By Christopher Heide
The So You Think You Can Dance tour took Seattle by storm Thursday night, in a sleek, stylish, sexy extravaganza of dance. It was a two hour non-stop tour-de-force, that featured all of the Top Ten dancers. A palpable energy filled the theater for the entire duration of the show. Given the lengthy nature of this tour, which has been ongoing since October, it was impressive to see the dancers perform with such honest energy and genuine emotion. At this point in the tour, the show is a well oiled machine. The dancers often emoted the same excitable energy they did when they first appeared on the show early in Season 11.
For the bulk of the night, the show was all about Casey Askew. The Seattle native received a grandiose reception from the audience anytime he stepped on stage, The packed theater was packed with thunderous applause and high-decibel shrills for the top 5 finisher. Of course, a given highlight of the evening was winner Ricky Ubeda, who received a standing ovation for his late-show solo.
The show is tightly paced, with many numbers flowing seamlessly into new ones. Filled with over 30 distinct pieces, the show fires solos, duos and over-the-top group numbers at rapid fire pace. All of the standout performances of the season are included in this show, as well as a fresh pieces. Two new group numbers, set to "Bang Bang" by Ariana Grande and Jessie J, as well as "Shake It Off", by Taylor Swift both received some of the loudest applause of the evening.
Particular highlights included Valerie Rockey and Zack Everhart's infectious tap number ("Sing"), Jessica Richens and Ricky Ubeda's show stealing contemporary number ("Vow"), as well as Ubeda and Everhart's brilliantly infectious hip-hop routine ("The Antidote"). All of these number were fan-favorites from the show and expertly executed by all the dancers. It was a bit of a relief to see Everhart perform with Ubeda in the "The Antidote", given that an obvious foot injury left him side line from a handful of the evenings more technically advanced numbers. Tanisha Belnap was also one of the stand-out of the evening, seemingly performing in a more diverse array of genres than any other dancer.
A true show-stopping moment came late in the second act, with the Travis Wall choreographed "Wind Beneath My Wings". Originally produced as a Top Four number, the piece is emotionally raw and culturally impacting as it delicately depicts same-sex relationships. Given Washington's status as one of the first states to legalize gay marriage, this number definitely hit close to home.
Overall, the show is tight, crisp and visually vibrant. It is everything one would expect from a SYTYCD tour and a true gift to the world of dance. Even a SYTYCD newcomer would have found something to enjoy in this lavish production.