So How About That Mark Morris?…

…since I know everyone’s eyes were glued to PBS tonight and not anything else on TV! Haha 🙂 Or, actually, who continually flipped back and forth between Fox and PBS between 8 and 10 pm? That’s what I would have done if I was at home tonight. I taped the Live From Lincoln Center program while I was out at a play (saw My First Time, off Broadway. Eh, was okay. Funny at first, but grew a bit old after a while. How long can you talk about your first sexual experience after all… Lacked the political import of The Vagina Monologues, the genre on which it was based. Project actually began life as a community blog though, making me curious!)

Anyway, I ran home from the theater, just in time to see who won SYTYCD. Didn’t realize my newish tape recorder wouldn’t allow me to tape one channel and watch another, so my tape of Mark Morris will now exclude the final five minutes!

So the SYTYCD results … I’m okay with it. Of the last four I wanted Danny, but I guess I am kind of happy it’s a woman for once. And, I feel that Pasha and Anya and Hok and Danny, and everyone basically, is now in the public consciousness dance-wise. Danny put ballet on the pop-dance map, as did Pasha and Anya excellence in Latin ballroom. So, I kind of have an all’s-well-that-ends-well attitude about it. Will be fun to see how this tour goes!

Anyway, I missed the first 55 minutes of the show, so am going to have to wait until I’ve caught up on what happened through the Blogging SYTYCD blog, etc. to make any comments. Unless anyone has any thoughts?

Regarding Mark Morris and his Mozart dances: I’ve been totally remiss lately, ugh! I meant to link earlier to Apollinaire’s article on this special in Newsday, but didn’t, so here it is now. If you missed it tonight, or didn’t catch enough of the Morris because you only saw it during Fox commercials 🙂 , you can still catch the Morris / Mozart program in full on Sunday, at least if you’re in NY; check PBS local listings here if you’re not.

Okay, I’m out of toothpaste so have to run to the deli now and get a chocolate bar… Did anyone see that Fox News story following SYTYCD on how chocolate cleans your teeth, hehe! I’m more than happy to believe that 😀


  1. Hi Tonya,

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog over the past couple weeks. I found it while looking for information about Pasha. 🙂

    Sorry you didn’t have any fun with SYTYCD on Wednesday night. I think the quality of the dance is generally pretty low on the final performance show. The dancers each have to learn 3 partner dances (which are generally not in their area of expertise), a group dance, and prepare a solo with only about 3.5 days of practice. In reality, this is probably a bit too much to ask if we expect all the dances to be at performance quality, and I think the lack of polish and rehearsal was rather obvious last night. The technique in many places was lacking, and several dances just seemed to have no spark. They were all worn out and it showed. That said, I still thought it was good fun, and I think that is about all I can really ask from reality TV.

    The finale went pretty well. I was really hoping to see Pasha and Anya dance together – it definitely would have topped the fake Cat/Nigel dance that involved their heads pasted on goofy animated dancing bodies (2 minutes of my life I can never get back, people). However, Pasha did re-perform his hip-hop with Lauren and WCS with Sara and Anya and Danny did the Fox Trot again. I wanted Danny to win, but these things are always a coin toss.

    I’m sure I’ll stick around to keep reading your blog. I’m a third year law student, so I like reading about artsy lawyers. Thanks for sharing so much with us in your little corner of the internet! 🙂

  2. I was at ballet class so I taped Mark Morris. Unfortunately for some reason my tape/vcr only tapes about 3 hours and some time after I got home I noticed the tape had stopped running. Appropos of your last post, I’ve grown weary of SYTYCD but had to tune in to see the results. I toggled back and forth between shows so I did see some of the ending of the Mozart. Between my tape and Sunday’s rebroadcast I think I’ll be fine. Back to SYTYCD results – I’m ok with the Sabra win. She seems like a nice kid and very appreciative of the win. I hope Danny is getting the kind of exposure he wants and will go on to great things. Same for Pasha. Of course, I would have preferred to see Danny back onstage with ABT but I guess that’s not what he wants. I guess you can tell that my own personal taste runs to classical ballet with a little Mark Morris or Paul Taylor thrown in. So most of the contemporary dance on SYTYCD leaves me cold. Looks too much like gymnastics – give me something with a lovely line, interesting content and beautiful music. I’m going to Fall for Dance so maybe my tastes will be expanded somewhat.

  3. Thanks you guys, thanks for commenting, and hello Melissa! So exciting all these new readers 🙂 Oooh, that thing between Nigel and Cat doesn’t sound pleasant — I wondered what she was talking about on Wednesday night when she said be sure to tune in so we could all see her dance with him?… I’m disappointed they didn’t have Pasha and Anya dance together, but glad to hear they had Danny and Anya’s foxtrot and Pasha & Sara’s WCS that I so loved. Thanks for updating me!

    Barbara, how did you like the Morrs? I’m excited to watch it this weekend. I’d seen it live last year, but am interested to see how it came across on TV since it seemed like one of the aims of the program was to film it in an interesting way.

  4. I’ll probably watch my tape sometime this weekend but from the little glimpses I saw of the last movement between the SYTYCD finale, I think I’ll like it a lot. Just finished reading Macaulay’s review in the Times. He thought it was good but odd and warrants more viewings.

  5. Last night’s show was so much better than Wednesday’s. It helped, probably, that most of the dances were by people who weren’t in the final and thus weren’t exhausted. A little nap goes a long way. The lack of pressure helped too, no doubt. But honestly, I also think it’s because so many of the eliminated dancers are more dynamic and interesting performers than the ones who were left. I was so glad to see Anya again. I’ve missed her. And Sara and Jesus; I’d forgotten about that hobo routine. I also really enjoyed the WCS and the disco and the foxtrot and the Pasha/Lauren hip hop. For the most part, I thought the dances last night were much cleaner than they were the first time around. I was disappointed Anya and Pasha didn’t perform together, but all around, it was a good show.

    That Cat/Nigel thing was so silly, but I have to admit that it made me laugh. I love that Jib Jab website. At one point, they had a hilarious cartoon of George Bush blowing up the world.

    I’m surprised Sabra won. It’s fine and I’m glad for her; she seems like a nice girl. But I didn’t think she had a prayer. I’m also surprised Danny came in second. He was definitely the best of the four, but I didn’t expect him to be in the top. I thought it would come down to Lacey and Neil, but hey…what do I know?

    I read about that play, “My First Time,” online a few weeks ago. (Months? Time flies.) It sounded possibly interesting, but also possibly tiresome. The idea that the stories would come from the blog was clever, but I couldn’t help wondering just how interesting they’d be. Professional writers are writers for a reason (well…usually): they craft good stories. Sure, there are lots of non-writers who can tell a good story, but most people can’t. I just imagined that the show would be a bit….I don’t know….redundant. Sounds like it was.

    (Does that sound snobby? Oh, all right, I’m outed as a literary snob, but I work in publishing. What do y’all want from me?!)

  6. I hate to brag, but I did predict that Danny and Sabra would be the last two standing. (Hey, if you make enough predictions over a long enough period of time, you will eventually call one right!). I also refused to predict the winner between Danny and Sabra because, quite frankly, I thought it would be too close to call. Personally, if the decision were left to me (God forbid! ), I would have voted for Danny but I do think that Sabra also deserved it (she may not have been great at any one particular style but she was very good at virtually all of them and that’s what this contest was ultimately all about) and I am happy for her. While not being allowed by the show’s concept to do pure ballet, Danny did bring to the large TV audience some glimpse of what ballet is all about and I think we should be grateful for that. Danny may not, as Mia Michaels suggested might happen, go down in the history books, but he was the best of all the dancers on the show and he will, I hope, have a wonderful career in dance ahead of him, no matter what form it takes. As for most of the final show, I found a lot of it tedious. Some of the numbers that were reprised were delightful and a joy to see again, but many of the judges’ s choices were strange, to say the least.

    Reviewing the entire season, yes, some of the choreography was dreadful (the foxes number takes the cake in that category) and yes, the dancers were a bit ragged at times (how could they not be, trying to learn a dozen different styles of dance, with only a few days of rehearsal, and then having to perform them live before a nationwide audience of millions), and yes, there was much too much hip hop (I’m sorry, I’m too much of a ballet person to relate to that stuff), and yes, the overall design of the show was rather tacky at times (I”ve had enough of Cat Deeley to last well into next year, when no doubt she will be back as hostess), but all that having been said, let’s look on the bright side:

    1) the show did attract a huge audience and many of those people will have gained a new appreciation of dance.
    2) the dancers this year were, in my opinion, at least, better than those of the first two seasons.
    3) Leaving Pasha and Anya aside, the four dancers left at the end were probably the best of the group and Danny and Sabra were certainly the best male and female, respectively.
    4) Think of all the people who will be going to the show on tour and seeing live dance for the first time in their lives.

    PS I missed the Mark Morris pieces but did record them and will watch them over the weekend – comments to follow.

  7. Bob,

    Well thought out “pros” list there, but I respectfully disagree with #3. I would have traded Neil out for LOTS of better male dancers – (Pasha of course, but that point is moot) Jesus, Jimmy, Ricky, etc. Even Kameron. Even (heaven forbid) Dom at moments, who I didn’t even like.

    But lots of people seemed to like Neil (obviously – he did really well). I’d love to know what you and others found engaging about him. Am I the only freak who didn’t like Neil?

  8. I liked Neil. I didn’t really notice him much at first, but he grew on me. He seemed like a nice, funny, silly kid, and I enjoy filps. I liked Dominic too. The street dancing always impresses me (Jamile was my absolute favorite in the first season). I think it’s amazing what those dancers can do, and I’m always a bit irked by the “they have no training” line. Maybe they have no classical ballet training and haven’t been dancing ballroom for years, but those kids are clearly hard-working and trained in their style. I don’t know many regular people (or ballet or ballroom dancers) who can spin around on their heads and shoulders.

    But I’d definitely have swapped Neil for Pasha or Hok. The others were all Neil’s same style and pretty interchangeable for me, though I REALLY liked Kameron’s hair.

  9. Parker,

    At first, I couldn’t stand Neil. I found his “act”, his “persona”, if you will, much too cutesy. But like Melinda, I discovered, as time went on, that he started to grow on me. I tried to be as objective as possible and really look at what he was doing on stage and found, to my surprise, that he was actually quite good and constantly improving. I think that even the judges at first dismissed him in their minds but as the show entered into its final installments, they had to admit that he was “peaking.” Was he as good as Danny or Pasha? Absolutely not. But would I have voted for him over the other guys? Yes, in the end, I think I would have had to. (But thank God I will no longer have to look at those teenage girls holding up their “we squeal for Neil” signs.)

  10. Well, now we know who voted for Neil! I thought the young girls liked Pasha, but I now think it’s the ‘older women’ (meaning, over 18!) who were his main fans! By the way, Melinda, i totally agree about the “training” thing — I don’t think you have to have formal ballet training to be a great dancer (though it does help for many kinds of dance, and of course you need it specifically for ballet), but a lot of those kids just work really really hard and even if it’s informal, they have training in their own style … and the head spinning always amazes me beyond end!

  11. Isn’t it bizarre that “old” = over 18? I remember being a kid and thinking 40 was old, but not 25. (Then again, even then, I had a crush on Steve McQueen, rather than the Teen Beat crowd.) I think Neil definitely had the little girl vote. As a general rule, they do love those cute, barely shaving, blond boys.

    I wish I could spin on my head…or my hands…or my toes, for that matter.

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