Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Cancer Dance

This alternatively hopeful and despairing and hopeful and agonizing and ultimately peaceful routine on So You Think You Can Dance, which has come to be known as "The Cancer Dance," rendered some otherwise talkative judges speechless last summer:

The poetry of the routine and the fact that it was on network television has caused some involved with dance have called this performance too emotionally manipulative. I disagree. The lift @ 0.49 is astonishing. The protestation @ 1:13 is all physicality. The quiet way the piece ends, with a slow, diminished but still elegant turn into a centering, peaceful lift, is a perfect hushed climax.

The ballerina is Melissa Sandvig, who was classically trained and who has danced locally for LA Opera and Long Beach Ballet. The man is Ade Obayomi, whose original idiom is contemporary dance. The choreographer was Tice Diorio. The sole prop is a scarf.

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