An uplifting Travis Wall piece opened the show. The remaining dancers of the season (Valerie, Jessica, Ricky and Zack) performed a heartwarming quartet to “Wind Beneath My Wings” by RyanDan. Overall, it was uplifting and peaceful to watch.
Guest judge Jesse Tyler Ferguson joined Mary and Nigel at the table this week. Albuquerque viewers will probably recall that Jesse lived in the Duke City at one time.
First performance of the evening was a Sean Cheesman African Jazz number. Valerie and Ricky showed an incredible amount of stamina as they kept up with the driving beat of “Voices of the Savannah” by DJ Chus. The piece was very tribal as well as energetic.
Jessica and Zack were up next in Spencer Liff’s Broadway choreography to “Hernando’s Hideaway” by Ella Fitzgerald. The piece included little bursts of energy intermingled with slow, seductive vignettes and these two handled the transitions incredibly well. One might have thought they were already professional Broadway dancers showing character and technique in every step.
Zack and Valerie were paired up in a Tyce Diorio Contemporary piece. They played a couple where Valerie’s character was blind to “Pearls” by Sade. Valerie took on the challenge of dancing a complex character with great skill and the little bursts of movement and fluidity required of Zack also well done.
Choreographer Ray Leeper had a Jazz piece for Jessica and Ricky to “F For You” by Disclosure feat. Mary J. Blige. These two are incredibly well-paired in style and technique. The piece itself was not incredibly memorable but it was danced flawlessly.
Bollywood choreographer Nakul Dev Mahajan gave Jessica and Valerie a fun piece to “Ghagra” from Yeh Jazwaani Hai Deewani. The complexity of the Classical Indian aspects of the dance might have been a little fast for Valerie at times (Jessica’s musicality simply seemed smoother throughout) but they both did a wonderful job.
Zack and Ricky danced a Hip Hop battle created by Phoenix and Pharside to “The Antidote” by District 78. It was the King of Diamonds vs the King of Clubs with some serious skills. These two performed some stunts that yours truly has never seen in Hip Hop before. Great energy and the best part was how convincingly serious they were at battling each other and then morphed back into themselves (complete with huge grins) to receive a standing ovation.
Valerie was joined by SYTYCD alum and fellow tapper Aaron in an Anthony Morigerato Tap piece to “Love Me or Leave Me” by Sammy Davis, Jr. These two tapped out their differences on the stage in an energetic conversation.
Ricky danced with All Star Kathryn in a Contemporary piece by Stacey Tookey to “Not About Angels” by Birdy. Stacey’s gorgeous choreography and partner Kathryn brought Ricky a wonderful performance about redemption.
Tap choreographer Anthony Morigerato ran double duty tonight. In his second piece of the evening Zack reunited with Aaron in probably the happiest performance ever created to “Piano Man” by Billy Joel. Despite the somber music the dance was lighthearted and great fun to watch. Brilliant sound with the taps and a fun memory of the evening.
All Star Robert returned to dance with Jessica in a Travis Wall Contemporary routine. They danced to “When I Go” by Over the Rhine in a passionate, heart-wrenching duet about a relationship breaking up.
All four dancers performed solos this evening. Ricky’s Contemporary solo was danced to “Skin & Bones” by David J. Roon. Valerie’s Tap solo was to “Valerie” by Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse. Jessica’s Contemporary performance was to “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” by Juliet Simms. Zack’s solo soundtrack was “Supersition” by Adam Rafferty.
Albuquerque viewers can catch the So You Think You Can Dance Wednesday, August 27th at 7 p.m. (MST) on Fox Channel 2. Readers, your votes mean more than ever this week! Everyone can vote for their favorite dancers (including favorite dance crew) via the show website or the smartphone app through Thursday at 10 a.m. (PDT). Each voter gets 20 votes to divvy as they see fit. Next week the winner will be crowned!