A packed house at Seattle’s historic Paramount Theatre spent the evening after Christmas taking in thrilling dance routines by So You Think You Can Dance Season 12 top ten finalists. The ‘SYTYCD’ tours traditionally generate intensely supportive audience response and the assembled Seattleites were no exception. As the various solo, pair, and group performances unfolded on the Paramount stage, fans cheered their favorites. Led by Season 12 champ Gaby Diaz and first runner-up Džajna “Jaja” Vaňková, the performance offered energetic excitement for two hours.
Listening in (okay, eavesdropping really) on various conversations before and especially after the show, it was clear the audience was a mix of faithful ‘SYTYCD’ viewers and those who don’t watch, at least not regularly. The former dominated, of course, but it’s definitely noteworthy to mention the neophytes. As the Season 12 tour rolls on (numerous Canadian dates are on the horizon for January), don’t miss an opportunity to see this show even if you’re only a casual or occasional ‘SYTYCD’ viewer. These dancers draw attendees right into their performance, whether it’s a sexy group number set to Postmodern Jukebox’s “All About That Bass” or a solo spotlight (each of the ten finalists get a moment to shine on their own).
Speaking of the solo spots, third place finisher Virgil Gadson just about stole the show with a supremely athletic routine that even included a bit of Alfonso Ribeiro’s “Carlson” dance. Gadson (part of Season 12’s “Team Street,” as opposed to “Team Stage,” in this season’s new format twist) was in fine form throughout. Also representing “Team Street,” the Czech Republic’s “Jaja” Vaňková consistently amazed, including a stunning solo spot during which she convincingly danced like an animatronic robot. Meanwhile, with “Team Stage,” the impossibly lithe Jim Nowakowski featured some ballet during a solo spot that elicited squeals from many audience members.
The show, divided into two sets (with a brief intermission in between), boasts a nonstop flow of dancing. Each pair or group routine segues into the next before the previous dancers have even exited the stage. Occasional video messages from SYTYCD team leaders Travis Wall (Team Stage) and tWitch (Team Street) fill in the gaps, as well as a special message from longtime show choreographer Mandy Moore. Interstitial bits featuring various top ten dancers after long gone, but it’s worth mentioning they often enlivened previous SYTYCD tours and allowed for humor and personality to shine through between routines.
Though the perpetual-movement format works quite well, the live show’s producers might do well to reinstate these charmingly goofy moments (yes, that’s very much a personal preference and perhaps not a popular one). Overall, the So You Think You Can Dance Season 12 tour resumed at full strength after a Christmas break. Though the amazingly talented Season 12 winner Gaby Diaz was featured prominently throughout, her tap solo definitely needed to be at least twice as long!
Check out the official So You Think You Can Dance site for information about the remaining dates on the Season 12 tour.
Team Stage: Gaby Diaz, with Edson Juarez, Jim Nowakowski, Hailee Payne and Derek Piquette.
Team Street: Jana “Jaja” Vankova, Megan “Megz” Alfonso, Eddie “Neptune” Eskridge, Virgil Gadson, and Jessica “JJ” Rabone.
12/28/15 Spokane, WA INB Performing Arts Center
12/29/15 Boise, ID Taco Bell Arena
1/7/16 Victoria, BC Save On Foods Memorial Centre
1/8/16 Vancouver, BC Queen Elizabeth Theatre
1/9/16 Abbotsford, BC Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Center
1/10/16 Kelowna, BC Prospera Place
1/12/16 Calgary, AB Grey Eagle Event Centre
1/13/16 Lethbridge, AB Enmax Centre
1/14/16 Edmonton, AB Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
1/15/16 Saskatoon, SK TCU Place
1/17/16 Regina, SK Conexus Arts Centre
1/18/16 Winnipeg, MB Burton Cummings Theatre
1/19/16 Thunder Bay, ON Thunder Bay Community Auditorium
1/21/16 London, ON Budweiser Gardens
1/22/16 Toronto, ON Sony Centre for Performing Arts
1/23/16 Hamilton, ON Hamilton Place Theatre
1/24/16 Ottawa, ON National Arts Centre
1/26/16 Moncton, NB Casino New Brunswick
1/28/16 Montreal, QC St. Denis Theatre