By Chris Heide
Last night, the So You Think You Can Dance Season 14 tour took Seattle by storm. It’s been nearly two years since the show has made a stop in Seattle. While the television program itself continues to gracefully age, this live tour shows no signs of erosion.
The nearly two hour show is a nonstop, tour-de-force featuring a plethora of dynamic dance genres. Jazz, Broadway, contemporary, hip hop, ballroom- these are just some of the genres that are exhibited. Interestingly, however, there was not a single tap number this year. The show propels itself at a breakneck pace, packing as many as 30 distinct numbers into the evening.
Featured on this iteration of the tour are all of the top ten dancers from season 14, plus two of the shows ‘All-Stars”. As with many shows of this caliber, there are really no “bad” dancers on stage. That being said, a handful of this seasons favorites were definitely more memorable throughout the evening. Logan Hernandez, who initially placed 5th, was featured heavily throughout the evening, as was the runner-up, Koine Iwasaki. Overall, the more technically trained contemporary dancers were prominent in a majority of the numbers and, therefore, simply more memorable.
Of course, season 14 winner and fan favorite, Lex Ishimoto, is a force all unto his own. As expected, Lex received the most applause and cheers from the audience. His ability to leap and turn is almost legendary; most dancers can only dream to attain the technical proficiency that Lex has mastered. Interestingly, Lex displayed a tremendous amount of charisma and personality throughout the evening- a stark contrast to the criticism he received throughout season 14.
One of the interesting things about this tour is how seamlessly the show flows. It is not structured like a typical dance recital. The Supervising Tour Choreographer, Mandy Moore, has created some beautiful and effortless transitions. Each number segues directly into the next number, which keeps the shows momentum accelerating at a steady pace.
Highlights from the show include many top performances of season 14. “Call Me Mother” by Mark Kanemura and “Strange Fruit" by Travis Wall are undoubtedly two of the best group numbers of the show, and possibly, from the entire history of So You Think You Can Dance.
At the end of the day, one thing is immeasurably clear. The So You Think You Can Dance Tour is exactly what the world of modern dance needs. It is lively and emotional, thought provoking and moving. The tour accomplishes what art is meant to do; any audience member who watches this two hour extravaganza is sure to think, feel and react.