The new season of SYTYCD began a week ago and it promises to be another impressive one. They’ve restructured the competition which will bring a fresh excitement. Instead of the top 20 competing with and against one another, they will select only 10 finalists. These ten will be paired with some of the top dancers of past seasons. The broadcast has just finished the regional auditions with their usual assemblage of astonishing talent and clueless shlemiels. Next stop, Las Vegas. In this stage they have added more variety of challenges. In addition to their solos, they have to compete in ballroom, hip hop, and Broadway in order to make the top 10. After each competition, contestants are cut or passed through to the next challenge. Follow SYTYCD on Fox, Wed nights 8:00 PT.
The first season of “Glee” just concluded. I have to say, I really hated this show from the beginning. Its transitions between the drama and the singing were inelegant and the song choices seemed to have little to do with the dramatic moment. But my husband insisted on giving it a chance. Over the last couple weeks I found myself looking forward to the next episodes. The characters finally settled in: I could watch Jane Lynch do anything all day long and Chris Colfer is irresistible as the vulnerable young gay student, Kurt. There is no denying that the singing is fantastic, especially when they let Lea Michele sing Steve Perry songs. So, if you are not already a Gleek, I encourage you to watch. Reruns of the first episode will air over the summer, Thurs on Fox.
Have you been watching HBO’s “Treme” (pronounced Trem A to rhyme with Renée) on Sunday nights? This brilliant new series recreates the social life of post-Katrina New Orleans and animates a cultural world I have mostly known only through literary descriptions. In “Treme,” we get to see ordinary, daily life in a devastated city. We see how musicians and dancers are gathered for a Second Line funeral, how NOLA locals celebrate Mardi Gras. We learn about the tense relationship between old-style Indian Chiefs and young men bent on careers and personal gain. We discover and we witness, to a small degree, how a culture re-establishes itself after its people are torn apart by catastrophe. Sadly, the current catastrophe—Gaia bleeding out in the Gulf—may postpone their revitalization into a distant future. The season is already coming to a close but watch for reruns or rentals.
I will be performing a few solo pieces at Helené’s Crepe Place bellydance showcase on June 19th, right after Helené returns from her yearly visit to her home in England. I think I’ll do an Ouled-Nail-style improvisation and then perhaps a tribal-style. Mountain Tribal of Boulder Creek (Kim, Audrey, and me) will also perform there on August 21 with some choreographies and some ATS improvisation. We’re pretty good and we don’t get out much to perform so don’t miss this rare opportunity.