So, my favorite dance of the night, not surprisingly, was the Dwight Rhoden / Desmond Richardson-choreographed contemporary routine for Jakob and Kathryn. It was very Dwight Rhoden — with the passionate intensity, the movements that are so real-life: her jumping on his back and clawing at him; him falling to the ground and pounding the floor in desperation. But the choreography was very athletic and required a lot of intense concentration, particularly for Jakob who had all those jumps — and he really wanted to nail each with perfect lines — which could have taken away from the drama required to fully pull the piece off, but really didn’t.
Photo taken from rickey.org, who already has the vids posted.
Love the audience’s standing ovation, and how all the judges were so overwhelmed they could hardly speak. And love how Adam went on and on about the importance of live dance and how it needs to be supported, and Nigel telling Jakob that he absolutely must go to work for a company, perhaps one like Complexions. And so we didn’t get to see Desmond perform; we still saw him and Dwight stand up and cheer the dancers from the aud 🙂
Anyway, I really really really hope the show encourages more people to attend live dance performances.
My second favorite of the night was the very last piece, the Tabitha and Napoleon hip hop / krump for Russell and Kathryn.
I thought they nailed it, and that was one of the best hip hops I think I’ve seen on the show — a lot of bravado posturing and hard, driving, pounding footwork, yet still sweet and humorous in places. And they had such chemistry together, I thought. She looked at him like she had so much respect and admiration for him when she started kind of touching his feet in the air as he made his way around on those flips. She really looked like she was dancing with him, whereas I thought when she and Jakob danced together it seemed they were each trying to do their own athletic feats as well as possible, like they weren’t really emotionally connecting with each other as strongly.
Yeah, Nigel and Adam are right about Kathryn — she’s really excelled at everything, particularly toward the end of this season. I can see her winning.
I have to say, regarding Jakob, I don’t remember seeing him dance much, if any at all, hip hop or Latin ballroom throughout the season? Did he? He’s a miraculous contemporary dancer, and it’s a given he’ll excel at contemporary-like dances, like jazz, theater, and standard ballroom. But he didn’t seem to be given much of a chance to demonstrate range, the same as Kathryn.
At first when I saw Ryan and Kathryn open the show with Jason Gilkison’s samba I mistook Ryan for Jakob and thought, whoa, he can really do those body rolls, he has such movement in his torso (unusual for someone trained intensively in ballet). Then when I realized it was Ryan I was pretty disappointed. We already know Ryan can do Latin — why didn’t they give Jakob the samba? Then, I thought how interesting it would be to have each couple perform the same exact routines. Then you could really compare. Hey, seriously, why don’t they do that? Because at a certain point, it seems like you can’t help but judge the choreography more than the dancing.
None of the other routines really blew me away tonight. The Travis Wall contemporary for Ashleigh and Ryan was lovely, but it lacked a certain power, as did her Foxtrot with Jakob. Oh I did like the Sonya Tayeh lyrical jazz for Ashleigh and Russell.
I just love Russell. He has such charisma, such an endearing dancer persona that peeks through with everything he does. Such a sweet guy. And he introduced me to a new style of dance for me, made me aware of the power and brilliance of krumping. I’m rooting for him or Jakob. Or, now, Kathryn.