photo: Kristen (Jower-Ho) Shaffer"So You Think You Can Dance" had a rough time during Season 9, a season plagued by unfortunate format changes, timeslot switchups, and a couple of momentum-killing hiatuses. But one thing that did not plague Season 9 was a lack of talent. And when a dozen of this past season's talented dancers (the top 10, plus fan-picked wild cards Amelia Lowe and Matthew Kazmierczak) returned to Los Angeles on October 25 on the SYTYCD 2012 Tour, their dancetastic revue was a welcome reminder of how "So You Think You Can Dance" continues to be one of the best, if not THE best, talent shows on the air.
photo: Kristen (Jower-Ho) ShafferThe show resurrected many of the beloved routines of Season 9. Among the many highlights at Thursday's show at L.A.'s Nokia Theater were Will Thomas and Amelia Lowe's adorable, Nappytabs-choreographed "Lovecats"; winners Eliana Girard and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp's haunting Tyce Diorio holocaust piece; and Witney Carson's ratchet and bucc "My Homies Still" hip-hop, which she originally did with allstar Twitch Boss but this time danced with both George Lawrence II and Cyrus Spencer. As for the group numbers, Eliana and Tiffany Maher's daring pole-dance (with the other female contestants joining in on the salacious fun); Mia Michaels's futuristic, goggle-lensed "Eyes" and Travis Wall's sumptuous "When The Light Gets In" (both from this season's "Meet The Top 20" episode); and a freaky, Halloween-appropriate "The Beautiful People" were all stunners.
What was especially stunning was how--in a creative new staging twist for the tour this year--each routine just melted into the next, with one beginning where the other one ended, and with the dancers from the overlapping routines sometimes even momentarily sharing the stage in some sort of in-limbo "SYTYCD" alternate universe. While this effect was occasionally jarring, like when Will and Amelia's reprise of Mia Michaels's infamous "Butt Dance" segued into Chehon and Eliana's aforementioned holocaust routine, most of the time the effect was lovely--and more important, this meant that there was a lot less downtime and much more dancing, dancing, dancing throughout the show. (Side note, however: No one really needed to redo any of the Mia Michaels redux numbers from Season 9's ill-fated and poorly received Mia tribute episode, although George/Tiffany, Chehon/Witney, and Cole Horibe/Lindsay Arnold respectively gave "Hometown Glory," "The Bench," and "Addiction" a valiant effort.)
Each of the top 10 dancers also got some alone time in the spotlight, with opportunities to perform solos. Of these, Cole's fiery warrior dance and Chehon's gravity-defying leaps and bounds were standouts, but truly, it was the astounding Cyrus who brought the [Dragon] house down. Cyrus may have caught a lot of flak this season for making it further than many other more technically trained dancers on the series, but his animated-popping solo once again proved just how brilliant he is in his own unique style. And the number of screaming children in the audience wearing "Cyrus Rocks!" T-shirts proved just how a charismatic star he truly is.
The SYTYCD Tour continues through December 5; tickets can be purchased HERE. In the meantime, check out backstage interviews with the dancers about the tour below.
- Eliana & Chehon make "SYTYCD" history
- Chehon & Cyrus perform at the Dizzy Feet Gala
- More on "So You Think You Can Dance"