The final six competitors opened tonight’s So You Think You Can Dance with a delicate Contemporary piece of choreography. Mandy Moore’s work was set to Jasmine Thompson’s music box-sounding cover of “Everybody Hurts.” The somber costumes with the airy music and light choreography were all matched beautifully.
Gaby and Marco then danced a Ray Leeper Jazz piece that was fun and full of interesting technical elements. Icona Pop’s “Emergency” was the backdrop for this very cool piece of performance. All in all it was fun and visually interesting while showing off Gaby’s great sense of musicality. The duet was followed by Virgil’s solo to “Rock the Bells” by LL Cool J and a tribute to his mentor.
Next came Jaja and All Star Alex in a Tessandra Chavez piece to “Youth” by Daughter. Jaja played an Alzheimer’s patient a la The Notebook and Alex her husband. The incredible ability of Jaja to meld into a variety of characters and dance styles still blows yours truly away. Hailee’s solo to “Elastic Heart” by Sia trailed after including a lovely tribute to her dance teacher.
Megz and All Star Joshua paired up for a Christopher Scott Hip Hop routine to “Freedom” by Pharrell Williams. Scott did a great job of choreographing some visually interesting accents to the music choice but it was difficult to be “wowed” by Megz’ performance. Gaby’s solo followed with a tribute to her great-uncle who was also a dancer from Cuba.
Choreographer Dmitry Chaplin worked with Jim and All Star Anya in a Samba. Jim is inherently a brilliant partner and this dance was great fun to watch. It was also great how Jim managed to connect with Anya throughout the fast-paced dance. The judges called Jim out for not being as fluid in the torso rolls but that was such a small issue with the overall product. The fun was trailed by Jaja’s solo and her mind-blowing animation skills.
Virgil was paired with All Star and champion Melanie in a Justin Giles piece about coming home from war. Virgil’s character was a soldier dealing with his emotions from serving and Melanie his wife trying to console him. Both tapped into a great sense of emotion although there seemed to be points where Melanie out-danced Virgil. Jim’s solo wrapped up this section with ballet and a tribute to the late, great Tim Draper who was Jim’s mentor and the founder of the Rochester City Ballet.
Choreographers Nick and RJ pulled out the kiss card for Hailee and All Star Robert’s Jazz piece. (Hailee got to lay a big one on Robert at the end of the dance.) The concept of the piece seemed a little hackneyed (evil female character bewitching man) but Hailee dances well. Megz’ solo to “Let It Go” by James Bay with a nod to her mentor and teacher.
Gaby and Jim teamed up for a Josh Bergasse Broadway number. Gaby played a lovesick girl and Jim the hunky cure to what ails her. The technique was great but the choreography fell a little flat for your Albuquerque Dance Examiner. It was too delicate and perhaps not up to and end of the season performance.
Hailee and Megz were paired up as sisters in Stacey Tookey’s Contemporary piece. The two seemed well matched although maybe there could have been a bit more emotion at times because the sisters were being torn apart.
The long-awaited pairing of Jaja and Virgil did not disappoint. Pharside and Phoenix gave them a “Jaja in Wonderland” routine with Virgil as her mischievous cat companion. The dance received mixed reviews from the judges but was very well executed.
Then we found out which four dancers would be moving on to the performance finale next week. Jaja, Gaby, Virgil, and Hailee will be dancing next week while Jim and Megz ended their journeys tonight.
Albuquerque viewers, you can catch next week’s performance finale Monday night at 7 p.m. (MST) on KASA Channel 2. Everyone can vote to keep their favorite dancers in the competition by heading to the Fox website.