Wednesday, May 28, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance is on A Mission

ON AN UNSEASONABLY hot day recently, the sidewalk outside the Orpheum Theatre is filled with an unusual sight for this stretch of unreclaimed downtown -- several scores of young dancers clad in tights, sweats, tutus and belly dancing outfits sprawl across the shaded ground under the marquee. But being dancers, they don't sprawl quietly; instead the mass of them constantly undulates and seethes like some many-tentacled sea creature.

The theater's front door flies open and a young man races out to the sidewalk, where he does a series of cartwheels, back flips and winged summersaults, all the while clutching in his hand a magical sheet of paper -- a ticket past the auditions to the next round of TV's freewheeling dance competition, "So You Think You Can Dance," which kicked off its fourth season on Fox last week (8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays).

Dance is enjoying something of a mini-renaissance, with the success of both "So You Think You Can Dance" and ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," along with the cable shows "America's Best Dance Crew" (MTV) and "Step It Up and Dance" (Bravo), as well as the "High School Musical" franchise. But we are also living in a culture that has not created a household-name dance superstar in two decades, so their shot on stage here today may be these young dancers' best (or only) shot at making their dreams of a dancing career with monetary rewards come true. (The winner will receive $250,000.)

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Step It Up & Dance FINALE Preview Clip

Thursday, May 22, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance Week One Audition Clips

Now that's fast! The show ended less than 30 minutes ago and already clips are up on YouTube. Here are a few that we at Shimmy liked.

Stephen "Twitch" Boss has returned:

Clip by: DanceFan2008

So has Philip Chbeeb

Clip by: DanceFan2008

Have you seen Robert Muraine yet? We could watch this guy move forever.

Clip By: ThumpingPenguin

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5 Reasons To Watch SYTYCD

It's baaack! And it's about flippin' time! So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD to those of us who are old friends) returns tonight, and not a moment too soon. (Where has all the good TV gone?)

If you have never watched SYTYCD or if you think you aren't a dance-show kind of person, I urge you to give it a shot. This is outstanding television! Never seen it? Need some encouragement? Read on to find out why you must watch!

Five Reasons to Watch So You Think You Can Dance

1. Talent: Even the best Dancing With the Stars amateurs (and hell, some of the pros) have nothing on these kids. The So You Think You Can Dance contestants will make you weep they're so good. Outside of Project Runway and, you know, Idol, I don't think any other reality talent show on TV has such legitimately top-drawer talent in play.

2. Trials and Troubles: You want character-based drama? Tune in to SYTYCD for that, in the form of stoic Eastern European ballroom dancers learning how to pop and lock, hip-hop studs figuring out the foxtrot, and classically trained ballerinas getting humped on stage by their partners. It's gold, people, I'm telling you.

3. Cat Deeley: You Brits out there know her well, as she's been all over U.K. TV for 10 years, give or take, but you 'murricans might not be familiar with her general awesomeness. A mother hen to all her little dancer chicks, not to mention a smooth and smart host in the vein of Ryan Seacrest himself, Cat keeps the show centered and grounded when judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy are flying off the handle, and she's certainly the warmest and sweetest personality on the show at any given time. All respect to crunchy-granola genius choreographer Mia Michaels, of course.

4. Mormon Mafia: Gotta love those LDS swing kids. According to Cat Deeley, Utah is America's current world capital of dance, and certainly past SYTYCD stars like Benji, Lacey, Heidi and Allison would make the case that expelling all that sexual energy though dance is a great way to keep the kids celibate and the dance floor jumpin'. In other dance dynasty news, what are the chances that Denise Wall has another kid? Because after Travis Wall and Danny Tidwell, I'd love to see more from that clan!

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Thank You USA Today!

(Click to enlarge)

First of all, thank you for actually finding Shimmy. We are flattered and the fact that you linked us in your morning round up is much appreciated!

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Shimmy Exclusive Interview


Shimmy: Tell us about your training in general.

Travis Wall: I started pretty much when I was born. It literally was only five days after I was born that I was at my moms studio. I've always danced, technically age 3 was my first class and my mom has always been my teacher.

Shimmy: How did SYTYCD change your life?

Travis Wall: In every way possible. My dancing, personality, outlook on life, literally everything. In my case it definitely was all for the better. Life has exploded after the show. and that's exactly what I went on the show for, exposure.

Shimmy: What have you done since the show and tour wrapped?

Travis Wall: Ive been teaching on conventions, choreographing my butt off, moved to LA then to NYC. I've been researching alot of different genres of art, making clothing and costumes for people. I'm putting so much work in now with choreography because by the time I'm 25 I wanna be on top of the choreography world and doing my own shows and stuff. I will not wait until, say I'm 45! You've got to work your way up so why not start now!

Shimmy: What dance related projects are you working on now?

Travis Wall: I'm working on the 4th season of SYTYCD. I choreographed all the auditions this year as well and I will be setting choreography on the top 20. I also teach on a convention called NUVO and I'm going to have my own show next New Years that is basically a runway fashion dance show in New York.

Shimmy: What/who inspires you in dance and in life?

Travis Wall: Beyonce! Ha! No but seriously, I love her! My mom is pretty much everything to me front and back. She is the reason I do what I do. My best friend/roomate Ivan and it's just nice to always have a friend by your side no matter what you do. Jason Parsons inspires me so much in dance and in life. Danny Tidwell alwaya pushes me to be better.

Shimmy: What is your dream role to dance?

Travis Wall: I don't really have one. I guess there is no dream role because I haven't made it up yet. I always say you have to make your own stage to dance on. Don't sit back and watch people talk about starting something new and amazing, you have to do it yourself.

Shimmy: Favorite performance to date?

Travis Wall: I kinda want to say doing Wade's piece on Dancing With the Stars. I think because it wasn't part of the reality competition, but it was a paid job by Wade. I loved the routine and the entire week leading up to it. Of course I still love the bench routine and sexy back (from SYTYCD).

Shimmy: We've heard rumblings of a clothing line with Ivan, is it true?

Travis Wall: .Yeah I was really into this past fall because I thought I would have more time on my hands but I was wrong. I've been even busier than last year. It will eventually happen yes. As of now I've just been making things for friends and events. It specializes in girl corsets and guy vests. Its gonna be called Ovalee Beatin!

Shimmy: We've also heard that you'll be a big part of SYTYCD again this season. Can you tell us more?

Travis Wall: Not really big. it's just really nice to be on the other side of it now! I like watching how everything goes down and what goes into the process. I cant even imagine being on this side and watching myself walk in and audition. but yeah, make sure you guys watch this season!

Shimmy: Movmnt- how did you get involved and how is the magazine different from the other dance related publications?

Travis Wall: My brother Danny and David own the magazine. It is different cause it just doesn't focus on dance. It involves fashion, music and society that revolves around dance. The photo shoots are OVA!

Shimmy: What are three things that you cannot possibly live without?

Travis Wall: Chick-fil-a! humor! and a shower!

Shimmy: If we swiped your ipod for an hour, who would we be listening to?

Travis Wall: Depends on what day and where I'm at. I have a play list for when I'm walking in the city. Recently Ive been listening to Portishead, Sigur Ros, Jason Mraz, Madonna, Beatles classics, and old classic 70's and 80's disco songs. It's time to bring it back.

Shimmy: Where do you see yourself a decade from now?

Travis Wall: I can't tell you. If you would have told me two years ago before the show that I would be here, I would have laughed at you ha!!

Shimmy: If the gift of dance disappeared tomorrow, what would you be doing?

Travis Wall: Probably fashion or comedy! But I'dstill be choreographing and directing. My limits are not just dance!

Shimmy: Tell us something about yourself that will be a surprise.

Travis Wall: I'm allergic to seafood. I don't like millionaires with no talent. I still sometimes pick my nose. Oops that one slipped. I can't sleep without socks on.

Shimmy: What would you like to say to your fans?

Travis Wall: Thanks again for all your support once again. We are just dancers and you guys kinda make us a big deal which is crazy, but thanks. After the show we're just supposed to disappear back into the industry but some of you guys make better things happen for us, so thanks!

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Cirque Du Soleil: KOOZA

In the 1980s, Quebec's Cirque du Soleil reinvented the circus form by eliminating animal acts, layering European-style mysticism, mime, and storytelling over its acrobatics, and returning to the big top. The formula proved so winning that Cirque has since become an entertainment staple with permanent Las Vegas attractions, touring companies, even cruise ship shows. Cirque's newest show Kooza, is billed as a return to its circus roots. Indeed, while the show is entertaining, it doesn't offer much that's different from Ringling Bros.

Kooza sticks to the Cirque formula in terms of having an exotic one-word title -- this one is derived from Sanskrit for "box" or "treasure" -- and accompanying descriptive material that makes the world of clowns sound like a class in French existentialism. Yet, there's no real need to have read any of the Cirque's elaborate philosophizing to follow the delicate story that writer/director David Shiner -- a veteran of both Cirque and Broadway shows such as Fool Moon -- has constructed: A childlike figure (The Innocent in Cirquespeak) flying a kite encounters a genie/jester (The Trickster) who leaps out of a magic box, releasing all the wonders of the circus.

Cirque's signature blue and yellow tent (known as Le Grand Chapiteau) houses a one-ring stage. Stéphane Roy's set includes a bandstand tower and fabric sails that can change the configuration of the space. Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt's wonderfully inspired costumes express and deepen the storyline and cast their own spells. Performers become Chinese soldiers, skeletons, demons, and one amazing costume features a cape of skittering rats. Martin Labrecque's lighting heightens the emotions, and Jean-Francois Cote's rock-based music contains intriguing touches of India.

There is a short pre-show as clowns move through the audience doing some classic bits: two cops chase a thief, a tacky tourist snaps photos, a messenger tries to deliver boxes that become ever-larger. Gordon White plays a rather disheveled host as he mimes, in a very amusing and original sequence, the show's sponsoring corporations and instructions to the audience. Throughout the show, White leads a clown trio that's often delightful but whose shtick eventually becomes repetitive.

Acrobatics take up about three quarters of the show and the acts are all top-quality circus performers. Among the standouts who have audience members peering through their fingers are Carlos Enrique Marin Loaiza and Jimmy Ibarra Zapata, leaping and jumping rope on two counterbalanced drums called the Wheel of Death, and two high-wire artists who ride bicycles and carry a yoke that holds a chair and a third acrobat.

Zhang Gongli builds a 25-foot-high tower of chairs, balancing as he goes, and he weaves a mood of pensive wonder about his act and seems almost sorrowful as he descends from his risky perch, taking apart his chair tower as he goes.

Among the other world-class acts on view are Anthony and Danielle Gatto, a compelling juggling team; a unicycle duo who manages some extraordinary tricks at high speed;

a trio of young female contortionists including 11-year-old Natasha Patterson; and a teeterboard team which does an amazing flip using stilts. Rachel Walker is a charming solo trapeze artist but a trapeze act confined to one ring simply can't manage the range of the three-ring version.

In short, Shiner has created an authentic Cirque experience that will enthrall fans of the brand, but may not provide significant enough thrills for others to justify the time and ticket expense.

Shimmy Video Pick: KOOZA Contortionists':

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So You Think You Can Dance Gossip

And what's that I hear in the distance? Could it be the incredibly identifiable cackle of Mary Murphy? "It's so funny, I'll be at restaurants and laugh and people will just pop up from behind the corner," she told me of the trait she inherited from her late mother. "It's weird that people recognize me for my scream and my laugh -- but it's good to be famous for something, brother!"

Mary spilled that this season is going to be all about the hip-hop dancers and that the talent is through the roof! Something which her fellow judge, Nigel Lythgoe, echoes. "There is a guy called Twitch who is very good and Phillip Habib is one of the most sensational ripplers and poppers I've ever seen!" Nigel also reveals that this season may see a first: "All the kids who've had no formal training in the past -- the ones who dive onto their heads -- have started taking classes and are a force to be reckoned with this year! It's a possibility that someone who doesn't have any formal training could actually win!"

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Katie Holmes Headed to Broadway

Actress Katie Holmes will make her Broadway debut this autumn in a revival of Arthur Miller's "All My Sons," starring alongside Oscar winner Dianne Wiest and Tony winner John Lithgow, producers said on Monday.

Holmes shot to fame on the U.S. television series "Dawson's Creek" before marrying actor Tom Cruise with whom she has two-year-old daughter Suri. Most recently she starred in box office flop "Mad Money."

"All My Sons" is due to open on Broadway this fall, but a theater and date have not yet been announced.

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Hicks To Make Broadway Debut

Taylor Hicks is going from "Idol" to "Angel."

The "American Idol" alum will join the Broadway cast of "Grease" on June 6, playing Teen Angel in the revival of the popular musical.

The gray-haired singer — whose "Idol" fan base was called "The Soul Patrol" — said he plans to add "soulful flavor" to his performance of "Beauty School Dropout." The flashy role, he said, is "a classic fit for a classic performer."

"It's a big number, and, you know, I've made some pretty grand entrances before," Hicks told The Associated Press on Thursday. "And this one is probably the grandest entrance I've had in my career."

Well, besides "Idol." Hicks, 31, took home the title in the fifth season of the top-rated Fox show — the biggest stage on television.

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So You Think You Can Dance Episodes To Be Streamed Online

Good news for SYTYCD fans! The new episodes will be streamed online via Fox On Demand.

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Interview With Cat Deeley

Although she's having an early morning phone conversation with a group of reporters, So You Think You Can Dance host Cat Deeley is chipper, which won't surprise fans of the FOX reality hit.

"You know what? It's the funniest thing," Deeley says, faced with a well-intentioned accusation of preternatural enthusiasm. "I've got a friend of mine staying here and her husband called me because he was calling from England. It must have been about 7:15 in the morning and he's like, 'For God's sake, stop being so chirpy. You must have literally just got up.' I don't know what it is with me. If I wake up and the sun is shining it's not bad. Here in California there's nothing much to be grouchy about, I don't think. You've got the sunshine and palm trees and ocean and hills. Yes, I'm pretty happy most of the time I have to say; annoyingly so one might say."

It's hard to imagine anybody begrudging Deeley her happiness. In fact, her boundless supply of energy is part of why So You Think You Can Dance is now entering its fourth season as a summer success. Chipper attitude aside, the 31-year-old host isn't there to be a cheerleader and her job doesn't involve judging, but she's still every bit as integral to Dance as Ryan Seacrest is to American Idol.

"There's a definite, definite feeling where I try to make them the best that they can possibly be, but it's just different people's personalities," Deeley says of her role. "Some people if they're put in a certain position some people get very quiet and shy; other people get very loud and outgoing. I think the deal is that there is charm to both if they're both honest."

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Step It Up & Dance Preview

This week, with Oliver back in the game, the contestants work with Tina Landon to try out for a Music Video. Who is going step it up and have the chance to be cast in Tina Landon next video? Pop starlet Rihanna also makes an appearance!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It's Right Around The Corner!

And The Mirrorball Goes To...

With the most votes cast in the show's history and the first contestant to score a perfect 90 from judges, Kristi Yamaguchi became the first woman Tuesday to win "Dancing with the Stars" since the show's debut season.

NFL star Jason Taylor, who scored his first perfect 30 Tuesday night, came in second. And Cristian De La Fuente, the soap star whose scores rose after he injured his arm, was third.

The mirror ball trophy wasn't exactly an Olympic gold medal, which Yamaguchi won in 1992 in women's singles skating, but she called the win a "dream experience." The 36-year-old said winning was the "icing on the cake" of learning a new skill.

Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas, who turns 22 Saturday and is marking his second season as a professional dancer on the show, were called the most consistent competitors in the show's history. The pair failed to be top scorers at the judges table only twice in the 10 week season.

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ABT Opens Spring Season

No matter the sense of occasion that a ballet gala affords — the gowns, the celebrity sightings, the air kisses — once the actual dancing gets under way, it’s best to consider the expression “one step forward, two steps back.” If you’re lucky, by the end the steps might more or less equal out, as they did on Monday night, when American Ballet Theater opened its spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House.

The excerpt-a-thon mixture of season highlights included sections from “The Merry Widow,” “Giselle” and “Le Corsaire,” along with three complete short ballets. The highlight was the revival of “Judgment of Paris,” a comic gem from 1938 (and out of Ballet Theater’s repertory since 1958) by Antony Tudor, in which the Greek legend is set in a dive, a bar so dilapidated that you practically smell its stale smoke. The misery extends to its staff: a wearied Waiter (Victor Barbee) and three creaky chorus girls.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ice dancers Dubreuil and Lauzon announce retirement from competitive skating

Canadian ice dancers Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon announced their retirement from competitive figure skating on Tuesday.

They are best remembered for their romantic routines that helped them win two silver medals at the world figure skating championships in 2006 and '07.

"While it is always a difficult decision for skaters to turn the page on their competitive careers, Patrice and I are proud that we can do so confidently and with no regrets," Dubreuil said in a release. "We have so much to look forward to together, both on the ice and off, and we are anxious to move on to all that the future has in store for us."

Dubreuil and Lauzon, who will marry in August in Montreal, are planning to join the professional skating circuit.

They competed together for 13 years, winning the Canadian national championship five times, but did not skate competitively this past season.

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SYTYCD Alumni to perform on Idol Finale

I know we are all counting down til Thursday nights' big premiere of So You Think You Can Dance.

In the meantime, make sure you tune in this Weds. night to see a few familiar faces.

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Breaking World Records- SYTYCD-Style

Fox decided to kick off season four of its hit summer show by setting a world record. Yesterday, in the courtyard of the Nokia Theatre, So You Think You Can Dance set the world record for the largest simultaneous dance mat routine. They even got a certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records for it! The event will be entered into the new Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition book.

Here's how it went down: About a hundred Dance Dance Revolution mats were set-up outside of the theatre, which is across from the famous Staples Center. In the front of the mats, a large screen was set-up and hooked up to an X-Box. SYTYCD also had a leader of dance to make sure everyone knew the moves. After 111 dancers played DDR for five minutes, Fox gave away a video game console, a copy of Dance Dance Revolution, and a 23" LCD flat-screen TV. (I know, I thought they only had 100 mats.

Keep Reading... more about the dance off as well as chats with a few of season 3's favorites!

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Will DWTS' Crown A Woman Tonight?

Last night, Kristi, Cristián, and Jason (literally) kicked things off with a group cha-cha, an excellent new development that I hope will be repeated in future seasons with different dances. I loved that each couple had to cha-cha to the same music, and that for the final segment, when Jason, Kristi, and Cristián performed the same steps side by side, no one was trying to jut out in front of the others. That sequence (at first I typed ''sequins''!) put it all in perspective: Jason was a bit slow, Kristi appeared to be on a smaller geographic scale than everyone else on the floor (I forget that she's that tiny), and Cristián moved with pronounced rhythm and an expression as eager as DANCMSTR's when contemplating the prospect of lounging at South Beach in a thong with Jason. Despite the (fake) rivalry among the finalists, they obviously really get along — otherwise, Yama-hoochie might've ended up on the floor with a ruptured everything after the Jason-Cristián figure-skating lift at the very end of the dance.

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Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas Freestyle Dance

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Monday, May 19, 2008

7th Annual USA and World Hip Hop Dance Championships

One of the most anticipated live events in urban street dance, the Hip Hop Internationals 7th Annual USA and World Hip Hop Dance Championships, are coming to Las Vegas for the first time from July 29-August 3 at the Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort and Planet Hollywood Theater. 1500 Dancers from 30 Nations compete for world supremacy at the live event that inspired the #1 MTV hip hop series Randy Jackson presents America's Best Dance Crew.

Fresh from their success as the producers/creators of Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew, now entering its 2nd season on MTV beginning June 7, event producers Howard and Karen Schwartz are taking their USA and World Hip Hop Dance Championships to Las Vegas, where the event has already had a significant impact in the entertainment community. Natasha Jean Bart, who is featured as Lady Madonna in Cirque Du Soleils Love, will return as Head Judge. Muhktar, who was cast in Love after winning the World Hip Hop Championship in 2005 representing the UK, will join her on the 8-person international panel. Also returning to the judging panel is prominent hip-hop choreographer Shane Sparks (Americas Best Dance Crew), one of three judges featured on the MTV series. The public is invited to join Shane and other legendary hip hop dance choreographers for Urban Moves 5, street dance workshops presented on Wednesday, July 30 and Sunday, August 3.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Kristi Yamaguchi Blog Update

Hey guys!

We’re in the finals! Thank you to everyone who’s been supporting and voting for us the past two months! I promise we won’t let you down next week!

I was so sad to see Marissa go. We’ve grown so close. We spent ten weeks together and getting to know each other, exchanging stories, girlfriend things and motherhood things with her upcoming new role as a mom. I think we were both so thankful to be here still and I’m definitely going to miss her. Watching the montage video of her and seeing everything week by week, what’s gone on, it just really hit home. I’m really glad we became such good friends here and I can’t wait for her to become a mom this summer! I’m so proud of her and it is the greatest thing in the world. She’s going to be a great mom! She’s so nurturing and loving.

I couldn’t believe we got another encore last night with our tango. It felt great going out there again. Mark said it felt smooth. It was one of our favorite ballroom dances and we felt honored to be able to do it again. I think the tension wasn’t the nervous tension like it was Monday night. It just flowed out there on the floor.

Being called safe first was awesome! I’ve been very spoiled and lucky so far to be declared safe early on, but this one doesn’t even compare to the others! I was just excited because it means we get to go to the finals and do the freestyle round, which I’m thrilled about.

We’ve got some new moves to work on for next week. In addition to the freestyle, we have the cha cha and then a repeat dance – which is going to be a surprise! I think some sore muscles are in the near future!

Keep Reading...

Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas- Tango

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SYTYCD Dance Off on Monday!

Giveaway- Tickets To The Finale of Step It Up & Dance!

Think fast! Are you in the LA area and would you love to see the final taping of Bravo's Step It Up & Dance happening TODAY? Be the first person to email us and two tickets will be yours! Please be aware that the taping is at the Variety Arts Center and attendees are requested to be available for 6 hours.

Good luck!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Shimmy Exclusive Interview

Ivan Koumaev

Shimmy: How has life changed for you after doing SYTYCD?

Ivan Koumaev After SYTYCD, my life flipped upside down. Immediately after tour was over I moved to LA with Travis Wall and started teaching all over the country. Thanks to the publicity of the show there was a great deal of interest in what I do and plenty of people wanted me to come to their studio. I enjoy teaching very much so I have been doing that ever since. Travis helped me start working at a convention called New York City Dance Alliance and that taught me lessons in working with children that prepared me for the past year that I worked with another convention called NUVO. As you can imagine fame can have crazy effects on people and I was no excuse, to be recognized anywhere is such a sensation and was very unexpected for me. I now live in New York and I am still teaching every where I get a chance to, I plan to take my work internationally soon.

Shimmy: What have you been doing these past few months?

Ivan Koumaev I am in New York City, the greatest city of all, and I am auditioning and working on branching out as far as my dance ability is concerned. I hope to get into acting, directing and choreographing sometime this year.

Shimmy: What is your dream role?
Ivan Koumaev At this point in my life I still would love to do backup work for artists on tours but on a greater scale I want to create my own work, have my own show, my own choreography the whole 9 yards.

Shimmy: Is there any different dance genre that you'd love to try?

Ivan Koumaev So far I have tapped into contemporary work and I hope that one day I can say that I can do it all, what I don't want to become is a jack of all trades and a master of none, so I still have focus on Hip-Hop because it remains my favorite

Shimmy: What inspires you to dance?

Ivan Koumaev Everything and anything around, inspiration for artists is all around them and that is what I like to consider myself, an artist. I spend everyday analyzing and admiring the world around me and draw inspiration from the craziest things, we are all crazy in some way, or at least that's what I think.

Shimmy: What dancers give you chills?

Ivan Koumaev As far as people that would be more familiar: Travis Wall, Danny Tidwell, Jaimie Goodwin, Allison Holker, and pretty much everyone I have had the pleasure of being around, they have all found a way to shock and amaze me. But those are all people that the general public is aware of. Within the dance world, there is so much talent that if I were to name dancers that have blown my mind the list would be longer than you could ever imagine.

Shimmy: Do you have any rituals before performing?

Ivan Koumaev I usually say a little prayer before going on stage and I have to pump myself up somehow, jumping jacks, push-ups etc. For the most part I just can't wait to get out and perform so I guess the ritual is the anticipation.

Shimmy: If you had to trade places with one person for 24 hours who would it be?

Ivan Koumaev This is a tough question because I'm not sure if your referring to dead or alive. Dead - Jesus (by human standards he is dead), I would love to know what all that history is, just to walk this planet knowing what he knew at the time. Alive - Michael Jackson, I would take those 24 hours and change myself into what I/he used to look like and try to get his fame back because he is my favorite.

Shimmy: 3 things you cannot live without.

Ivan Koumaev MUSIC!!!! Vision, and and as cheesy as it sounds, love.

Shimmy: What is on your ipod?

Ivan Koumaev Hours and hours and hours of every possible and random thing I could find and afford on itunes, I keep my options open and try to listen to everything. More recently, I have been studying house music and old rock legends.

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

Ivan Koumaev Figuring out why I'm not dancing and fixing it. Dance is such a passion for me, if I had a choice I would die doing a step-ball- change.

Shimmy: Where will we see you next?

Ivan Koumaev Look behind you! Seriously, I'm not sure hopefully soon, I'm working on it.

Shimmy: What would you like to tell your fans?

Ivan Koumaev To all my fans, you guys changed my life, the simple fact of knowing that there are people who looked up to me, wanted to meet me, or anything near that is mind-blowing and if I could I personally thank each one of you.

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Step It Up & Dance- Latin Style

Preview tomorrow's episode:

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2nd Annual CHOREOGRAPHY MEDIA HONORS In Association with Dance Camera West Honors the art and craft of choreography for the camera on JUNE 13, 2008

CHOREOGRAPHY MEDIA HONORS returns for a second year while adding a special panel discussion at the DGA.

-- The 2nd Annual Choreography Media Honors (CMH) proudly returns to the Director’s Guild of America to celebrate and honor outstanding achievements in choreography for the camera. Presented in conjunction with the 7th Annual 2008 Dance Camera West Media Film Festival, a highly lauded Los Angeles month long festival devoted to the merging of choreography and cinema, the CMH will present the honored work at their gala screening event at the prestigious Director’s Guild of America (DGA) in Hollywood on Friday, June 13, 2008.

CMH is a special event that pays tribute to the art and craft of dance in film, television, commercials, and video. The special screening will be preceded by a VIP party with special guests from the casts of “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing with the Stars.” The screening will immediately be followed by a reception for all in attendance. In addition to the festivities, a special panel discussion regarding the art of collaboration between directors and choreographers will be presented on Saturday, June 14, 2008 (exact time and location TBA).

Last year’s CMH event hosted by Paula Abdul, Kenny Ortega, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Adam Shankman was a resounding success attended by the entertainment industry’s premier dancers, choreographers, producers, and directors. This year’s CMH hosts will major celebrities from the world of dance, with plans to be equally, if not more exciting.

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Dancing With The Stars Week 9 Results

Since the bottom two couples weren't revealed last week, it was difficult to predict who would make it to the final round. I never would have imagined that Mario and Shannon would be absent from the final four. Nevertheless, it was time to send one last couple home.

We had to wait until the last minutes of the results show learn the celebrities' fates, but we had plenty of entertainment to hold us over. The Junior Champions finalists took over the dance floor, and Omarion performed in a high-energy tribute to the Thriller album.

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Ballet to Blush

Ballet insiders often complain that their art form is misunderstood as prissy and old-fashioned when, really, it is all about sexy, young things and sensual feats. Three of the works Configuration Dance presented at the Ailey Citigroup Theater on Monday night seemed intended to underline this fact. All were choreographed by Michael Shannon, who cultivates the naughty side of his female dancers. Feminist critics have long rolled their eyes at the tutu-clad, pedestal-enshrined ballerina. But there’s more than one way to objectify a woman in toe shoes, as Mr. Shannon’s “What’s the Pointe?” handily proved.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dancing With The Stars: The Final Four

Monday night, "Dancing with the Stars" launched its semi-final night of competition with some strict rules: No lifts were allowed and the dancers chose their dances randomly, by drawing them out of a giant disco ball. The dances were dances that they had done before, but with new music and new choreography -- so there was a lot of work involved.

"We are expecting you to up your game," declared head judge LEN GOODMAN. "Good dancing is not enough. Tonight, we want to see great dancing."

JASON TAYLOR and EDYTA SLIWINSKA were up first with the foxtrot. Len praised the performance, saying, "I have got to say this to you, you are one of the Dolphins and, like a dolphin glides through the sea, that is how you glided around this ballroom. I loved every part of it. The whole thing was great."

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Movin' with the Uptown Girl

As a young girl growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa, in the 1980s, Amanda Kay didn’t listen to a lot of Billy Joel.

That all changed last April when Kay won the part of Brenda in the national touring production of “Movin’ Out,” a smash Broadway hit from 2002 featuring Joel’s music and the choreography of Twyla Tharp. The show comes to Proctors in Schenectady for eight performances Tuesday through Sunday.

“He’s a little bit before my time, but I can remember walking to school listening to ‘Uptown Girl,’ and thinking it was a great song,” said Kay. “When I started rehearsals, I was re-remembering all his songs. He wrote some great music, and Twyla Tharp is a genius. This has been an amazing experience for me.”

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Jabbawockeez Win an Award and Perform at The Mirage

There really is no stopping them now. After emerging successful in the championships of America's Best Dance Crew, the masked men are soaring into stardom with the numerous projects they are currently handling. Recently, the Jabbawockeez picked up the Breakout Performance Award at the East West Players 42nd Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner held at Universal City Hilton on April 28.

According to East West Players Organization's official website, the dinner is an “award-winning event that salutes artists who have raised the visibility of the Asian Pacific American community through theater, film and television.” Moreover, the proceeds of the event were raised for the East West Players educational and artistic programs.

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"Chours Line" Still Delivers a Kick

A Chorus Line may not be quite the "singular sensation" it was when it first opened on Broadway 33 years ago, but it remains a musical that makes you want to high-kick your way through the lobby when it's over.

Its laurels are legion, including a Pulitzer Prize, nine Tony Awards and the record for the longest-running American musical on Broadway.

In this mega-musical era of falling chandeliers and helicopters, it's easy to forget just how revolutionary A Chorus Line was for its time. Choreographer Michael Bennett culled material from hours of rehearsals with dancers to produce a show that celebrates the legacy of dance in the theater and the creative angst of being a performer.

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Dan Karaty say it's all about connections

"It's all about connections," Dan Karaty says on the first day of So You Think You Can Dance Canada's Halifax tour. "It really is. You make relationships on different jobs and they can turn into so much more."

From the original connections of his Broadway dancing parents, Karaty has an extensive career supporting him at the judging table at both the US and now Canadian SYTYCD.

"I was around dance all the time growing up," Karaty says, citing his formative training in ballet and jazz. His parents had a dance studio in New Jersey, but he didn't discover hip hop until in his late teens.

He cites his connection with Wade Robson, the well-known choreographer from the American SYTYCD, as helping him launch his career, asking Karaty if he would dance for him in Britney Spears's show.

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Step it Up and Dance Preview

Tonight the dancers are asked to use a set of different props to portray a story. Miguel and Michael are put on the same team again but will their differences hinder the success of their performance?

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Perfect Pairing: The Music of Billy Joel and the Choreography of Twyla Tharp

In 2002, “Movin’ Out” — a jukebox musical featuring the pop and classical compositions of Billy Joel and choreography by the legendary Twyla Tharp — opened on Broadway and won two Tonys.

By the end of 2003, Kelly was subbing for injured dancers on Broadway, and he served as dance captain and swing for a national tour from 2004 to 2007.

For this, Kelly’s second national tour with the show, he’s dance supervisor — meaning no more subbing in for people at the last minute as a swing. But it’s the combination of Tharp’s movement and Joel’s music that keeps him invigorated.

“I love the idea of incorporating pop-style music into dance, and to dive into it, and see exactly what animal it is as analytically as Twyla, is a perfect fit for me,” says Kelly, a California native who’s been dancing since age 13.

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Everyone loves the Jabbawockeez

Since winning the inaugural MTV show "Randy Jackson Presents: America's Best Dance Crew" a month ago, the JabbaWockeez members' lives (like their dance moves) have flipped upside down.

"It's really been a blessing," said Chris Gatdula. "Everything that's been going on right now has been crazy."
Ben "B-Tek" Chung said that it's been the busiest few weeks of his life.

"We've been traveling back and forth from the East Coast to the West Coast and hanging out with different celebrities at parties. The most amazing part of that is, those celebrities actually come up to us and say that they are big fans."

Apparently, that's what $100,000 brings you: a lot of fans and attention. Everyone wanted to know what they did with the winning purse.

Ben said the group divvied up the winnings to those who participated in the MTV competition and gave the rest to the other members of the group. The JabbaWockeeZ have 10-members. Only six participated for the MTV competition.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Dancing With The Stars Week 8 Results

It was the 100th episode of "Dancing with the Stars"—but the last for Mario.
The 21-year-old R&B singer and his professional partner, Karina Smirnoff, were eliminated during Tuesday's results show, which also served as a special celebration of the ABC dancing competition's 100th episode.

Mario and Smirnoff performed a Viennese waltz and a jive during Monday's performance show, earning 53 out of 60 points. The judges crowned Mario "a new prince" following his ballroom dance but called his feet "bloody ugly" after his Latin dance. Mario came in third place following the judges' scores Monday.

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Ballet Review: Romeo and Juliet

BalletMet closed out its season with a slightly lackluster, but inspired performance of Shakespeare’s classic “Romeo and Juliet” on Sunday at Columbus’ Ohio Theatre.

Don’t be mistaken: The dancers were brilliant, highlighting BalletMet’s extraordinary abilities with choreography. Dmitri Suslov especially, who in his last showing with BalletMet before retirement performed Romeo with an intense sexuality — at times carrying the weight of the entire cast on his shoulders.

Equally compelling was the footwork of Suslov’s partner in dance and in life, his wife, Carrie West. She elegantly embodied both Juliet’s girlish innocence and naïveté (let’s not forget she is only 14 in Shakespeare’s original version), while commanding the stage.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Dancing With The Stars: Week 8

What a fantastic Dancing With The Stars last night! Each of the remaining five couples had to perform one ballroom dance and one Latin dance. All of their outfits were fantastic and, for the most part, their dances were as well. They should be considering the semi-finals are only one week away!

Kristi & Mark opened the show with a light and lovely quickstep that received rave reviews from the judges and a score of 29 out of 30. Their second dance, a samba, was not as fantastic however. Yes, it was still good. Yes, Kristi has come a long way when it comes to loosening up. But the judges found it awkward and out of control

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Monday, May 5, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance 4: Get Ready for the Premiere

So You think You Can Dance 4: Get Ready for the Premiere!!
by Lynn on May 4th, 2008

[Image: ©2008 Fox Broadcasting Co.]
I love to watch dance on TV almost as much as I love to dance. There’s just nothing more wonderful and joyful than moving to music. And even if one can’t do the dancing, watching it is nearly as much fun. And of all the reality dance shows on TV, mypersonal favorite has always been and still is So You Think You Can Dance.

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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Breathing Light into the Ballet

IT was another evening at the ballet three weeks ago when the Kirov presented an evening of works by William Forsythe. As the audience members settled into their seats and looked at their programs before the first piece, a dancer appeared on the stage. His presence and his cryptic, telegraphic gestures seemed to indicate the start of Mr. Forsythe’s “Steptext,” but as the house lights remained on, the audience only gradually quieted its chatter, a little unsure about exactly what was happening.

This ambiguous moment at the beginning of “Steptext” is Mr. Forsythe’s sleight-of-hand demonstration of how unquestioningly we accept the laws of theatrical lighting and illusion. The auditorium dims; we are in the dark. They — whoever they are, the purveyors of magic and art — are in the light.

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Legally Blonde MTV Reality Show to Debut June 2

The MTV reality series "Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods" will make its television premiere June 2.

The new reality series marks the second partnership between the Broadway tuner and the MTV network. The MTV broadcast of Legally Blonde in its entirety – replete with a television celebrity-studded pink carpet – drew in 12.5 million viewers for its weekend airings.

Following the success of the broadcast, MTV approached Legally Blonde's producers to create a show that would search for Tony nominee Laura Bell Bundy's replacement in the role of Elle Woods.

Hosted and co-executive produced by Haylie Duff (Hairspray, "7th Heaven"), the first of the program's eight episodes is slated to premiere June 2 at 10 PM. Ten contestants have been selected from a nationwide casting call that began Jan. 24 in Los Angeles.

"Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods" promises an in-depth look at the rigors of show business and will put contestants through an actual Broadway audition process.

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Intervew with Dave Scott Choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance and Step it Up

Q. Are you a reality TV fan?

A. Dave Scott: I think it is a good and bad thing. I think it is entertaining and good work for dancers. People just need to get into it for the right reasons. Reality TV isn’t going anywhere. Also I am a big fan of The Biggest Loser, it is a real tear jerker.

Q. So tell me how it is to be a judge on So You Think You Can Dance? Do you have any recommendations for people on the show?

A. Dave Scott: I was a judge last season and this season and it has been a lot of fun. I always recommend to people to not try to go with the trends, be an individual and most importantly appreciate yourself. Never stop. There are always going to be obstacles in your way but if you have the passion don’t ever stop.

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Friday, May 2, 2008

America's Best Dance Crew Hold's Season 2 Auditions in LA

We have "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dancing With the Stars," but do either of them really address the kids that are out there actually dancing? A show that does, and has been flying a bit under the radar is MTV's "Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew."

Visiting the L.A. auditions for the show, a competition that has become one of the most popular audience-vote shows on TV (more than 38 million votes for the finale), you don't get the sense that there's much ... competing.

Rival crews hug, competitors teach each other dance steps, and all try to entertain with styles as varied as dance itself. Hip-hop, modern, jazz all fuse together as dancers adapt to music and make the music adapt to them.

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David Copperfield Brings Illusions to Philadelphia



Imagine if you could win the lottery, travel to your perfect place in the blink of an eye, own your dream car, turn back the hands of time or reunite with a lost loved one. It all becomes a reality, every night when David Copperfield appears in Philadelphia at the Academy of Music on May 16 & 17.

Part of the Cadillac Broadway Series, tickets ranging in price from $26.75 to $68.75 are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-731-3333, online at, at the Kimmel Center box office, Broad & Spruce Sts (open daily 10 am to 6 pm) or at the Academy of Music box office, Broad & Locust Sts (during performances only). Groups of 15 or more should call 215-790-5883 or 866-276-2947. Performances include: Friday, May 16 at 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm; Saturday, May 17 at 2:30 pm. 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm.
True to its title, “Grand Illusion” is the logical, and incredible evolution of this conjurer’s art. Copperfield’s goal in “Grand Illusion” is to take one’s dreams (and maybe a few nightmares) and make them become reality using his state of the art wizardry.
“For magic to be relevant,” explains Copperfield, “it has to evolve so it keeps up with, or even surpasses, the best film and theater. I want to base my work on what people really dream about. Most of us don’t dream of pulling a rabbit out of a hat. But what affects people is realizing personal dreams, dreams almost everyone shares, that they thought were impossible. In the cinema the audience watches the characters’ dreams come true.”
Copperfield adds, “In ‘Grand Illusion,’ the audiences get to watch their dreams come true, live, before their very eyes and in three dimensions. It’s an interactive experience of wish fulfillment. Nothing like it has been done before. ‘Grand Illusion’ deals with real people who dream of being reunited with a loved one they thought they’d never see again and making it happen, instantly, in front of three or four thousand people who witness the event and see that it’s real.”
Expounding further, Copperfield says, “Grand Illusion” was partly inspired by an unfulfilled wish of my grandfather’s that a lot of people share: winning the lottery and finally owning that one special thing you always dreamed of. We call it an ‘intimate’ evening of grand illusion partly because it’s interactive. In one of the pieces, for example, the audience discovers how to predict lottery numbers that will come up that night. They get to participate in illusions that blur the line between magic and reality.”
Show highlights include:
In an “unplugged” moment of pure sleight-of-hand Copperfield performs “close-up” magic with a lethal black African scorpion. One of the most original, startling—and dangerous—effects ever, this unforgettable display of sleight-of-hand presents Copperfield with a true challenge to his will and dexterity, in a test not to be tried at home.
Here a member of the audience takes the trip of his or her life. In “Reunion,” a person who has longed for reconciliation with a loved one realizes their dream, through one of the most startling, affecting illusions ever devised. While standing on a crane arm with Copperfield, suspended over the heads of the audience, the person vanishes impossibly, only to reappear moments later in the freely selected location of their dreams. From Hackensack to Honolulu, the person’s “dream” location is where they magically arrive. “Reunion” is an illusion so challenging, that Copperfield employs proof that would make F Lee Bailey envious.
Copperfield takes liposuction to a whole new level as the six foot one “King of Magic” gets squeezed into a bite-sized piece that could fit into a Prada shoebox.
Inspired by David’s grandfather’s unfilled dream, “The Lottery” is an astonishing epic of brain-busters. Copperfield involves the entire audience, and shares his secret technique for predicting the winning numbers of “The Lottery.”
David walked through the Great Wall of China. This time, he’ll do it a little slower. Instead of walking, he floats through solid steel, proving that dreams can dissolve barriers.
One of Copperfield’s most heavily-requested creations, thirteen audience members chosen entirely at random vanish, leaving friends and family wondering whether to applaud or put their loved ones’ faces on milk cartons. Their fears are allayed as the thirteen reappear, instantly, in the most surprising of places.
“David Copperfield: An Intimate Evening Of Grand Illusion” is an affecting, life-changing event that reaches into the audiences’ minds and hearts and takes them on a feast of wish fulfillment. Displaying his off-the-cuff brand of humor, Copperfield breaks new ground in “Grand Illusion” and takes his art to a grand yet intimate, personal yet universal dimension for an evening of wonders that will never be forgotten.
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 David Copperfield, the 2007-2008 season includes: Gypsy (May 9-11); 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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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Two dances of modern love - hip and balletic

TWO modern love stories about complicated romance, unrequited love and the battle of the sexes will be danced this week: one as a modern dance from Germany, the other a classic ballet from Russia.

The modern dance "And I Love You So ..." by Braunschweig State Dance Theater is about the complicated relations between couples. It will be staged at the Lyceum Theater on May 7.

The ballet "Red Giselle," considered the masterpiece of the Eifman Ballet of St Petersburg, presents the conflicts in a successful dancer's love life. It will be performed today at the Shanghai Grand Theater.

"And I Love You So ..." choreographed by Eva-Maria Lerchenberg-Thony, art director of 300-year-old Braunschweig State Dancer Theater, is a choreographic merry-go-round about love. The battle of the sexes is demonstrated by aggressive movements, while self-assertion is expressed in classical, or risky forms of dance. Even wacky elements of break dance remind us that sometimes love can make us laugh.

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