"So You Think You Can Dance" fans wept unconsolably when genius choreographer Mia Michaels sat out Season 6 of the show, and then cried tears of utter joy when she returned this season as a permanent judge. And the waterworks were flowing yet again when Mia choreographed her first routine of Season 7 this week--a trio dance featuring favorites Billy Bell and Alex Wong with Season 5 allstar Ade Obayomi, set to Dinah Washington and Max Richter's haunting "The Bitter Earth/On The Nature Of Daylight."
Like Neil Haskell and Lacey Schwimmer's Mia-masterminded "Flowers" tearjerker from Season 3, which was dedicated to Mia's late father, "The Bitter Earth" was inspired by tragedies and epiphanies in Mia's life (her mother passed away earlier this year). The piece depicted the three stages of human existence--childhood, adulthood, and old age, respectively represented by Billy, Alex, and Ade--and drove home the point about how quickly youth, vitality, and time itself pass. The routine's message was extremely poignant and powerful, not only for those who have witnessed a loved one grow old and infirm and then die, but also for dancers themselves, whose onstage careers rarely last past age 35 due to the cruel, inevitable aging process.
"The journey of life, from being a child to a man in his prime to an old man who can hardly walk, as us older dancers start to feel...it's just a very precious thing right now for me," Mia explained to hostess Cat Deeley. "That's what this piece is about: time and the journey of life, and how it goes by like that
I've personally watched Mia's exquisite new masterpiece, which officially ranks among my top three favorite "SYTYCD" routines ever, five times since it airedduring last Thursday's "Meet The Top 11" special--and I've bawled like a babyduring every single viewing. Watch it below, preferably with a CostCo-sized box of Kleenex at the ready; if you don't become a blubbering mess at the point when Ade drops his cane, you seriously have no soul.
Welcome back, Mia. You were missed.
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