US Open suitcases still not unpacked!
Chico was this past weekend! We heard it was wild and hilarious as always – a December revelry in the ancient Roman/Christian Christmas tradition.
Youtube videos of this year’s routines are beginning to surface so you may now have seen the fantastic array of Showcase, Classic, and Junior/Sophisticated/Masters routines we can look forward to enjoying around the international circuit.
Jordan and Tatiana’s 1st Place Winner (they’re ten time US Open Winners – longest anyone has ever held the title) – “Somebody That I Used To Know” in sleek black and brilliant neon yellow. Who knew that effulgent yellow reflective tape could adorn a neck so beautifully? Tatiana looks stunning. They both do – these are beautiful people. They roll and undulate across the stage organically, like a dangerous animal – or two dangerous animals – alternately threatening and cooperating with each other. He advances ominously, she moves back only so much, the coordination of space between their bodies precisely choreographed so that both are powerful but he always moreso. She drives into his chest, her legs sliding backwards as if pushing through cement. At every moment we have at least one set of eyes on us – with them you always feel clear, clean communication from the instant they turn to face you at the back of the stage till they drop to the floor at the end. They are impossibly fast, impossibly slow. I love Tatiana’s sideways head-leans perfectly parallel to the floor, love her long neck. Her pirouettes landing hard and suddenly one leg stretched across his back, both staring at us, “in-your-face” mode. Scary wonderful, theatrical. Love that their fingers dance! Fingers! Love his hand across her mouth. Choreography that is subtle, forceful, and deeply insightful. This routine is superhero, traditional swing, MTV, art-house, animation, international – appealing to every age and demographic, lovers of every genre.
Ronnie and Brandi’s second place winner, “Draw You,” a sweet, sad story that draws you in from the first guitar strings, so rich, every moment so expressive and filled with meaning that they couldn’t have been any clearer had they been speaking to us with voices. A routine that is theater as much as dance, a play with two characters, a journey. They are so clean! Smart, understated, technically beautiful, and grabs your heartstrings.
Kyle and Sarah’s third place win, “Come Alive,” another of their signature combinations of down-and-dirty funk performed with control, smoothness and speed; and their famous quickness – lightning quick footwork and their ability to hit the large and small bits so fast you almost can’t see how they get there. He weaves his hand diagonally down her body as she does a diagonal full-body roll. The first thing we ever heard about Sarah, years ago, was that this tiny little thing had appeared on the west coast swing circuit, performing magician’s acts of levitation in which she executed funky horizontal body rolls suspended in mid-air. Sarah’s hips! A thing of beauty.
Gary and Susan in fourth place with the Beatles’ “Maybe.” Elegant lines, shapes, precision, grace, and a perfect matching of movement to the ethos of the song. These two are eye-candy, handsome and beautiful, tall, thin, accomplished in other genres in addition to west coast, the lifetime of training and expertise more than apparent.
In fifth place surprise winners and audience favorites Maxime and Virginie, from Lyon France, dancing to “Down The Road.” These are firecrackers, these two, with an infectious joy and enthusiasm, utterly comfortable on stage and having so much fun prancing around out there you find yourself laughing with delight. These two were born to perform. Clean, quick, gorgeous technique, humor … and most of all happy happy happy. Is this the first non-North American couple to place in the top five? Congratulations and Félicitations!
US Open 2012 Young Adult Placements, corrected version:
1st Place Chris and Nicole
2 Josh and Anyssa – AND – Ludovic and Beverly
4 Tommy Brodie and Monica Garcia
5 Akil and Alexis
I had previously ommitted Tommy and Monica! I blame my computer for deleting a line of text. My apologies! This is Tommy and Monica’s first routine and first time on the US Open floor – they were beautiful!
As for the 2nd Place tie: An error was made in judging in which a line of Josh and Anyssa’s song was misinterpreted as inappropriate (it’s difficult to hear lyrics in any case and with all the yelling and cheering nearly impossible) and this mis-hearing resulted in a violation which caused them to be dropped down by a placement. The mistake was rectified by restoring Josh and Anyssa to second place alongside Ludovic and Beverly, with appropriate points, trophies, and prize monies awarded.
Much more to tell! What a great Open this year!