina Applegate - who helped create the troupe - and one-time 'Baywatch' babe Carmen Electra. Most of the current members, including Nicole, were cast in 2002, when they were transformed into a singing group.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Heartbeat of Dance Workshop

Meet Status Quo's Lynn Brothers

What started as sheer family entertainment for two Lynn brothers has evolved into a nation-wide craze. And after watching the locals work their magic on TV, there's no wonder why.

Ernest Phillips, 21, and Jayjion Greer, 18, are part of the 15-member Boston dance group Status Quo that's currently competing on "Randy Jackson Presents: America's Best Dance Crew," which airs Thursday nights on MTV.

Each week, Status Quo competes against other dance troupes from across the country for a $100,000 cash prize and a touring contract. Viewers vote for their favorite performance, and the two with the lowest votes are tossed into the battle zone to vie for one more shot at the grand prize. Celebrity judges JC Chasez of N*Sync, renowned choreographer Shane Sparks, and female hip-hop artist Lil' Mama decide which group stays and which one is sent packing.

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Asada Heading for A Split With Coach?

Less than three weeks before the World Figure Skating Championships, Mao Asada appears headed for a breakup with coach Rafael Arutunian, an official with the Japan Skating Federation said Thursday.

Asada, No. 1 in the International Skating Union's rankings, returned to Japan after winning the Four Continents in South Korea last week and will train in Japan until the March 17-23 world championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Arutunian was not present at the Four Continents, which Asada won.

"She has not formally severed ties with him but appears headed in that direction," said JSF spokesman Tatsuro Matsumura. "She wants to be able to train in the best possible surroundings."

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Sasha Cohen Brings Style To The Ice

Ice-skating costumes, like the stars who wear them, are glamorous but tough, says U.S. Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen, who will perform with a cast of Olympic, world and national champions in Smucker's "Stars On Ice Live and In Color" at Orlando's Amway Arena on Friday.

During a recent phone interview, Cohen, 23, answered questions about designing her own costumes and her 2006 appearance on Bravo's Project Runway.

Question: How many different costumes do you wear in "Stars on Ice," and do you have a favorite?

Answer: Seven. For the opening number, my dress is covered in 10,000 red crystals. I designed the dresses for my two solos. They are so different. I designed the one to look like a black diamond bra with a slip dress over it. It turned out wonderfully. The other is shades of turquoise to blue to purple to pink, all beaded and hand-dyed. I wanted it to feel like someone's imagination -- full of colors and brightness.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Cutting Edge 3: Chasing The Dream

Nothing says lovin' like another unlikely pair falling for each other on the ice.

ABC Family will premiere the original film "The Cutting Edge 3: Chasing the Dream" on Sunday, March 16.

The telefilm centers on ice skating's most eligible bachelor Zack Conroy (Matt Lanter), who suddenly becomes available when an accident causes his partner and ex-girlfriend to break her leg. He defies convention when he replaces her on the ice with newcomer Alejandra "Alex" Delgado (Francia Raisa), a comely hockey player whose fierce sportsmanship translates into fierce moves on the ice.

Zack's coach and choreographer can't deal with this new twist, however, and quits. Time is running out for the International Championships in Paris, so Zack turns to the once-famous skater Jackie Dorsey (Christy Carlson Romano) who mysteriously left the business for an early retirement. She takes on the challenge of mentoring this impossible team because she too once took a non-skater and made him an ice skating champ in "The Cutting Edge 2."

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Macbeth With Patrick Stewart Heads To Broadway

The acclaimed production of Macbeth — which casts stage and screen star Patrick Stewart in the title role — is heading to Broadway.

The Shakespearean classic, the New York Times reports, will follow Is He Dead? — which just announced a March 9 closing date — into Broadway's Lyceum Theatre. Macbeth will play the Broadway venue for a limited eight-week run beginning at the end of March; no official start date has been announced.

Following a West End run this past December, Stewart and company arrived at Brooklyn Academy of Music's Harvey Theatre Feb 12. The sold-engagement at BAM will conclude March 22.

The production, which originated at the Chichester Festival, features direction by Rupert Goold and is set in a "subterranean kitchen that serves as a military hospital in a timeless and nameless country."

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Step Up 2 Sizzles

"Step Up 2: The Streets" is a movie for dancers and non-dancers alike that will leave you wanting more. With rhythmic moves and sultry attitude, this film makes you want to get up on your feet and dance.

Continuing from the 2006 smash hit "Step Up," this sequel follows young Andie (Briana Evigan), little foster sister of Tyler Gages of the first film, as she tries to find her balance between school and the streets.

As a member of "410," a gang of dancers that hold the title for best dance crew in the underground battle called "The Streets" five years and running, Andie must be loyal to her crew and their trouble.

Andie's guardian and late mother's friend, Sarah, disagrees and plans to send Andie to Texas to live with her aunt.

A short appearance from Tyler (Channing Tatum) provides Andie with the second chance she needs to stay and audition at the prestigious Maryland School for the Arts.

Andie's style of dance leaves her outcast at the school, leading her to make friends with the school heartthrob Chase, played by Robert Hoffman, who shares her love of freestyle dance.

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Step Up 3-D In The Works

Disney will proceed with a third installment of its hit dance franchise "Step Up," tentatively titled "Step Up 3-D."
Pic will become the latest 3-D live-action film from the Mouse House, with "Step Up 2 the Streets" director Jon Chu in talks to reprise.

Offspring Entertainment partners Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot, who have reupped at Disney for three years, will develop the film; the pair produced the first two "Step Up" pics.

Deal extension, which keeps them on the lot through 2011, comes after "Step Up 2 the Streets" turned in a surprisingly strong $28.7 million over the five-day Presidents Day weekend. The picture, co-financed by Disney and Summit Entertainment, cost $20 million to make.

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Dancing- Australia's New Reality

Reality TV has been a staple part of Australia’s visual diet for the better part of eight years. Since the inception of Big Brother, and locally adapted programs (The Biggest Loser, Australian Idol, Popstars) audiences have been spoon-fed the fishbowl style of programming where “real” people interact, compete and perform.

So You Think You Can Dance Australia is the latest addition and, given its enormous rating success, looks set to be one of the most popular of its genre. Chief judge and Sydney Olympics ceremony choreographer Jason Coleman says that, while he’s a fan of the US dance series, he predicts the quintessentially Australian attitude will make it better viewing here.

“Americans have so much bravado, they’re so fucking out there with the whole ‘I’m so fabulous and everybody look at me’. Australians are much more humble,” he said.

“You are really feeling our show, you really see how invested these dancers are.”

Indeed. Australian contestants are quite happy to share their emotions with the country. There have already been plenty of tantrums and tears amidst the jubilation. It’s entirely appropriate, as an equal mix of emotion, conflict and triumph are the mainstay of reality TV. It appears the producers have done their homework on the contestants and hand-delivered sympathetic stories for the judges to help reveal.

We’ve heard tales of bulimia, poverty and comebacks from life-threatening injury. Coleman says it’s all part of the package. “I’m a fan of the dancing – for me it’s all about the dancing. But we do need to get to know them as people,” he said.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sarah Jessica Parker Returns to the Stage In April

Start spreading the news! Sarah Jessica Parker is heading back to the Great White Way.

The actress, best known for her role as Carrie Bradshaw on the TV series Sex and the City, has been cast as a sexy flight attendant named Gabriella in the new comedy called Boeing Boeing.

Parker is no stranger to the live stage. As a child, the actress landed the title role in Annie, which was a popular Broadway musical at the time.

The curtain goes up on Boeing Boeing in April.


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Rent Era Coming To An End

From the tiny East Village theater where "Rent" was born, you can still catch a glimpse of the funky neighborhood where the hit musical was set - a scruffy courtyard, old brownstones, rusty pipes and fire escapes.

Even when "Rent" opened in 1996, the East Village was gentrifying. Well-heeled newcomers were moving in and rising rents were displacing the bohemians who inspired the show.

On June 1, after a dozen years, Broadway's seventh-longest running show is to become history, like the once-gritty neighborhood that's nearly gone as well.

"It was amazing to be living in the world you're playing on stage," says Anthony Rapp, an original cast member who lived in the East Village for many years and played the part of Mark, a budding filmmaker shooting a movie about his friends.

"Rent" was an instant sensation when it opened, dubbed an "exhilarating, landmark rock opera" by The New York Times, and when it moved to Broadway, The Associated Press said the show made the transfer with "all its raw energy, raucous musicality and radiant optimism intact."

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Philadelphia's BalletX Premieres Matthew Neenan's 'Right To Spring'

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Contemporary dance company
BalletX continues its inaugural season as the resident dance company of The
Wilma Theater (265 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia) and presents the world
premiere of Right To Spring, with five shows running Wednesday - Saturday,
March 26-29 at 8 pm, and Sunday, March 30 at 2 pm. Tickets: General $25,
Student/Senior $20 at The Wilma Theater Box Office, 215.546.7824 or at Full information at
Right To Spring runs with no intermission.

Right To Spring is a one-hour ballet choreographed by Co-Artistic
Director Matthew Neenan. The choreography embodies the essence of winter
giving way to spring. After a long dormancy, the world reawakens and bursts
forth with new life. The collaborative work aims to capture that process:
the changing of the seasons and how we react to it, mentally and
spiritually. Co-Artistic Director Christine Cox states: "Right To Spring is
a chance for us to celebrate a time of year that transforms our soul and
allows us to explore the process of change and growth."

The music will vary from classical to rock and will feature an original
score composed, arranged and performed live by Matthew Pierce (of the Lake
Trout band) joined by band members Mike Lowry and James Griffith. This is
the first production with live music for BalletX at The Wilma Theater.

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Annie Returns To Philadelphia






For Immediate Release (Feb. 25, 2008) - Leapin’ Lizards! America’s most beloved musical, ANNIE, is back for its 30th anniversary tour, giving a whole new generation the chance to experience this classic musical about never giving up hope. The timeless tale of Little Orphan Annie will be coming to Philadelphia’s Academy of Music March 21 – 23 for a limited engagement.

Part of the Cadillac Broadway Series, tickets ranging in price from $25 to $75 are on sale now. A limited number of premium box seats are available for $100. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-731-3333, online at, at the Kimmel Center box office, Broad & Spruce Streets (open daily 10 am to 6 pm) or at the Academy of Music box office (during performances only). Groups of 15 or more will receive discounts for select performances by calling 215-790-5883 or 866-276-2947. Tickets can also be purchased as part of a Choose 3 subscription package by calling 215-893-1955. Performances include: Friday and Saturday evenings (March 21 & 22) at 8:00 pm; Sunday evening (March 23) at 6:30 pm; matinees Friday and Saturday at 2:00 pm, and Sunday at 1:00 pm.

“One of the best musical ever,” proclaims the Chicago Tribune, and the Chicago

Sun-Times says, “Ageless ANNIE as engaging as ever.”

ANNIE, with music by Charles Strouse and book by Thomas Meehan, is again directed by its lyricist, Martin Charnin, who brought the original production of ANNIE to Broadway in 1977. Tony Award winning set designer, Ming Cho Lee, has created a fresh look for this new production.

The original Broadway production of ANNIE won seven 1977 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Book and Score. It ran for 2,377 performances, and has subsequently been produced all over the world. The original production is one of the top 20 longest running shows in Broadway history, and ANNIE continues to be one of the most successful musicals ever.

Boasting one of Broadway’s most memorable scores, including “It’s the Hard-Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “N.Y.C.” and the ever optimistic “Tomorrow,” you can bet your bottom dollar that ANNIE will bring a smile to your face.

In addition to Charnin, Meehan, Strouse and Lee, ANNIE’s creative team includes original Broadway musical staging by Peter Gennaro, choreography by Liza Gennaro, lighting design by Ken Billington, costume design by Theoni Aldridge and sound design by Peter Hylenski. ANNIE is being produced by Networks Presentations, LLC. For more information, visit

The 2007-2008 Cadillac Broadway Series marks the first full season of cooperation between Kimmel Center, Inc. and Shubert Organization, Inc., where theatrical presentations in Philadelphia will be presented at the Academy of Music and the Forrest Theatre. In addition to ANNIE, the 2007-2008 season includes: My Fair Lady (March 11 – 16); Hairspray (May 2-4); Gypsy (May 9-11); David Copperfield: An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion (May 16-17); Oprah Winfrey Presents The Color Purple (June 17-July 13); Mamma Mia! (July 15-27); and Monty Python’s SPAMALOT (Aug.14-31).

All performances of the Cadillac Broadway Series are supported by Cadillac, CITI, Target, WPVI-TV 6, The Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Company, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Cadillac Broadway Series.

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Leslie Uggams Begins Hello Dolly Run

Houston's Theatre Under the Stars puts on its Sunday clothes Feb. 26 as Jerry Herman's classic musical Hello, Dolly! — starring Tony and Emmy winner Leslie Uggams in the title role — begins performances.

The TUTS production features direction by Lee Roy Reams - the Broadway veteran who both directed and choreographed the 1995 Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! - with choreography by 1995 Hello, Dolly! cast member Randy Slovacek.

Joining Uggams onstage are The Producers' Lewis J. Stadlen as Horace Vandergelder, Urinetown's Jen Cody as Minnie Fay, original Phantom star Glory Crampton as Irene Molloy, Les Miserables' Kevin Earley as Cornelius and The Music Man's Michael McGurk as Barnaby Tucker.

Ron Kellum is featured as Ambrose with Randolph as Ermengarde Vandergelder, Jessica Sheridan as Ernestina Simple and Erick R. Walck as Rudolph.

The Hello, Dolly! ensemble comprises Melanie Allen, Brian Barry, Alan Bennett, Nathaniel Braga, Dominic Di Felice, Craig Foster, Adam Gibbs, Kevin Hill, Traci Hines, Darrell T. Joe, Tony Johnson, Laura Kaldis, Richard M. Keck, Dominique Kelley, Chris Klink, David La Duca, Alissa Ann LaVergne, Reid Lee, Sarah Moore, Robert Randle, Christina Stroup, Mary Jo Todaro, Gia Valenti, Paige Wheat and Jennifer Blakeney Young.

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Tonya And Nancy- The Rock Opera

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Oregon's most famous bad girl may be finally embracing her own legend.

"Tonya and Nancy: The Rock Opera" opened in Portland Feb. 21st -- and Tonya Harding herself was in the audience.

After the show, Tonya said "Wow. Did my life really look that bad?" She added the actors did a "really great job."

In 1994, the Portland-born skater Harding was competing for a spot on the U.S. Olympic figure skating team. That's when a club-wielding assailant hit competitor Nancy Kerrigan in the knee, forcing her out of the competition.

The rock opera follows Harding and Kerrigan through their careers from before and since the infamous knee-whacking. Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, was accused of hatching the original plan.

For her part, Harding was banned from U.S. Figure Skating Association competitions for life.

The show runs through March 9th.

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Delicate Balance For Yamaguchi

Things are about to get mighty hectic in North Raleigh's relatively tranquil Hedican-Yamaguchi household.
Dad Bret Hedican is looking to help his Carolina Hurricanes get to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Mom Kristi Yamaguchi is hoping to tango to victory on television's "Dancing With the Stars."

And daughters Keara Kiyomi, 4, and Emma Yoshiko, 2, are about to have their routines disrupted.

"I'm a little anxious now," said Yamaguchi, the gold medal-winning figure skater, who was announced this week as a contestant on the ABC show's sixth season. "It's a whole different world."

She's a fan of the program, in which celebrities are paired with professionals to perform ballroom dances. One couple is voted off each week, based on judges' scores and viewers' votes. Celebrities are paid for taking part, and the winner gets a trophy.

Yamaguchi, 36, was inclined to say yes when she got the offer around Christmas. But there were considerations, such as where her daughters will stay while she's in Los Angeles for the show and Hedican is traveling with the Hurricanes. That's still being worked out.

"Yeah, it's going to get a little crazy," admits Hedican, a defenseman. "But you know what? ... Kristi's really sacrificed a lot for me, obviously, the last four years -- having our kids, and kind of putting her career on hold. For me to be able to support her in what she wants to do is great."

Already, Yamaguchi is scrambling. This week, she's flown to Chicago and back for an appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Media inquiries have been relentless. And she's begun practicing with the professional dancer she'll be paired with, Mark Ballas.

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Girlicious- What To Expect

"I have them dress totally different...I won't tell you what they're representing yet. Through the show, you'll see different styles and different looks. One girl sort of represents more of a punk rock style... Like each girl has a different kind of style," Robin Antin said in a conversation with RealityTVWorld. "It's not even necessarily like exactly who she is, It's kind of like what it sort of developed into. You'll see. It's hard for me to say because I don't want to give it away."

Antin also revealed that the challenges will be something unique and never done before, even in the previous season. Moreover, Girlicious, according to Antin, is a group effort, meaning that the show will focus on the girls' relationship with one another and how well they work as a team. Therefore, fans can expect the different participants to being different groups on a weekly basis.

"There's a national anthem challenge where we take them to a baseball game and they have to sing. I put them in different groups, and they all have to compete to be the best group singing the national anthem, which is hard because it's a hard song to've got to have great harmonies, you've got to blend, you've got to vibe together, you've got to work together as a group," Antin explained.

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Ten Is Worried About Real Talent Leaving So You Think You Can Dance Australia

WITH the talent fast disappearing from Channel 10's So You Think You Can Dance, the show's judges and host have desperately urged viewers to get behind their favourites.

Their calls come as two of the reality show's most high profile dancers - Hilton Denis and Kassy Lee - were given the boot on Monday night's eviction show.

Denis, 18, didn't want to sound down on being eliminated, but agreed with judges, today saying "people have to start voting for the dancers they want to see".

"It's still very early in the competition. I don't think they (viewers) know who the best dancers are," he said.

Meanwhile, Lee, hopes the show will not only open doors for her, but encourage people to support the arts, as a whole, in Australia.

"It is such a great show and I'm glad it has come to Australia and hopefully it will make dance bigger and get more people going to see stage shows."

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Step It Up & Dance

“Step It Up & Dance,” which will premiere on Bravo on April Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 10 PM ET/PT, is a reality competition series where contestants will learn what it takes to make it big in the cutthroat dance industry. Celebrated actress and dancer Elizabeth Berkley will serve as host and Emmy Award nominee and Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell will mentor the 12 dancers chosen from around the country, as they master every conceivable dance style, from ballet and ballroom to Broadway and burlesque.

World-renowned director and choreographer Vincent Paterson (Madonna’s “Blond Ambition” Tour, Michael Jackson’s “Bad” Tour), known for his creative work in film, television and music, and choreographer Nancy O’Meara (”Hannah Montana,” “High School Musical Tour”), who has worked with some of the best selling artists currently touring arenas around the country, will serve as judges for the competitionand

Whether it’s a music video one week or a Vegas spectacular the next, Bravo’s new dance series will feature challenges in which the dancers audition for a range of parts, designed to showcase their versatility and moves. As the competition gets fierce and contestants are eliminated, only one person will get the final “call back” and the chance to perform, with the ultimate dancer winning $100,000.

Meet The Cast...

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas Already Practicing for DWTS

It was inevitable that a figure skater would eventually join the cast of the smash television sensation Dancing with the Stars. Among the celebrities for season six is Olympic gold medalist, world champion, U.S. champion and world professional champion Kristi Yamaguchi. She and professional partner Mark Ballas have already begun practicing.

The offer to vie for DWTS's glitter ball trophy first came to Yamaguchi last fall, when she and her friends were intently watching season five.

"When you're that into something and then you get asked to do it, you're in a little bit of shock," says Yamaguchi, who during hockey season lives in Raleigh, N.C., with her husband, Bret Hedican, of the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes and their daughters, Keara, 4, and Emma, 2. "There's so much scrutiny and pressure. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go back into that spotlight."

Once she realized she could do most of the pre-show training in Raleigh and work out arrangements for her daughters, she knew she had to sign on. Keara is in pre-school, so she'll probably have them stay in Raleigh until spring break. "Hopefully, I'll still be in Los Angeles then," Yamaguchi, 36, says.

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Plushenko Will Return

Olympic and three-time world figure skating champion Yevgeny Plushenko of Russia announced yesterday that he has decided to return to amateur competition in a bid to defend his title at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

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The Heartbeat of Dance Workshop

Anya Garnis Update

According to her official Myspace page she has recently relocated to LA. Next place to see her? Performing Sunday February 24th on the Oscars!

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Chu Steps Up

When it came time to take the Step Up franchise to a whole new level, they called in Jon M. Chu.

Although Step Up 2 was originally slated to be a direct-to-DVD movie with a measly $7 million budget, director Jonathan Murray Chu stepped in to make the sequel to Step Up a bigger, better update. Unsatisfied with the original script and the shortage of dance numbers, he upped the dance scenes by almost three times as many and even
increased the necessary budget to that of the original, $22 million.

Chu loved the first Step Up, but he knew his version needed something different. "It's about a crew, and being a family in this crew, and what takes to be a family," says Chu. "We also wanted to take it out of the dance studio and bring it out back to the outside -- bring it back to the city -- so we could bring in all types of dance and all types of people."

Hence, the addition of "The Streets" to the title of the film. However, Chu did want to keep a few elements from the first movie.

"We definitely wanted Channing (the lead actor in Step Up) to be a part of this," says Chu, "but we didn't want him to just come in and say hello and leave. We wanted him to do a dance number. So it was fun that we got to give him a good goodbye with a big dance number. But then once we ended that, I wanted this movie to be on its own."

It was nice of Step Up 2 to remind us of its predecessor, but the difference was noticeable. Instead of focusing on a love story, with ballet moves incorporated into all of the choreography, Chu emphasized breaking and pop locking in his new movie, shining a spotlight on the dance as its main objective.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Reality TV Magazine Chats With Dan Karaty

Dancers across America, lace up your dancing shoes! As Reality TV Magazine previously reported, FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance is auditioning for the 2008 season. Recently we had the opportunity to chat with So You Think You Can Dance judge, Dan Karaty, about the upcoming season, his faves, and what it takes to land a spot on the show.

Karaty, who, along with fellow judge, Mary Murphy, and the rest of the So You Think You Can Dance crew, will be visiting, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Salt Lake City, says that he’s most looking forward to one audition in particular.

“I’m really looking forward to Washington, D.C., just because we’ve always had so much talent in New York City. We’re hoping that the talent of New York City filters on down to D.C.”

Yet, Karaty is quick to point out, he’s also looking forward to seeing what D.C.-natives have to offer, and certainly can’t count out any dancers in any city, openly encouraging all dancers to come out and “take your shot,” even if you’re a hip-hop artist who doesn’t know a thing about ballroom dancing.

“What our show does is incredible,” he says. “The versatility that we require from the contestants is just insane. How many dancers can do [all genres of dance]? To be able to do everything is almost unheard of.”

The key word, of course, being “almost.” Karaty admits that his favorite past competitors are the hip hop artists nobody expected to be able to handle ballroom dancing, such as season one’s Jamile and Ivan, from season two. But both dancers, Karaty explains, “got better every week,” and that’s what he loves most about So You Think You Can Dance.

“Every year it seems like the dancers get better,” he says. “We truly find the most talented dancers out there.”

This, Karaty explains, is what makes So You Think You Can Dance unique from the other dancing shows that have cropped up in the reality TV world. Yet, Karaty couldn’t be more thrilled for the competition.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am [to see more dance competition shows on TV]. For years dance was a background art form – in the back of commercials, in the back of movies, behind the lead singer of a band. I say the more the merrier. I watch all the shows. [America’s Best] Dance Crew is incredible.”

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance Australia Sizzles

AUSTRALIAN dancers have waited a long time for their own reality TV show. Singers and models have lined up year after year for a shot at instant fame, celebrities and sportspeople have tried to dance, restaurateurs, home renovators, even complete and utter nobodies with no particular skills or talent have been embraced by the reality phenomenon. But dancers, as usual, have been relegated to the background of the light entertainment landscape.

Dancers are used to taking a back seat to other performers — in video clips, at the Australian Idol final, at the Logies. Wherever colour and movement is needed to offset the main action, dancers fill the space. But not any more. Dancers are front and centre of Ten's breakout hit, So You Think You Can Dance Australia.

Since Ten bought the format two years ago it has been grooming its audience by screening the US version over two summers. The strategy worked. By the time SYTYCDA premiered on Sunday, February 3, viewers were hungry to see the local version in action.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dancing With The Stars Season 6 Couples Announced

This morning on "Good Morning America," the new couples for Season Six of "Dancing with the Stars" were unveiled. The following is the complete list of partners in alphabetical order by the celebrity’s last name

ADAM CAROLLA & JULIANNE HOUGH – Comedian and radio host Adam Carolla (host of the nationally syndicated radio program "The Adam Carolla Show") teams with reigning two-time defending “Dancing with the Stars” champion Julianne Hough. Julianne returns for her third season.

CRISTIAN DE LA FUENTE & CHERYL BURKE – International film star Cristián de la Fuente ("Family Law," "CSI: Miami") teams up with two-time champ Cheryl Burke. Cheryl returns for her fifth season.

SHANNON ELIZABETH & DEREK HOUGH – Film and television star Shannon Elizabeth ("American Pie," "Scary Movie," "That ‘70s Show") is paired with Derek Hough, who returns for his second season. Derek is the older brother of Julianne Hough and was paired with Jennie Garth last season.

STEVE GUTTENBERG & ANNA TREBUNSKAYA – Movie star Steve Guttenberg ("Police Academy," "Three Men and a Baby," "Short Circuit" and "Cocoon") teams with Anna Trebunskaya, who returns for her third season. Anna is married to professional dancer Jonathan Roberts, who also returns for another season.

MARIO & KARINA SMIRNOFF – R&B star Mario teams with Karina Smirnoff, who returns for her fourth season. Karina was runner-up alongside partner Mario Lopez during the third season of "Dancing with the Stars."

MARLEE MATLIN & FABIAN SANCHEZ — Academy Award winning actress Marlee Matlin ("Children of a Lesser God") teams up with newcomer Fabian Sanchez. Fabian is the 2006 World Mambo Champion, a four-time Fred Astaire National Champion and the United States Rising Star, and the 1999 American Rhythm Champion.

PENN JILLETTE & KYM JOHNSON – Magician Penn Jillette, one-half of the famous illusionist team Penn & Teller, teams with Kym Johnson, who returns for her fourth season. Kym was runner-up alongside partner Joey Fatone in Season Four.

PRISCILLA PRESLEY & LOUIS VAN AMSTEL – Actor and businesswoman Priscilla Presley ("Naked Gun," "Dallas") is paired with Louis van Amstel, who returns for his fourth season. Louis was most recently paired with Monique Coleman.

MONICA SELES & JONATHAN ROBERTS – Grand Slam tennis champion Monica Seles teams up with Jonathan Roberts, who returns for his fifth season. Jonathan finished in third place last season alongside partner Marie Osmond.

JASON TAYLOR & EDYTA SLIWINSKA – NFL Man of the Year Jason Taylor teams with Edyta Sliwinska. Edyta is the only pro to compete in all six seasons of "Dancing with the Stars."

Season 6 will premiere on March 17 in a special 2-hour episode.

Access Hollywood

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Bolshoi's Bessmertnova Dies at Age 66

Natalia Bessmertnova, a Soviet-era prima ballerina who danced with the Bolshoi Ballet for decades, died Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the ballet said. She was 66.

Bessmertnova died at a Moscow hospital after suffering from a grave illness, Yekaterina Novikova said, but she would not specify the cause of death. Russian media reported that Bessmertnova had kidney trouble.

Bessmertnova was a top dancer at the Bolshoi from 1961 until 1995, the year she and other performers staged a one-night strike after the ballet's longtime artistic director Yuri Grigorovich, her husband, quit during a dispute with management amid plans for his replacement.

Their refusal to perform "Romeo and Juliet" prompted the first cancellation in the ballet's history of more than two centuries.

In addition to Juliet, Bessmertnova also danced the leading female roles "Giselle," "Ivan the Terrible," "The Angara" and "The Golden Age."

Bolshoi director Anatoly Iksanov called Bessmertnova's death "a huge loss for the Bolshoi Theater and to our whole culture," the ITAR-Tass news agency said.

The dancer was "the pride and glory of the company to which she devoted her entire life," he was quoted as saying.

"The Bolshoi Theater mourns the death of the outstanding ballerina, one of the world's most celebrated Giselles," the theater said on its Web site.

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Boston Dance Crew Chasing Stardom

They grew up in some of Boston's roughest neighborhoods and found salvation in hip-hop dance. Now members of the troupe Status Quo are trying to survive their toughest professional challenge yet: capturing first place in MTV's "Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew" competition, a reality show pitting nine of the country's best, most energetic young dance crews in a can-you-top-this showdown offering a top prize of $100,000 and a shot at showbiz stardom.

more stories like thisEpisodes of "Dance Crew" are taped Tuesdays in Los Angeles for broadcast Thursdays at 10 p.m. on MTV. Status Quo has already made it through two rounds and will compete again tonight. They could be dancing on thin ice this time, though, as the field shrinks and the show's three judges - rapper Lil Mama, singer-producer JC Chasez, and hip-hop choreographer Shane Sparks - grow stingier with their praise and start channeling their inner Simon Cowell

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Dancing With The Stars Season 6 Cast List

Priscilla Presley, Kristi Yamaguchi and Adam Carolla are catching dance fever.

They are among the dozen celebrities who have signed on to compete on the next season of "Dancing With the Stars."

The other contestants include actors Marlee Matlin, Shannon Elizabeth and Steve Guttenberg; tennis champion Monica Seles, magician Penn Jillette, R&B singer Mario and Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor, ABC announced Monday night.

Rounding out the cast will be television actors Cristian De La Fuente and Marissa Jaret Winokur.

The dancing competition is set to begin with a live performance on March 17, ABC said

Source: AP

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Julianne Hough's Season 6 DWTS Partner?

We'll know for sure tonight during the thank god it's over! finale of Dance War, but rumor has it that Julianne Hough will be paired with Adam Carolla.

Source: Perez

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

More of Gregory & Petukhov- Since You Love Them So!

Since you loved their interview so much, Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov were kind enough to share some of their favorite performance photos with Shimmy and their fans. Enjoy!

(Click to enlarge)

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Anita Hartshorn and Frank Sweiding skate the world

"We don't do anything unless it's an adventure," says adagio skater Anita Hartshorn, who with her on- and off-ice partner of 20 years, Frank Sweiding, is currently appearing in an ice show on the tropical Pacific island of Guam. "We like adventure," says Sweiding, stating the obvious.

Five years ago, ice magician Steve Wheeler asked the couple to join his show, Steve Wheeler's Magic on Ice, when it played in Seoul, Korea. "We thought we'd lived in Europe for a number of years and we had toured all over North America, why not go to the Far East for a change?" Sweiding says. "This was our opportunity to see what that end of the world is like. When the show moved to Guam, we thought that would be a nice way to learn what it is like to live on a tropical island."

And so for the past four years, they have spent October to May performing two shows a night/six nights a week at the Sand Castle Theater. Adagio is a theatrical version of pair skating with spectacular lifts well suited for ice shows performed on a small surface or stage. The ice for Magic on Ice is 40' by 40'.

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Maks Takes A Break from Dancing With The Stars

When the roster of celeb hoofers and pro partners is announced for Dancing with the Stars' sixth season, one fan fave will be missing: Maksim Chmerkovskiy. "He just needs a break," an ABC spokesperson tells People. "He is part of the Dancing family, and he will be back" — perhaps for the occasional results show, and quite possibly as part of a Season 7 team.

"The 25 million viewers are going to remember me whether I'm there or not," Maksim — who in the past two rounds led Mel B. and Laila Ali to the finals (yet never claimed the crown) — told back in December, when word first spread that he might take a break. In fact, the 28-year-old let slip his intention to skip Season 6 in that same interview, only to "backtrack" a day later upon seen his declaration in print. "I was like, 'Ah, what have I said?' It was very tear-jerky for me," he said then. "When I had a free moment, I read all the e-mails and looked at my fan site and people were just devastated, to say the least. I didn't mean to do that."

Dancing with the Stars will reveal its celebrity contenders on Monday's Dance Wars finale, then detail the pro pairings on Tuesday's Good Morning America. The stars will meet their partners for the first time on Thursday's Oprah Winfrey Show. Season 6 premieres March 17.

Source: TV Guide

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Rochette Wins Silver At Four Continents

Canada's Joannie Rochette won silver at the Four Continents figure-skating championships in Goyang, South Korea, on Saturday.

The Île Dupas, Que., native gave her season's best skate for 119.50 points in the long program, raising her overall score to 179.54. Rochette took bronze at the Four Continents last year.

The gold medal went to Mao Asada of Japan, who posted a season-high total score of 193.25 points. Fellow Japanese skater Miki Ando won bronze.

Asada, Rochette and Ando had all been clustered within one point of each other after Thursday's short program.

But Asada gave the day's best free skate to move ahead of her competitors. Rochette, who recently collected her fourth consecutive Canadian national figure-skating title, said she was pleased with her podium-worthy performance in South Korea.

"I am very happy with my performance," she said. "No injuries and lots of training makes a difference."

Vancouver native Mira Leung also finished among the top skaters, taking fifth place.


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Friday, February 15, 2008

Canadian Duo Wins Ice Dance Title at Four Continents

Canadian Tessa Virtue and Scott Moirled from start to take the ice dancing title at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Goyang, South Korea on Friday.

Leaders after both compulsory dance and original dance, Virtue and Moir scored 104.08 in the free dance for an overall total of 207.32.

American Meryl Davis and Charlie White who managed only 100.16 points Friday for a 199.45 total for the second place, and their compatriots Kimberly Navarro and Brent Bommentre took 89.62 points from the free dance section for the third place with an overall 180.65.

Virtue, 18, and Moir, 20, have been skating together since 1997,and this Four Continents win is their second at a senior international event.

The 2006 world junior champions had previously won at Skate Canada on the 2007-08 ISU Grand Prix circuit.

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5 Questions About Pussycat Dolls Presents: Girlicious

...2) How does one of the finalists end up in a wheelchair?

One of the greatest moments of the latest Girlicious CW promo involves one of the girls falling down, ending up in the hospital, then arriving at the studio in a wheelchair. What is Robin Antin's sympathetic response? "Can you dance in your wheelchair?" I hope she tries, because that would only make the show more entertaining. Check out the promo here:

3) Is the word "Girlicious" horrible or fabulous?

Before I'm able to recap this show, I feel as though I have to decide if the group's name is making Mr. Merriam and Mr. Webster spin in their graves. I do normally enjoy words that add a useless "icious" suffix, such as "funkalicious" or "bootylicious." But again, those aren't the names of actual music groups that I'm supposed to chat about in every day conversation. This question is going to keep me awake all weekend.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Shimmy Exclusive Interview- U.S. Ice Dancers Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov

Shimmy: Go back in time a bit for the readers that aren't familiar with you, tell us how you met and about your early training together.

Melissa: We actually met on the internet. We were both looking for a partner because our previous ones had quit. Denis had posted on the International Skating Union website that he was looking for a partner and I responded and we talked via email for a few months. We decided that we wanted to have a tryout and on September 1, 2000 Denis came to the US to have a tryout. On February 2, 2001 we got married. And now 7 1/2yrs. later he never used his return ticket home.

Shimmy: You've recently switched coaches and now train with Priscilla Hill. Why the change?

Melissa and Denis: It was just time for a change for us. We collaborated with Priscilla when we were choreographing the "Fallen Angels" in the spring and we really liked working with her. We felt that all our personalities clicked and the chemistry was right.

Shimmy: How has it benefited you?

Denis: She is a very calm and wonderful person. She is very knowledgeable in figure skating and knows good skating.

Shimmy: How are you doing after suffering the bad fall at Skate Canada?

Melissa: We are getting better. I have fully recovered but Denis has not. When we fell all the attention was on my injuries but Denis's were kind of overlooked. He is suffering from a really bad knee injury that has been gnawing at him since last season. He has level 4 type tendenitous and a lot of grinding and crackling whenever he bends. The doctor told us that if he pushes it now then he will have to have surgery. So as athletes it is a very hard decision to be made to think about our health and life after sport. But when we were faced with it he still has to walk and use his knees for the rest of his life.

Shimmy: How is your training coming since then?

Melissa and Denis: It is at a halt right now. We are making sure that we do everything that we need to heal Denis right so he can have no problems for next season and onward. But we are looking forward to when we can start training hard and skating full time again!

Shimmy: Where were you during National's and how was it just watching rather than participating?

Melissa and Denis: We were at home. We are very upset about how the season turned out. The accident in Canada really set us back. It was very hard for us to have to miss the season but we are really concentrating on coming back strong with a vengeance next season. We love skating and we love performing and can't wait to get back out there.

Shimmy: When can we hope to see you next?

Melissa As soon as Denis is back at 100% then we will hopefully start with some shows this summer. Then it will be back to training hard for the next Grand Prix's in the fall.

Shimmy: Of all the programs you've skated, what are your favorites and why?

Melissa and Denis: All of our programs that we have skated are very special and sentimental to us. We like to pick themes and music that means something to us and that are unique . But I think that with each program it is better and better. We know that our best is yet to come.

Shimmy: What OD rhythm do you enjoy most?

Melissa and Denis: Our favorite part about the Original Dance is that we get to be completely different characters in each of them. It is great because we sometimes have rhythms that we would not normally choose for ourselves but it ends up to be really good for us and we love it! But if we were forced to choose than we loved the latin theme and we also like Waltz. But we also loved and had a blast with Tango as well! It's way to hard to choose!

Shimmy: What old school skaters inspired you when you were younger?

Melissa: When I was younger my childhood idol was Brian Boitano. I loved his skating and he is part of the reason I started skating in the first place.

Denis: I love Torvill & Dean, Grischuk & Platov, Usova & Zhulin, Klimova & Ponemarenko. They all bring their own style and qualities that no one else can do and is unique to them.

Shimmy: Any rituals before you skate?

Melissa: I actually didn't really even know that I have a ritual or superstition but, I realized that I always tie my left skate first. It has just now become a habit and sort of a superstition. I don't know why but if I have an off night you might want to ask which skate was tied first!LOL

Denis: I always step with my left foot first on the ice. Don't ask me why.

Shimmy: When did you know that is was love, not just a partnership?

Denis: I fell in love with her from the time I saw her. She was everything that I could have dreamed for and more. When you know, you just know.

Shimmy: If I borrowed your ipod for an hour, what would I be listening to?

Denis: You would probably hear a lot of classical and orchestral music.

Melissa: I don't actually have an ipod but lets just say that I do for the fun of it. You would hear a very eclectic collection of music. Anything from U2, Aerosmith, Red Hot Chili Peppers to Oldies, to famous classical pieces, Hip Hop, and Broadway hits.

Shimmy: Three things you cannot be without?

Melissa: My family, my cell phone, and my dog Suede

Denis: Family, my dog Suede, my car

Shimmy: (NON) Guilty pleasures?

Denis: Seducing my wife! (Not really guilty but a pleasure!)

Melissa: A glass of Sauvignon Blanc and making love to my husband. (Not really guilty but a pleasure!)

Shimmy: If in ten years you are no longer skating, what might you be doing instead?

Denis: Maybe running for office.

Melissa: Raising a family. But hopefully I will always be doing some kind of performing.

Shimmy: Your fans have really supported you through a rough patch, what would you like them to know?

Melissa and Denis: That it means more to us than we can express. Each and everyone one of them is special to us and to know that they are behind us in good times and in bad is what makes them true fans. We can't wait to perform again for all of you because that is what makes us the happiest is when someone comes up to us and tells us that we touched them.

Shimmy Video Pick:

Gregory & Petukhov- Fallen Angels

Video: Saratogan62

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Shimmy Exclusive Interview- Brian Friedman

The Breakdown-

I'm just finally back in the states teaching and it feels so good to be back to that. I haven't been in awhile and it's always the best thing because you feel like you're in shape and doing something to better the dance community. I was in Minneapolis last week where it was like 40 below- not my kind of weather- but I was working with the PULSE Tour. PULSE is incredible. It has just grown into something amazing. It started out about five years ago, when Wade Robson and myself did the first PULSE in New York as a one-off workshop. We drew in so many people and built it into something incredible. We would do it every year and different choreographers would be brought in and then I got together with Broadway Dance Center and we decided to make it a little more than it already was. That's when we brought Mia Michaels on and it was just incredible. We saw that there was definitely a future in it so Mia and I became creative directors and brought on the rest of the faculty.

In the era we're in right now, with reality tv the kids look up to the people that they see on tv and we felt that they'd be more receptive to learning because they trust us. We're in a position that they want to be in one day and we see great results from the kids when we do these workshops. They're crossing barriers that they've never crossed before. A lot of teachers say that they just can't get their students to perform, to break down that wall that they've put up and to really step outside it. We've seen more of that in the last two years of doing this then I think I've seen in a decade before.

Breaking down the walls is about no judgement. You have to fall before you can walk. You've got to make mistakes and you have to put yourself out there and be vulnerable. It's okay to feel that way. People that refuse to try will never make progress. I tell students it's an open place when you come into my room. I want to see you make a fool of yourself because then I'll know that you're really putting yourself on the line.

I was creative director on X Factor and we just finished the full season. I just got back from London last week and that project has finally set sail. We will be doing next season again and I'm in the process of inking other deals for other shows. Hopefully I'll be back on American television soon. It was hard for me having to leave So You Think You Can Dance but in the end I had to make the choice that was best for me. I miss the show and I miss getting to say my opinion because I feel like I have a lot to say! I think it's important for the kids that watch these shows to know that the choreographers, we're normal. We're exactly like them. we came from the same places as them. There's nothing different between us and the fans, we all wake up the same and we all have the same issues. Use us for inspiration and role models, but know that we're normal people. Don't ever place anyone higher than you.


I'm inspired by the kids because they are so eager to learn. It makes me want to give to them. I'm also inspired by the faculty that I teach with. They're all the biggest names in the business right now and they all have so much to share. I find myself evolving just by being around them. I use my relationship with my friends and family as inspiration. Music, art, travel- I get inspired by everything. It's important to have a life outside of what you do because you end up bringing that experience back to what you do.

You'd Never Guess-

I'd loved to choreograph for Michael Jackson. I'd love to do something for Madonna, she is great and that opportunity just hasn't happened for me. I think it's great to keep goals and I never feel like I've achieved everything because there's always somewhere else to go. I'm incredibly insecure and I'm my own worst enemy. People perceive me as confident but I think the reason that I keep moving forward is because I'm never completely happy with anything I do. I always think I can do better, could have worked harder and I think that's what drives me. I don't think people would expect that I'm completely insecure. I don't mind that I haven't worked with everyone that I want to, it just makes me work harder.

The Future-

I initially grew up immersed in theater. Musicals are something that I love and the first thing that I ever did was join a theater group even before I was in dance classes. I'm cheesy at heart. I went into the commercial world instead though. I would never want to be onstage doing theater but I would love to choreograph stage shows.

I see my future in more of an executive position. I want to start doing my own thing. Creating my own shows, creating my own product line. I already have my shoe and clothing line but I want to see it on a larger scale. It's incredible for me to go out and do PULSE and look at the kids out there. They're wearing my product! That just blows my mind. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that I'd have shoes, it's just crazy for me to think. I remember being a young dancer going to conventions and I had on my Tremaine jazz shoes and it was a huge thing to think that these people actually had shoes you could wear. Not only am I taking from this person, but I'm wearing there shoes. To know that I've reached a level where people either want to dance like me or feel the way I do, it's a pretty surreal feeling! I chased this idea down. No one brought a deal to me and said, "Here, do you want to make a shoe?" I had to chase it down and make it happen. It's good for kids to see because you can chase down your dreams and you can make anything happen. You don't have to wait for things to come to you.

Photos: Lee Cherry, Nicola Majocci

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Qing and Jian Win Pairs Title at Four Continents

Pang Qing and Tong Jian rallied from behind to beat their fellow Chinese to take the pairs title at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Goyang, South Korea on Thursday.

The 2006 world champions, entering the free skating section over two points away from compatriots Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao, scored 119.63 points for an overall winning score of 187.33.

Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao picked up 111.39 points for a total of 181.84 to settle for the second place.

Pang/Tong were strong from the start, executing three early jumps and a throw triple jump. However, Zhang Dan struggled with her landings on the first double axel-triple toe loop combination and again on the throw triple jump.

Thus, Pang/Tong have now won three of China's seven pairs titles in the competition's 10-year history.

American Brooke Castile and Benjamin Okolski scored 103.55 in the free skating to finish third with an overall 159.99, giving them their first podium finish at the Four Continents

Source: Chinaview

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So You Think You Can Dance Season 4 Premieres May 22

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, the high-stepping sensation from the producers of AMERICAN IDOL, again promises to keep viewers moving to a different beat, as dancers skilled in styles ranging from street to ballroom compete to be named America's favorite. Hosted by Cat Deeley, Season Four of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE kicks off with a two-night, four-hour premiere Thursday, May 22 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Wednesday, May 28 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Once the DANCE auditions conclude, weekly performance shows will air on Wednesdays (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), and weekly results shows will air on Thursdays (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT).

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New Wave of Old Burlesque

"IT ISN'T STRIPPING," says Dulce de Leche. "It's classic striptease." The new wave of old burlesque, that is. De Leche is the "stage kitten"-- the glam hostess and ringmistress -- of "This Is Burlesque," a Valentine's Day celebration of va-va-voom coming to the Birchmere on Valentine's Day.

"Burlesque hearkens back to old-school vaudeville," says De Leche. "There's a lot of humor. It's tongue-in-cheek." For classic cheesecake, the World Famous Pontani Sisters deliver with a cherry on top. Cabaret cutie Melody Sweets sings songs of lust. There are the 40 hula hoops of Miss Saturn and comedy from "the hardest-working middle-aged man in showbiz," Murray Hill. One other key fact: "The girls go down to pasties." And so, in our porny plasticine world, it has come to this: More is less.

"When I first went to burlesque shows, it was so empowering," says de Leche. "It was women of all shapes and sizes up onstage, owning it. They were so sexy."

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The second installment of the successful "Pussycat Dolls Present" franchise, PUSSYCAT DOLLS PRESENT: GIRLICIOUS is a ten-episode music/reality series making dreams come true when young hopefuls land one of three coveted spots to become part of a brand new musical group called "Girlicious." Judges Robin Antin, recording artist Lil' Kim and Geffen Records Chairman Ron Fair return when The CW's PUSSYCAT DOLLS PRESENT: GIRLICIOUS premieres on Monday, February 18 at 8:00pm.

In the early 1990s choreographer Robin Antin created the Pussycat Dolls as a cabaret act in a Hollywood nightclub. Since then the group has transformed into one of the most successful female pop groups in the world, selling seven million albums and topping the charts with five smash singles. Utilizing her expertise and eye for talent, Antin is doing it again as she launches a brand new girl group called Girlicious, featuring a new look, a new sound and a whole new attitude.

Looking for singers with dance ability and superstar charisma, Antin and Geffen Records Chairman Ron Fair launched a nationwide search for the most talented girls in America. Fifteen finalists were chosen to compete for a spot in the new group and the opportunity to go from obscurity to international stardom. Thousands of girls lined up with the dream of landing one of three coveted spots in the new band Girlicious.

Musician Mark McGrath returns as host. Each week the girls sing, dance and practice choreography with Antin and Pussycat Dolls co-choreographer Mikey Minden, as well as perfect their vocal techniques with vocal coach to the stars Kenn Hicks. Hicks has coached superstars Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige and the Spice Girls. Having experienced this grueling process, members of the Pussycat Dolls, along with other surprise guests, will appear in episodes to inspire the young hopefuls as they strive to impress the judges, which include Geffen Records Chairman Ron Fair, Antin and Grammy-nominated recording artist Lil' Kim.

At the end of the ten-episode series, dreams become reality when the brand new group Girlicious is formed and immediately record an album, film a music video, go on tour and earn a record contract with Geffen Records, home of Nelly Furtado, Mary J. Blige, Keisha Cole and, of course, the Pussycat Dolls.

Source: KCWI

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Virtue and Moir Favored for Gold At Four Continents

Canadians should be on the podium in at least two of the four disciplines at the Four Continents figure skating meet. Anything less would be a disappointment.

Competition begins Wednesday and continues through Saturday in Goyang City, Republic of Korea. This annual International Skating Union meet for skaters from the Americas, Asia and Australia is the last major test before the world championships in Goteborg, Sweden, next month.

Ice dancers Tessa Virtue of London, Ont., and Scott Moir of Ilderton, Ont., are favoured for gold because they were sixth at the 2007 world championships and the only other top-10 ice dancers from that meet who'll be at Four Continents are Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who were seventh in Tokyo and who train alongside Virtue and Moir in Canton, Mich.

Canadian silver medallists Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Kitchener, Ont., who were 20th in Tokyo, could take bronze. Many of the top ice dancers are from Europe so won't be at Four Continents.

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Shrek Heads To Broadway

Shrek The Musical will open on Broadway this December, marking DreamWorks Animation's first legitimate theatrical venture.

The musical features Sutton Foster as Princess Fiona, Christopher Sieber as Lord Farquaad and Kecia Lewis-Evans as The Dragon, with book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire and music by Jeanine Tesori. Jason Moore directs.

Foster is currently starring on Broadway as Inga in Young Frankenstein.

Additional casting, including the title character and his friend Donkey will be announced shortly.

The musical took root around the time the second film was in production, when Sam Mendes of Neal Street Productions, Ltd. suggested the idea to DreamWorks Animation's Jeffrey Katzenberg. The two companies will produce Shrek jointly.


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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Musa Cooper Update

A week or so ago we talked exclusively to Musa Cooper and he was preparing to go on the road with Alicia Keys. Musa informed us earlier today that due to a knee injury he will not be dancing on tour, at least not the U.K. leg.

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Dance War- Still Not Feeling The Love...

Remember when Alice fell down the rabbit hole and suddenly she was gallivanting with mad hatters, talking cards, and swam in a sea of her own tears? Well, none of that happened this week on "Dance War," but the completely illogical chain of events in that story applies to this baffling dance competition.

"Dance War's season finale is next week. What? So far, there is one team of four and one team of six. How on earth does that produce a winner? That's like having a track race but halfway through pulling out five runners and saying, "Yeah, we're done here." Team Bruno loses a member every single week, so haven't they essentially lost the competition already? If a team drops three members in a row, I think America has voted. I'm currently reading a biography on Einstein, and all kidding aside, Einstein's theories on electromagnetic energy are clearer than the rules of "Dance War."

Like Alice, I'm suspending logic and simply moving on. This week was Latin week, and we all know what that means: Gloria Estefan and Marc Anthony. Well, color us surprised, the first dance number was set to "Conga" by Miss Estefan and the third to "I Need to Know" by Marc Anthony. "I Need to Know" performed by Team Carrie Ann hinted at what this show could have been: interesting sets, unique vocal arrangements, and strong, charismatic individuals. However, like a groundhog popping out to see its shadow, the moment was fleeting.

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We're No Idols, Say Australian Dancers

If there's one message that the top 20 contestants on So You Think You Can Dance Australia want to get across it's that they're nothing like their Australian Idol counterparts.

The final group of contestants on Ten's hit show, which have been picked from thousands, were today paraded before the media for the first time.

And, despite the fact that they're fast becoming widely recognised, the group insist they're not regular reality TV stars and aren't concerned with becoming famous.

So You Think You Can Dance, hosted by Natalie Bassingthwaighte, has a similar format to Australian Idol, which gained much criticism for the way it makes singers into stars so quickly.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Playbill Talks To Bette Midler

Las Vegas audiences are in for a treat when Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award winner Bette Midler begins her two-year engagement at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Feb. 20. Midler — who has titled her new concert act The Showgirl Must Go On — will be backed by a 13-piece band and 20 female dancers in an evening that will feature an eclectic mix of tunes and characters (expect the wheelchair-bound mermaid Delores Delago and old, old Soph). A few years ago, I had the opportunity to catch Midler's wonderful Kiss My Brass tour, and onstage the award-winning actress was a thrilling mix of singer, comedienne and social commentator. I was also utterly impressed by Midler's musicianship as she made her way through such signature tunes as "From a Distance," "Wind Beneath My Wings," "I Think It's Gonna Rain Today," "Shiver Me Timbers" and "The Rose" as well as standards like "Skylark" and "Tenderly." A few weeks ago I had the true privilege of chatting by phone with Midler, who spoke about her newest Las Vegas endeavor, her work for the New York Restoration Project (which she founded) and her thoughts about returning to Broadway. And, be sure to catch the supremely talented Midler in Las Vegas, and you'll understand why she is, to fans and critics alike, simply divine.

Question: How did the Las Vegas engagement come about?
Midler: Well, Celine [Dion] was getting ready to go, and they were looking around for someone who could fill her shoes. They're mighty big shoes to fill. They called me, and I said, "Well, hmm…" I have been trooping with Kiss My Brass for a couple of years. I've gone to Australia. That was a show that I really, really love. I thought, "Well, if I could do a cut-down version of Kiss My Brass, I would be interested." So we started talking and they said, "Well, are you going to do Kiss My Brass?" And I said, "Can I do Kiss My Brass?" And they said, "Well, we would rather that you didn't." And then I was brought up short.

All my friends said, and the kids I work with said, "You know, it would be fun to do something brand new."

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Source: Playbill

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Grace, with Lynn Redgrave, Opens Off-Broadway Feb. 11

MCC Theater's production of Mick Gordon and AC Grayling's Grace — with Lynn Redgrave in the title role — officially opens at Off-Broadway's Lucille Lortel Theatre Feb. 11.

Joseph Hardy directs the work that began previews Jan. 23 for a limited run through March 8.

Grace centers on "a mother, a wife and a brilliant professor," according to an announcement. "Her bold assertions on the 'absurdity' of religion have propelled her to center stage in the public debate over the existence of God. But Grace's private calm is severely shaken when her son, Tom, announces a career change from civil rights attorney to priest."

Following an acclaimed run at London's Soho Theater, Grace arrives in New York with Tony Award-nominated actress Redgrave as Grace. Joining the actress onstage are Philip Goodwin (Tartuffe, The Diary of Anne Frank, King Lear) as Tony, Oscar Isaac (Romeo and Juliet, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Beauty of the Father) as Tom and K.K. Moggie (Richard III, A Peddlers Tale, Fetes de la Nuit) as Ruth. Robert Emmet Lunney (Duet) plays the "Voice of Dr. Michael Persinger."

Last seen on Broadway in a Tony Award-nominated turn in The Constant Wife, Redgrave has penned and appeared in a trilogy of works about her family: Shakespeare For My Father, The Mandrake Root and Nightingale. Her other credits include Talking Heads, The Exonerated, Black Comedy, Aren't We All, Moon Over Buffalo and another Tony-nominated turn in Mrs. Warren's Profession. She was nominated for Academy Awards for her work in the films "Gods and Monsters" and "Georgy Girl."

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Source: Playbill

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Burlesque Is Alive And Well

Vaudeville's naughty cousin is back - and nowhere is it more popular than in New York. Rodney Bolt enjoys an evening of irony and titillation.

A Rubenesque woman in a sequined bikini arches an eyebrow and lowers a false eyelash as different bits of her wobble and shimmy independently, like a troupe of extraordinarily well-trained jellyfish.

A dancer drops the last stitch of clothing to reveal, not what one might expect, but a moustachioed Groucho Marx mask. In New York burlesque is back - but with a difference.

Burlesque blossomed last century, as a naughty cousin to vaudeville. After the Second World War, it went into slow decline and, from the 1950s, degenerated into seedy striptease.

In the 1990s, a German stripper named Ute Hanna began an underground revival of burlesque in a New York club called the Blue Angel.

Part of the point was to play with the glitz and innuendo of old-style burlesque, but in a way that was friendlier to women.

Singers, bawdy comedians and acrobats were slotted in between tongue-in-cheek strip routines, which sometimes veered off into zany performance art.

When Rudy Giuliani, New York's former mayor, began his pre-millennium crackdown on the city's seamy stripclubs, neo-burlesque (as it now known), with its campy irony and artsy audiences, survived.

Today, burlesque has its own section in the New York edition of Time Out.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Dance War Crossover?

Last week, the show introduced the audience to another new ABC star, The Bachelor's latest toothy fellow to take the plunge into reality world dating, Matt Grant. Sure, the two shows have nothing in common but pretty people, eliminations and a network, but what the heck: as my colleague Debbie Chang pointed out in her most recent recap, Dance War has to fill up its extra minutes one way or another.

For Monday's show, there are reported to be two more special events on the show for ABC and its parent company, Disney.

The Disney tie-in is an appearance by the cast of the High School Musical national tour. The cast is said to be performing “We're All in This Together” on Monday's Dance War episode.

The possible ABC tie-in is a rumored announcement of the cast of Dancing with the Stars 6. If the announcement is made, will any of the rumored celebs be on the list? Rumblings have been heard about Cheryl Ladd, Monica Seles, Marla Maples, and Brooke Hogan.

And there's another potential Dancing with the Stars/Dance War crossover, although this one isn't official.

Dance War contestant Zack Wilson and Dancing with the Stars champ Julianne Hough were previously engaged, but have since broken it off. Now, however, OK! Magazine has reported some ambiguous comments from Zack after Julianne was spotted cheering him on in the Dance War audience.

OK! says, “Asked if they were an item again, [Zack] laughed, ‘I'm going to plead the Fifth!'”

Zack will admit that she's been there for him as support through the process, saying, “The biggest advice she's given me is to let America see who I really am, to see my personality. That is what has helped her get to the level that she's at in this business.”

He's going to return the favor saying “I'll be going to [be in the audience on] Dancing With the Stars next season. We support each other in whatever we do. We remain very close.”

Source: buddytv

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Drug Overdose, Enlarged Heart Cause of Bowman's Death

Former national figure skating champion Christopher Bowman died from a drug overdose and an enlarged heart, the coroner said Friday.
The 40-year-old Bowman was found dead inside a motel room in the city's North Hills neighborhood on Jan. 10.

The two-time champion's blood-alcohol level was 0.12%, said chief coroner's investigator Craig Harvey, and toxicology tests also revealed cocaine, Valium and marijuana.

Also present was the prescription medicine Seroquel, which is used to treat bipolar disorder, Harvey said.

The report said the death was accidental.

Harvey said Bowman's enlarged heart was not a condition he was born with, but developed over time. Substance abuse and weight gain could have been factors.

The autopsy report said at death, the 6-foot-1 Bowman weighed 261 pounds.

"There are a lot of factors that can contribute to an enlargement of the heart," Harvey said. "It doesn't put you in a better position, it puts you in a weaker position with what you put in your body. It puts your heart in a precarious position."

An initial autopsy done two days after Bowman's death was not conclusive, and police had said there was no sign of foul play or illegal drug use in the motel room where Bowman was found.

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New Contestants' for Dancing With The Stars Announced Monday

The celebrities featured on new Dancing With The Stars season should be announced on Monday.

The show's last season was a big hit, with Indy racer Helio Castroneves taking home the title.

The announcement of the new season's contestants is expected to happen Monday night on Dance War: Bruno Vs. Carrie Ann.

You can watch the big announcement Monday night at 8 p.m. on Channel 9. There's speculation two of the contestants will be Donald Trump's ex-wife Marla Maples, along with Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin.

The new season starts March 17.


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Friday, February 8, 2008

Shimmy Exclusive Interview- Jaimie Goodwin

Shimmy: How has life changed for you after doing SYTYCD?
Jaimie: Life has been amazing! It's fun to have people recognize me. As far as jobs the recognition and opportunties have been fantastic. It can be stressful as well because now that everyone knows you, especially in the " dance world" you have expectations to fulfill. That's a minor thing though so I can't complain.

Shimmy: What number by another couple was your favorite on SYTYCD?
Jaimie: Danny and Neils' Two Princes.

Shimmy: Tell us something funny from behind the scenes.
Jaimie: Dominic. Just Dominic!

Shimmy: Which judge did you feel most comfortable with?
Jaimie: I can't lie, I love Nigel.

Shimmy: What have you been doing these past few months?
Jaimie: I moved to NYC, working with NYCDA, and I just recently did a job with Mia Michaels.

Shimmy: Tell us about NYCDA.
Jaimie: NYCDA is the most fun! Sabra and Allie (Holker) and I have been traveling with them and we honestly have a blast together! Its also really cool to meet all the dancers that come to watch or take class. You'd be amazed how many people can inspire you in class, even the babies.

Shimmy: What is your dream role?
Jaimie: I'd love to dance in a company- but not yet. Right now I'm happy doing different projects. Its really helping me find myself and explore what I really want do later.

Shimmy: Is there any different dance genre that you'd love to try?
Jaimie: I'd love to learn more ballroom. Not so much waltz, but I really wanted to do an Argentine Tango or the Paso. I was in a Flamenco company for years and I love the sensuality and passion in those genres.

Shimmy: What inspires you to dance?
Jaimie: So many things and so many people. My family got me started. My teacher, Denise is like my mom and she's kept me going. Watching other dancers, both professionals and students, makes me want to try new things and push myself.

Shimmy: Do you have any rituals before performing?
Jaimie: I always pray. I always talk to Denise and we do this thing called "zaa". Hard to explain that...

Shimmy: If you had to trade places with one person for 24 hours who would it be?
Jaimie: Uhhh... Adrianna Lima the Victoria's Secret model.. (Laughing) just because I've always wanted to be one and she's my favorite.

Shimmy: 3 things you cannot live without.
Jaimie: God, family/friends, dance.

Shimmy: What is on your ipod?
Jaimie: Alot of Damien Rice, Panic at the Disco, Rachel Yamagata, Coldplay, Rihanna, everything really.

Shimmy: If in 10 years you are not dancing, what might you be doing instead?
Jaimie: Having babies.

Shimmy: The best thing about being on SYTYCD was_________________.
Jaimie: Dancing on tv! It's a dream!!

Shimmy Video Pick:
* Jaimie and Danny Tidwell's jive to Girlfriend *

Video: Shannon03us

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Stars' Come To Philly

Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough are getting back together.
The winning couple from Season 5 of Dancing With the Stars will perform Sunday night at the Wachovia Center, the last stop on "Dancing With the Stars - The Tour."

But no, they're not getting together in that way, Castroneves says, with a smile in his voice. "She definitely was a very strong teacher and a very good one, too. And the only romance we had was on the dance floor."

The duo will be performing dances that TV audiences will recognize: the cha-cha to "Love Rollercoaster" from the semifinal episode and the quickstep to "Hey Pachuco" from the finals.

"No question, that's the most recognized [dance], with the yellow suit," the IndyCar driver says of the quickstep. "Plus the kiss at the end of the dance."

Dancing With the Stars has had an enormous impact on ballroom, says professional dancer Cheryl Burke, a two-time winner. "Ballroom dancing has been around so many years. It hadn't really been recognized by the public eye, but there's a whole competitive world. People really stereotyped it as being for old people."

But now, her friends who own dance studios report that registration for classes is way up, says Burke, who started ballet at 4 and switched to ballroom at 11, after her parents took classes for fun and decided to sign her up, too.

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Shimmy Exclusive- Movmnt Is Coming!

When I was about fifteen years old my girlfriends' and I would pour over teen magazines. It was back in the mid-80's and everything was bright, bold and above all else, it was colorful. We would venture into the grocery store once a month and buy a copy of everything, then share custody of the newest issues. One day I walked into the store and found a new magazine called Sassy. It was aimed at my age but even the cover was different. I couldn't tell you why, it just was. I bought the issue and loved it from one end to the other. I never missed an issue after that and when they arrived I poured over every inch right down to the binding (There was always a message on the binding!). Did they deal with teen issues? Sure, but the approach was different. It was like a peer was talking to you. Did they do fashion spreads? Absolutely, but there was always a deeper message behind the clothes and setting. In a nutshell, Sassy made me think.

It has been twenty years since I've had that reaction to a magazine. One where you just absorb every ounce and still keep it tucked away on a shelf for fear you missed something that you'll be overjoyed to discover on some random day. This week for the second time in my life, I've had that same reaction. This time the publication that took me by complete surprise is called Movmnt. The latest issue includes a sit-down with SYTYCD fan favorites' Sabra Johnson, Danny Tidwell and Neil Haskell that actually puts readers at that table. Forget everything you already think you know about these three and just listen to them banter. The dance-fashion-in-action will blow you away and have you even heard of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings? Vintage Motown sound for a brand new generation of listeners. If you are not a subscriber already then you need to pick up a copy next week when it graces' Barnes & Noble shelves for the very first time.

David Benaym is the brilliant guiding force behind this innovative new magazine and he was kind enough to give Shimmy a bit of his time this week. What follows is a glimpse into how love of dance and journalistic vision collided in the form of Movmnt.

How did I find myself involved in the dance world? Well like many stories it is a love story. I grew up in France so I was familiar with performances, the ballet world, the Arts in general are really part of the everyday culture there. I grew up watching Maurice Bejart performing live on prime time TV. As a journalist I also specialized in the media and entertainment world. I covered the Oscars as well as the Cannes Film Festival many times. But I was never involved with the Dance world. While covering the 2004 Presidential campaign in New York I met Danny Tidwell. He really is the one that introduced me to the dance world, as he was a performer with ABT at the time. His knowledge and passion for the dance world, its history, the choreography, the technicality as well as the quest of sense in performances. I was hooked, so we worked together along with choreographer Lauren Adams, on a project called Moving Still. Mixing performance, photography and fashion, we created a show and book. At the time I really started to dive into the dance world, watching performances as various as classical ballet at the MET with ABT, contemporary pieces from choreographers Lar Lubovitch, Ohad Naharin, and even intimate workshops by Mia Michaels (that was even before she started to judge on So You Think You Can Dance). So it was a very sudden, learning, breath taking initiation to the dance world, and the involvement came naturally. It's one of the rare places where there is no language barrier. The emotion is pure, there are so many layers of emotion, understanding and interpretation that if you ask an audience members what they feel at a certain moment of a performance, you might not get even once the same answer. My education, my passion as a journalist has always been about words and phrases. So coming from a different background, culture, with a different accent, I just let myself immerse, I am a child when it comes to watching a show. I forget as much as possible everything that makes me- me in order to feel, candidly, rediscover every time the beauty of a pirouette, the emotion of a silence... By doing this, I always discover more about myself. Even the worst in life is never disappointing.

Moving Still was a great success, and we kept on hearing from dancers how much they loved the photography, how different it was from everything they had seen before. At the time we were already talking about working on a different dance magazine. The book started to sell well at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and I succeeded in selling some pictures from the book to Flaunt, a fashion magazine that loved the feeling of. But just doing a fashion dance magazine was missing substance, and we are all about the quest of sense, and definitely have the ambition to talk about issues for a generation that gets more coverage about Paris Hilton in Jail than any 'real' story. I mean I can't even dare to talk about conflicts in Africa, hostage situation in South America, or Health Care in America...

But there are many other ways to do so, and dancers, performers, have this capability to convey messages, ideas, changes. Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, The Bolshoi, they all were methaphores to talk about subjects that mattered at the time that they were written. I was looking for a new project at the time, particularly as a publisher (I launched two magazines in Europe 2 books in the US). Danny Tidwell and I analyzed the dance magazines that existed already and realized that they all were very technical, or targeting a very young audience and their parents, but the 18-35 year old generation, the dancers themselves, performers, musicians, entertainers in general did not have a publication that echoed to what they live and love.

These artists are trend setters, they create, innovate, they are very often in advance with the rest of the society, and yet, interact with the real world. With them there are a lot of young adults that we identified as the pop culture generation that are passionate about the art and want to know more than just what these artists have to offer on stage. With Movmnt, we wanted to give fashion photography both motion and emotion. Seeing the clothes in action, sometimes to the fullest, and still portrait dancers in editorials that make sense to who they are. With this new issue, with Neil, Sabra and Danny, I feel that we are starting to really get there.

Yes the pictures are gorgeous, but there is also a meaning to every single one of them and an article on the side for the journalistic aspect of the magazine. We brought together all these different aspects, fashion, dance, music, social issues and Movmnt was born. Each issue has a general theme, a feeling, it is never obvious, never written in a big way because it is not about education, but about experiencing a learning process. We have a wake up call in each issue. It's a double page spread featuring a different feeling that happens around the world. Last issue it was about the graffiti world, very colorful and yet historical. It encompasses the political murals in Nothern Ireland as well as the anti-poutine grafs in Russia, or the cultural revolution in China.

We want Movmnt to be entertaining, yet with meaning.

In the future issue we might look back at the 80's... I believe that our generation, the pop culture generation is missing a link. There is something about these years that has a huge impact today, plus the heart of our readership was born in the 80's and it might be nice to sing along and ask ourselves if video really killed the radio...we are going to look for Roxanne, live in a box, dance la lambada, wow, maybe not after thinking about it! We haven't approached ballroom really at all... not by snobism, but because we've yet figure out how to approach it the right way. I want to understand how Russians can be so incredible at latin dance and understand the passion of the fox trot. I'd love to do a shoot with some of these dancers but challenge them as individuals, see them away from the partner that they always rely on.

Next week when Movmnt comes to newsstands it's our first goal of course, to reach a wider audience. We want to bring the Movmnt family to dance lovers, and performers themselves. But personally, if I could touch just one person, to fulfill their dream. Just inspiring someone to reach and accomplish their passion, that would bring me a tremendous amount of joy

Visit Movmnt online HERE.
Subscribe To Movmnt

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