Saturday, June 28, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance: Eliminations

The group number started out to the music of “The Dance” by Charlotte Martin and choreographed by Mia Michaels. The group, dressed all in black and white, was tremendous and any of this group could probably be dancing on The Great White Way tomorrow. Cat Deeley gave a quick intro to the judges and immediately got to the results by calling the first three couples out to center stage.

The three couples were Chelsea and Thayne, Katee and Joshua and Chelsea and Mark. Cat started with Chelsea Traille and Thayne and we quickly saw how they did last night with the Quick Step. The judges were not pleased and America agreed as they were quickly sent to ready themselves for their solos. Cat next turned her attention to Katee and Joshua, showed us their “Stuff,” as excellent as it was, and we knew they were safe…and they were. Finally, we saw the cool routine from Chelsea and Mark and America loved them as well.

The next three couples strutted to center stage and Cat got right into the good news and maybe the bad. Kherington and Twitch were first in the hot seat and we saw how they did with their Hip-Hop routine…and Mary screaming in approval. They were safe according to the vote and sent to the safe zone. Next we saw Courtney and Gev do a beautiful Rumba routine and America seemed to agree with the judges as Cat announced they were safe. Comfort and Chris, who were savaged by the judges for a loud and disjointed routine last evening, were the second couple sent to the solo zone to get ready to dance for their lives.

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America's Best Dance Crew 2

How Sass x7 failed to get the boot from "America's Best Dance Crew 2" and hang in through the first two episodes can only be explained as some kind of New Jersey juju.

They hung on despite audience outrage after their victory over Shhh! on the live casting special. Then the cheerleaders escaped last week's distorted bottom two battle between Distorted X and Fanny Pak. Last night the axe finally fell and the spirit team's spell was broken. New Jersey's finest didn't go into this week's competition thinking this was the end, though.

Here's a breakdown:

Super Cr3w: The video: Chris Brown - "Run It." The challenge: Krumping. The Result: A standing ovation. They can do no wrong (right now). The b-boys took on a tough one, but they 'ran it,' surprising judge Shane Sparks who thought it'd be tougher for them because they're breakers. Pfft.

Fanny Pak: The video: Gwen Stefani - "Wind It Up." The challenge: Tricks (windmill). The results: Cuteness. Doing knee floats in knee pads, the crew struggled with some of the trick elements, but standout member Glenda's athleticism with a backflip and 'assisted' head spin helped pull them out.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

SYTYCD Top 16 - Dance Styles & Choreographers


Here are the dance styles and choreographers for the So You Think You Can Dance Top 16:

Kherington & Twitch: Hip Hop (Napoleon & Tabitha)

Courtney & Gev: Rumba (Tony Meredith)

Comfort & Chris: Jazz (Tyce Diorio)

Jessica & Will: Disco (Doriana Sanchez)

Chelsea & Thayne: Quickstep (Heather Smith)

Kourtni & Matt: Contemporary (Sonya Tayeh)

Chelsie & Mark: Hip Hop (Napoleon & Tabitha)

Katee & Joshua: Samba (Tony Meredith)

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Monday, June 23, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance Top 18

Opening Performance
"Elevator" by Flo Rida featuring Timbaland (choreographer: Shane Sparks)

What a great hip-hop performance! And I'm so glad that Shane Sparks is lending his expertise to the show again. I was worried he'd be totally wrapped up in America's Best Dance Crew this summer. The girls part on the floor was great but a few of them messed up the arm movements. The best part of the piece was Comfort with the three guys. It was near perfect. My eyes never left Comfort. I wasn't impressed with her krumping on Wednesday but this opener proved to me why she's there.
Also, what did you think of the girls' costumes? I liked the guys' costumes. The suits were a little predictable but a nice blend of colors. But the with the girls, I was undecided. I'm not sure about those corsets. I wonder if they were restricting, which can be especially limiting considering the amount of chest isolations hip-hop dance usually requires.

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Twyla Tharp at American Ballet Theatre

For the past two decades or so, Twyla Tharp has tended, in her new dances, to recycle features of her earlier successes, but in “Rabbit and Rogue,” which just had its première at American Ballet Theatre, she seems to repeat every single thing that has worked for her before. It’s as if she had made a list and then checked off each strategy as she reused it. Tharp’s last two projects have been failures. Her Bob Dylan musical, “The Times They Are A-Changin’ ” (2006), closed after just a few weeks on Broadway. Then, earlier this year, she made a piece for Miami City Ballet—“Nightspot,” about Miami club life—that, while it was warmly applauded by the Florida audience I saw it with (it had an Elvis Costello score and lots of red costumes), was actually a desperate-looking mess: a fact that she was probably aware of. In both pieces, Tharp explored a territory relatively new to her—dream, hallucination. It is therefore no surprise that, having had so little luck there, she chose, in her next ballet, to do nothing new to her.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

America's Best Dance Crew 2 Premieres Tonight on MTV

Meet the 10 new crews (one crew is eliminated in Thursday night's premiere episode):

A.S.I.I.D. (Detroit, MI) - They grew up in tough neighborhoods and lean on each other for support. Their inspiration comes from crew member Joey who is deaf.

Boogie Bots (Washington, DC) - They think of themselves as robots that have come to life. Each performance is dedicated to crew member Joesar's father, who has been in a coma for the past six months.

Distorted X (Houston, TX) - All are studio dancers who have dubbed themselves "Houston Socialites -- without the money."

Fanny Pak (Los Angeles, CA) - This zany bunch is looking to bring back the bold and wacky energy of the 80s with a unique dance style and fashion sense.

Presh Select (Philadelphia, PA) - This crew wants other teens out there to know that there is more to streets than hate and that hip hop dance can be a positive force.

Sass x7 (Piscataway, NJ) - The only all-girl crew, these dancers once competed on the Rutgers Dance Team.

SoReal Cru (Houston, TX) - Students at the University of Houston, this crew looks to their family for encouragement and support - especially when they are forced to practice in a restaurant parking lot.

Super Cr3w (Las Vegas, NV) - After failing to make the show last season, three crews mergered together to show the world how b-boys do it.

Supreme Soul (San Francisco, CA) - Full of confidence, this crew has traveled the world competing in hip hop competitions yet they always feel like the underdog.

Xtreme Dance Force (Naperville, IL) - Disciplined studio dancers, this all-guy crew feels that they are pre-judged for their "pretty boy" looks and are looking to show what fierce dancers they really are.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cry-Baby to Close on Broadway June 22

Cry-Baby, the second Broadway musical based on a John Waters film, will play its final performance at the Marquis Theatre June 22. When it closes the musical will have played 45 previews and 68 regular performances.

Directed by Mark Brokaw, Cry-Baby arrived on Broadway following an out-of-town engagement at the La Jolla Playhouse this past fall. A 2008 Tony nominee for Best Musical, Cry-Baby began Broadway previews March 15 and officially opened April 24.

A national tour is expected to begin in fall 2009.

The new musical that boasted Broadway's first rockabilly score, earned four 2008 Tony nominations: Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical for Thomas Meehan and Mark O'Donnell, Best Original Score for David Javerbaum and Adam Schlesinger, and Best Choreography for Rob Ashford.

Alli Mauzey, who portrays Cry-Baby's deranged stalker Lenora, earned a Theatre World Award for her performance. Mauzey's rendition of "Screw Loose" won the actress favorable mentions in numerous reviews. Ashford also picked up a Drama Desk Award for his athletic choreography that punctuates Cry-Baby's dueling worlds of the Drapes and the Squares

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American Idol vs. So You Think You Can Dance Judges

Simon Cowell vs. Nigel Lythgoe

Similarities: Snarky Simon is known as tough but fair, and contestants respect him because of his experience in the music industry. Likewise, Nasty Nigel has tremendous experience in dance, having studied jazz, tap and European folk at a young age. They never try to sugarcoat their comments, but aren't afraid to give props to contestants who deserve them.

Differences: Sometimes Cowell appears to delight in squashing the dreams of pop hopefuls. Lythgoe, on the other hand, adds encouragement or helpful advice on the back end of every negative comment. The high volume of returning auditioners indicates that Lythgoe and Co. actually want contestants to improve and try out again.

Paula Abdul vs. Mary Murphy

Similarities: The loopy brunettes both devote a lot of their critiques to the contestants' appearance.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

SYTYCD's Gev Manoukian Has Strong Skating Ties

The competition for season four of the hit FOX show So You Think You Can Dance is and among the top 18 is a young hip-hop/break dancer with a very tight bond to the skating world. During the audition shows Gev Manoukian, 21, from Centerville, Utah, was shown doing a bit of break dancing on ice. But skating is more than a casual hobby.

To many skating fans, his last name is quite familiar. Gev is the son of acrobatic show skater Akop Manoukian, who has performed all over the world, first with Ari Zakarian and for the past few years with Armen Saakian. Manoukian and Saakian appeared in the movie Blades of Glory. He showed a tape of Gev's on ice moves to Blades choreographer Sarah Kawahara, who said he wasn't right for the movie but she'd keep him in mind for future projects.

"Sometimes we go to the rink and I teach him a little bit. Everybody stands around watching and clapping," said Manoukian. "I'm a better skater, but he does cooler tricks."

Gev Manoukian grew up in Kazakhstan with his mother (Manoukian's ex-wife), but visited his father in the U.S. every summer. After graduating high school at 16, he moved permanently to the U.S., where he attended 11th and 12th grades in Utah, and graduated from high school again. He enrolled in the University of Utah and decided to stay there with his aunt and grandparents when Manoukian moved to Jackson, Wyoming.

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Ari and Akop- on ice

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Cyd Charisse dies in L.A. at 86

Cyd Charisse, the long-legged Texas beauty who danced with the Ballet Russe as a teenager and starred in MGM musicals with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, died Tuesday. She was 86.

Charisse was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Monday after suffering an apparent heart attack, said her publicist, Gene Schwam.

She appeared in dramatic films, but her fame came from the Technicolor musicals of the 1940s and 1950s.

Classically trained, she could dance anything, from a pas de deux in 1946's "Ziegfeld Follies" to the lowdown Mickey Spillane satire of 1956's "The Band Wagon" (with Astaire).

She also forged a popular song-and-dance partnership on television and in nightclub appearances with her husband, singer Tony Martin.

Her height was 5 feet, 6 inches, but in high heels and full-length stockings, she seemed serenely tall, and she moved with extraordinary grace. Her flawless beauty and jet-black hair contributed to an aura of perfection that Astaire described in his 1959 memoir, "Steps in Time," as "beautiful dynamite."

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Cyd Charise Tribute

Source: johnxxx20000

Fred Astaire & Cyd Charise

Source: saltybroad

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American Mall Trailer

The MTV film features SYTYCD alum Neil Haskell.

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The Best of The 2008 Tony Awards

Every year I look forward to the Tony Awards, and every year I'm just a bit disappointed. Sure, there were some deserving winners (In the Heights, August Osage County, South Pacific, Patti Lupone, Laura Benanti, Paulo Szot, Deanna Dunagan and Rondi Reed), but there were also some ho-hum performances, a no-show from Stephen Sondheim and a disappointing Rent reunion.

Well, you win some, you lose some.

Here's my take on the Best and Worst of the 2008 Tony Awards:

The Best
1. In the Heights performs "$96,000" and wins best musical
Easily the most spirited and well-produced number of the evening, In the Heights likely sold a lot of tickets with this performance, not to mention Lyn Manuel Miranda's charming acceptance speech for Best Score. Oh yeah -- that top musical prize won't hurt the Box Office either.

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The Heights' Tony Award Performance

Source: CarlitoPucl

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SYTYCD Spolier- Styles and Choreographers for the Top 18

Read at your own discretion.



Thayne & Chelsea T. -- Jazz (Mandy Moore)

William & Jessica -- Hip Hop (Cicily & Olisa)

Mark & Chelsie -- Argentine Tango (Alex de Silva)

Matt & Kourtni -- Fox Trot (Jean Marc Generaux)

Gev & Courtney -- Contemporary (Mandy Moore)

Joshua & Katee -- Broadway (Tyce Diorio)

Marquis & Susie -- Salsa (Alex de Silva)

Twitch & Kherington -- Viennese Waltz (Jean Marc Generaux)

Chris & Comfort -- Crump (Lil C)

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Compulsory Dance and Original Dance May Merge

The 2008 International Skating Union Congress will consider a proposal that concerns the format of ice dancing events. In the proposal, the compulsory dance and original dance portions of ice dance events will be replaced by a "combination" dance. The combination dance will be up to 2 minutes 50 seconds long, with a specified rhythm. The first part of the combination ice dance will consist of a set pattern dance for about one minute and then choreography of the skaters' choice for the rest of the time. Three required moves will be done during the creative part of the dance.
If this proposal passes, it looks like compulsory ice dancing may eventually fade away. This new idea may be a good one, but I will miss seeing ice dancers do traditional compulsory ice dances.

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ABT Principal Dancer to Leave

Gather your Giselles while you may: American Ballet Theater announced Monday that Nina Ananiashvili would retire from the company after its 2009 summer season at the Metropolitan Opera House. Ms. Ananiashvili, right, who has been a principal dancer with the company since 1993, has appeared in “Swan Lake” and “Don Quixote” during its current season and is scheduled to dance in “Giselle” on July 7. Ms. Ananiashvili, who was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, was appointed artistic director of the State Ballet of Georgia in 2004, and in recent years she has led it on international tours, including a visit to the Brooklyn Academy of Music this spring. Her husband, Gregory Vashadze, said in an e-mail message to a Ballet Theater publicist that it had become more difficult for Ms. Ananiashvili to travel overseas with their young daughter for the several months required for her to appear with the American company. The theater’s statement said that she planned to continue performing with the State Ballet of Georgia and to make guest appearances with other companies.



Choreographer Donald McKayle

"I have been doing this since the 1940s, and I have been out of work one week in my whole life," says Donald McKayle, the African-American choreographer named by the Dance Heritage Coalition as one of the first 100 of America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures. "And that one week that I was out of work, I couldn't even collect unemployment, because in California you need to wait 10 days before it becomes activated." McKayle has choreographed more than 90 works for the concert stage, numerous Broadway musicals -- including Golden Boy, Sophisticated Ladies, and Raisin, which he also directed -- the Hollywood films The Great White Hope, The Jazz Singer, and Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and the television special Free To Be...You and Me.

"Work in as many areas as you can," says McKayle, when asked what advice he would give to someone looking to establish a successful career as a professional dancer today. "The more colors you have on your palette, the more you have to work with and the more you can aspire to." In addition to his work as a choreographer and director, for the past 20 years McKayle has been a professor of dance and choreography at the University of California, Irvine. In 1995 he set up a student performance company there called the UCI Etude Ensemble. "It was in response to -- well, let me explain," says McKayle. "I'm on the board of trustees of the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts, which gives awards to young artists, 17- and 18-year-olds. And I observed that the dance recipients didn't always have very good material to show, particularly in the modern-dance field. The ballet people, of course, had variations from the great classical ballets to perform. So I decided to choreograph something that the modern dancers could study -- like ballet dancers study classical variations -- and that they could perform at the auditions. I called the piece 'Rainbow Etude,' because it was based on 'Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder.' Then [former Paul Taylor principal dancer] Carolyn Adams and her sister -- they operate an organization called the American Dance Legacy Institute, out of Brown University -- they decided to publish my 'Rainbow Etude' in a video/DVD format to be circulated to students and teachers all around the country. I originally set the work on six students from UCI. Well, that group of six performers grew to 18, and that's basically how the student company was formed."

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Buddy TV Talks with SYTYCD's Jamie Bayard

Hey this is Gina from BuddyTV and today I’m talking to Jamie from So You Think You Can Dance. Hey Jamie, how are you?

Doing good, how are you?

I’m okay, thanks. Well I was so sorry to see you go out first last night.

I know, thank you.

What the heck happened? Do you think that it was an issue where they were just trying to eliminate a couple? Rayven went first and so you went too?

Basically, my thoughts are that someone had to go. That’s the reality of the competition. As far as eliminating a couple in general, I don’t know what the judges were thinking on that, whether it was intentional or not. Their choice is their choice and that’s all you can really go with. I’m not upset about it, I guess.

Did the judges say anything to you after the episode, especially Mary?

They just congratulated me. One of the things that they said was this is a top 20 spot and no one can ever take that away from us, and it’s not that we are bad dancers or anything it’s just that someone had to go.

When you got a hip hop routine with a ballet dancer for a partner, were you a little bit nervous?

Absolutely, yes, because ballet and hip hop are opposite ends of the spectrum. But when we got to work on it, it turns out that Rayven was like the hardest worker there. I was so happy that I got her because we worked really, really hard into the night with it, and she didn’t stop and I didn’t stop. We had the same kind of pushing personality that way. So we went out there and we did our best and she did her best, and I’m really proud of her.

Did you go into last night’s episode worried at all that you two would land in the bottom?

Absolutely, yeah, I totally was worried that I would land in the bottom. I think everyone’s a little fearful of landing in the bottom. No one really felt too safe and it’s always a shocker, you never know what America’s going to do.

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Rayven Armijo Talks with Reality TV Magazine

When asked how she felt when she found out she was going to be the first female dancer going home, Rayven Armijo said, “I was definitely, first, I was proud of myself and everything. I thank myself for actually pushing forward to keep moving and doing this, but after that thought went through, you’re disappointed because I wanted to work with all the choreographers. I wanted to keep the experience going. I wanted to show America my potential, and I know they would have fallen in love with me.”

When asked if she was nervous performing in front of an audience, Rayven said, “No, I felt completely at home. It was amazing that I felt so comfortable. I was just completely excited. I didn’t mix the feeling of excitement with the feeling of fear, you know? I was completely happy, and I know that I practice and I know that I did well, and so the audience was really feeding off of me. I mean, they made me feel good, screaming out my name the whole time and yelling for me. I felt the connection with their eyes, so I knew that I had it, so that’s no problem for me.”

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So You Think You Can Dance: Top 18

Top 20 Group Number - Wade Robson, Choreographer ("Cobrastyle," Robyn)
The show opened with an incredibly fun number. I loved how Robson incorporated elements from the show itself, and specifically judge and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe into the choreography, even if he was only trussed up on a rolling chair throughout. As for the dancing, it was tight and fierce. I honestly expected a twenty dancer routine to be a bit of a nightmare, but if there were any weak points, the whole thing was just too much fun to even notice it. That said, it seemed more designed for the television, as there was also some tricky camera work as an integral part of the storytelling, than for a live theater, but what the hell. This is a television program, after all.

Guest Performances
Popping Pete and something incomprehensible that might be 'Shonee' followed by Cat biting her tongue came out and did a popping routine to "I Can Make You Dance" by Zapp. I thought there were some really dry spots during it, and would have liked the choreography to incorporate the pair together better. But I'll give them props for being part of the group that originated the style. And as they were the innovators, as with many things, others have come along and done more dynamic things with their creation.

Later, The Pussycat Dolls performed "When I Grow Up." Let's face it, this group is about how hot Nicole Scherzinger is and about the rest of the girls being half naked but still not quite as hot. For a group founded by a choreographer (Robin Antin) that started as a dance troupe performing on a dance show, I would have liked to see much better choreography out of them. Or if not that, some good singing, maybe? But I'll give credit to Scherzinger for finding a black acrylic paint to plaster on her body where most people wear pants.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

So you think you can dance: Week 1

Here are a few of our favorite dances from last night. Let us know what you thought of last nights show!!

Chelsie & Mark

Kourtney & Matt

Courtney & Gev

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Kooza Leaving Philadelphia

KOOZA run must end on Sunday, June 15

Cirque du Soleil wishes to thank Philadelphia for the incredible hospitality it has shown in welcoming KOOZA to the city. More than 112,000 people have experienced the excitement and energy of KOOZA in Philadelphia. With less than a week until the Philadelphia run of KOOZA ends, this is your last chance to see this celebrated show before it travels to Chicago.

The Philadelphia Inquirer says “KOOZA is the power of making you gasp in wonder and joy”.

KOOZA performs through Sunday, June 15, under the blue and yellow Grand Chapiteau (big top) On the Avenue of the Arts (entrance on Broad at Washington). Tickets are available online at or by calling 1 800-678-5440.

Performance Schedule through June 15:
Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m.
Thursdays thru Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sundays at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Cirque du Soleil wishes to thank our media partners, sponsors and especially everyone in the Philadelphia area for their enthusiasm and support in making this a successful and memorable engagement.

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Spamalot Returns to Philadelphia

Monty Python’s SPAMALOT Returns to Taunt Philadelphia
at the Academy of Music, August 14-31
Tony Award Winner, Best Musical 2005
Tickets On Sale Now!
June 3, 2008
The Tony Award-winning Best Musical of 2005, Monty Python's Spamalot, will return to the Academy of Music for a three-week engagement on August 14-31, 2008.
Part of the Cadillac Broadway Series, tickets ranging in price from $30 to $138 are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-731-3333, online at, at the Kimmel Center box office, Broad & Spruce Streets (open daily 10am to 6pm) or at the Academy of Music box office, Broad and Locust Streets (open during performances only). Groups of 20 or more will receive discounts for select performances by calling 215-790-5883 or 866-276-2947.
Performances include: Tuesday – Thursday evenings at 7:30pm; Friday & Saturday evenings at 8pm; Sunday evenings at 6:30pm; matinees Saturdays at 2pm, and Sundays at 1pm.

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

America's Best Dance Crew Season 2

Randy Jackson Presents: America’s Best Dance Crew is returning for a second season on MTV. Mario Lopez will be hosting the series, Layla Kayleigh will serve as a backstage correspondent, and JC Chasez, Lil Mama, and Shane Sparks will judge the competition.

The new season of America’s Best Dance Crew is set to premiere on Thursday, June 19 at 10 PM ET/PT. Dance crews consisting of five to seven members will compete in performance themed episodes. Each week the two dance crews with the lowest viewer vote will perform in an elimination round in front of the judges, and one crew will be eliminated. The last standing dance crew will win a $100,000 cash prize.

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So You Think You Can Dance: The Top Twenty

Finally, the auditions and the Las Vegas callbacks are finished for this year’s season of So You Think You Can Dance. I think the bar has been raised even higher than ever as far as talent goes and the final 20 dancers have proven themselves to truly be the cream of the crop.

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New Shane Sparks Movie in the Works

An excited Sparks told us his next big-screen project "is a movie called 'The Jump-Off,' and it's like a 'High School Musical' meets 'You Got Served.' " (This is probably the movie Brown's reps call "Traded.")

Unlike T.I.'s project, Brown would be tapping feet rather than squeezing triggers in this flick. "Chris Brown is up for the lead guy on it," Sparks added. "Hopefully, that works out. The movie is a smash, and this'll be the icing on the cake. So, be on the lookout for it — it should be out at the beginning of next year. We start filming next month; we're rehearsing right now."

With a grin, the man who choreographed "Served" said that he'll be plotting out this movie's dance moves too. "We've got singing, we've got dancing, we've got ballet, we've got lyrical, we've got salsa. It's going to be the first movie to introduce every style, and have a musical sense to it, where you can hear people actually singing and doing spoken word and rap.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

America's Best Dance Crew: Season 2 Auditions

FOX Reality Channel’s Albert Lawrence checked out the talent that made it to the season 2 auditions for America’s Best Dance Crew. And just as we’ve come to expect, he gives us the scoop, with some wonderful humor added for good measure. First, check out his introduction to several of the auditioning crews:

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Jabbawockeez Perform with Pussycat Dolls

Here is a clip from the MTV Movie Awards of the Pussycat Dolls with the Jabbawockeez.

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Billy Elliot to dance its way south

THE smash-hit show Billy Elliot the Musical will open at Melbourne's Her Majesty's Theatre at the end of the year, following a successful debut Australian season at Sydney's Capitol Theatre.

Based on the 2000 film Billy Elliot — about a young Geordie boy who chooses ballet over boxing and set against the British miners' strike of the 1980s — it has been seen by more than 2 million people since premiering on London's West End in May 2005, where it broke British box-office records.

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Alvin Ailey takes a step back in time

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater leaps from its Manhattan home to a guest run at BAM, starting Tuesday. It's a transition that feels like a homecoming, but with new family members.

The special engagement, presented by the Joyce Theater, marks the return of Ailey to the Brooklyn Academy of Music after 35 years.

Early in its history, the company enjoyed a brief residence at BAM alongside Paul Taylor and Merce Cunningham. It was there that pieces such as "Masekela Langage" had their first New York performances with the promising new dancer Judith Jamison, now the company's artistic director.

"'Masekela' was the major part of the performance because it is not an easy ballet in terms of subject matter," says Jamison. "Alvin was very interested in the human condition, and at that time, of course, the human condition in South Africa was apartheid, and deeply so."

The rarely seen piece appears in "Classic Ailey," one of two programs put together for the BAM run, which also includes the signature "Revelations."

Ailey's depiction of a stifling summer evening in a South African bar, "Masekela" simmers with quiet rage and an impending sense of violence that is finally carried out.

"You know Mr. Ailey didn't do a step without a reason, and he really was propelled to do this work," says Jamison.

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Back in Ballet, Bending all the rules

Ms. Tharp, who had been discussing her new work for American Ballet Theater, “Rabbit and Rogue,” was quite sincere. A good part of the interview had consisted of her deftly sidestepping a discussion of personal motivation. Instead she concentrated on more abstract issues about the ballet, which will have its premiere on Tuesday night at the Metropolitan Opera House, with a score by the film composer Danny Elfman and costumes by her longtime collaborator Norma Kamali.

But any new work by Ms. Tharp is a big deal, and to avoid talking about the choreographer herself would be to ignore the singular place she occupies in the dance world. An innovator and a headline maker who has both rolled with the critical punches and occasionally been felled by them, Ms. Tharp, at 66, is in the curious position of being consistently identified as both a modern dance revolutionary and one of ballet’s few great living choreographers — certainly its only female one.

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