SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE: NO ONE CAN TOUCH JAKOB KARR, IMO

There’s some real talent on the show this season — mainly, imo, Jakob Karr (above) and Russell Ferguson (who I blogged about before). I also think Karen Hauer is a true performer who can do just about any kind of dance, and will thus go far.

I was sad to hear Karen announce tonight that she and Matt are getting divorced. They taught at my former studio and I always thought they were a sweet and very in-love couple.

I liked Karen and Kevin’s disco routine, but I again thought Karen sold it; I could hardly watch Kevin! It was a rather Latin-y disco, which shows how much Karen made it her own, and did so very well.

But my favorites of the night were Jakob and Ashleigh’s jazz and Russell and Noelle’s Afro-jazz. More Afro-jazz on this show please please! I thought both did amazingly with that latter routine, although they weren’t quite as good as those dancers in Fela! on Broadway (review coming soon!), who just really really floored me and made me so want to learn African. I have never ever seen people move like that before! But Russell and Noelle’s routine was African combined with jazz and so should have been a little jazzier, less pure African.

Still, though, to me, no one can really touch Jakob. I mean, he always has these stunning leaps in every routine, but it’s not only that, it’s just his whole form is such perfection. They way he’d round his shoulders and kind of hunch over that cane tonight was so creepy — but it was so creepy because it was so real because his whole form transmogrified when he made that shape, you know what I mean?

I agree with the judges that Mollee and Nathan’s salsa wasn’t all there. It looked clumsy at times; it looked like they struggled partnering each other, though I think she in particular would have done fine on her own.

I also agree with Nigel and Mary that Ryan and Ellenore’s hip hop wasn’t so swift. They tried too, but to me they just didn’t make the swagger believable, and they were really out of sync on the side-by-side work. They were also both lacking in precision I think.

I agree with the judges as well on Pauline and Peter’s Quickstep, though I loved the sailor smitten with Hula dancer story! Go J.T. and Tomas! So happy they’re choreographing for this show now. (I also know them — or at least J.T. — from my old studio.) I do think both dancers were good on their own, and sold it quite well, but the technique wasn’t there at all — the shaping in closed handhold was all wrong, the runs and running jetes were sloppy and not in sync. But still, it was fun and they acted it well and sold the story.

I disagree with the judges about Kathryn and Legacy’s Broadway though. Well, the judges liked him — and so did I — I thought he nailed it, especially for a b-boy. The choreographer did use his strengths with the handstands and back flips. I thought she was good too, though in terms of the movement — the way she circled her pelvis at him, trying to get his attention. I thought she acted it fine — she was cute as opposed to angry and demanding, but I think she made it her own thing. She is rather sweet-faced and that’s what she used to try to grab his attention.

I agree though with the judges about Victor and Channing’s contemporary, and I can’t even put my finger on why it didn’t blow me away emotionally like I feel it should have. It was a story about a couple arguing, struggling, and ultimately breaking away from each other. They danced it well, they danced it with passion and intensity, and yet it didn’t make me feel all that much. Maybe it is just because they’re a new partnership this week. I have to say, I think Victor is an excellent dancer. I can tell that from his solos. His solos touch me the way Jakob’s dancing does. But for some reason he doesn’t seem to be able to take that with him to the duets …  though it looks like he’s trying hard to.

7 Comments

  1. I do like Jakob immensely but I also find Legacy very compelling. Nobody can touch him in what he does in hip hop–we have only seen a glimpse of it on the show–he is one of the more musical bboys, and his toprock is as good as his power moves. he is really what Nigel claims Keviin and Russell are –a street dancer who has never trained in other forms of dance. I want to see Jakob have a chance to do something where he has to get funky. I agree, he dances with every molecule. Russell is fantabulous, and I hope we see him grow as well.

  2. I feel the reason why Victor and Channings routine didn't work is that horrid new stage! The background video was distracting and the size of the thing dwarfs the dancers and takes away from the intimacy of the dance. They performed it beautifully – what detracted from it was everything surrounding them!

  3. Tonya, Jakob and Ashleigh's Routine was spectacular! And I loved Russell and Noelle in “The Frog Dance”. I think Season Six is starting to pick up! I hope they have Sean Cheeseman and Andy Blankenbuehler back to choreograph. But I was wondering…isn't The Hustle a type of Disco dance??? Is it a Social or Competitive Dance?

  4. Hi Jonathan — yes, the Hustle is danced to disco music and it's what the studios that teach it call disco. On this show, they're calling it disco instead of Hustle but it's the same dance. It's a social dance, but there are some competitions that include it (like the Salsa / Hustle competitions in NY and Puerto Rico and Miami Beach) — but those are the social / fun competitions, not the serious Blackpool-type ones!

  5. HI Tonya,

    I'm totally late in commenting b/c I only just saw the show the other night. I depend on people posting stuff to youtube but they tend to be a week behind. I agree with you assessment of the quickstep and salsa. I, too, like Jakob but didn't understand Adam's comment about him over using his psoas muscle. Ashleigh's cool, too; I like her man Ryan and Ellenore as well. Yes, Karen stole that hip hop routine from her guy. Too bad about the divorce thing. I haven't warmed up to Legacy for some reason- I don't know what it is about him that rubs me wrong. As a result, I can't watch him; I felt that way about the tapper, Phillip who was voted off.

  6. Jakob is something special, I agree. The cane dance was my favorite last week, it completely rocked and I give Jakob and Ashleigh extra kudos for dancing with a prop so seamlessly.

  7. Jakob is something special, I agree. The cane dance was my favorite last week, it completely rocked and I give Jakob and Ashleigh extra kudos for dancing with a prop so seamlessly.

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