We are STILL NOT OVER The Kings' insane performance. (Trae Patton/NBC)
New year! New talent! New—gulp—host (look, we like you, Scott Evans, but Jenna Dewan will forever hold a special place in our dancer hearts 😢)!
That's right, friends: NBC's "World of Dance" is officially back for round 3. And last night's qualifying round made us wonder how exactly the "WOD" team defines "qualifying," since it feels like we saw several acts that are clearly destined for the finals.
But we digress. Who were the acts that knocked our [pirouette-friendly] socks off last night? Meet The Crazy 8's, Lauren Yakima, and The Kings.
At first, The Crazy 8's seemed like just another group of insanely talented contemporary minis. (How ridiculous is it that that's become something we're used to seeing constantly?) But the Orange County, CA-based group took things up a notch with inventive choreo we haven't seen a million times before—and a collective flexibility level that hovers somewhere between "boneless" and "Elastigirl IRL."
Mumbai-based "Bolly hop" crew The Kings already has an "India's Got Talent" championship under its belt—and now it's COMING FOR YOU, "WOD." Crews consistently do well on these big dance competition shows, which reward their throw-all-the-bodies-around style of virtuosity, but we have never seen the likes of the tricks The Kings pulled out last night. Did they really, actually climb each other like stairs?! Does not compute. DOES. NOT. COMPUTE.
Also, we'd like to give a special shout-out to the fantastic Jonathan y Jorge, who brought same-gender salsa (and some very fabulous see-through glitter hoodies, yusss) to the show's stage. We're not sure their technique is quite clean enough to get them to the finals, but we are thoroughly enjoying every second of their spin-tastic "WOD" journey.
Til next week, when we'll see the second qualifying round of delightfully overqualified acts!
School of American Ballet students (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy SAB)
Do you have a "Strictly Ballet"–sized hole in your heart? Good news: The upcoming docuseries "On Pointe" just might fill it.
The School of American Ballet is teaming up with Imagine Documentaries and DCTV for the project. Though it's not yet clear where "On Pointe" will air, we do know that it'll follow talented SAB students preparing for professional ballet careers—much as Teen Vogue's popular "Strictly Ballet" web series did back in the day. But "On Pointe" marks the first time documentary filmmakers have been allowed access to the school, and it sounds like it'll paint an even more complete picture of the dancers' lives inside and outside the studio.
Choreographer Bob Fosse's signature style—with its jazz hands, inverted knees, and slouched shoulders—is still a huge influence in the dance world (and, thanks to the gloriously dancyFX series "Fosse/Verdon," the TV world). But while you know to expect plenty of Fosse-isms during a stage performance of Chicago or Sweet Charity, Fosse's legacy has also seeped into pop music culture, inspiring the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. Here are just six of the many music videos that reference Fosse's iconic works.
Gabrielle Hamilton in John Heginbotham's dream ballet from Oklahoma! Photo by Little Fang Photo, courtesy DKC/O&M
Last night, longtime theater legends (including Chita Rivera herself!) as well as rising stars gathered to celebrate one of Broadway's danciest events: the third annual Chita Rivera Awards.
The evening paid tribute to this season's dancer standouts, extraordinary ensembles, and jaw-dropping choreography—on- and off-Broadway and on film.
As usual, several Dance Spirit faves made it into the mix. (With such a fabulous talent pool of nominees to choose from, we're glad that ties were allowed.) Here are the highlights from the winner's list: