Chehon and Lauren Gottlieb (Season 3): Hip-Hop (Dave Scott)
The concept here is that Chehon is leaning on Lauren literally, to represent how one would lean on a friend metaphorically. Chehon, as you might expect, is nervous about picking up hip hop, since it's so far removed from ballet. At one point in rehearsal, Lauren accidentally steps out from under him, and he falls, and they have a good laugh about it. There's also a funny moment as Chehon tries to get used to Dave Scott's method of using random words and grunts in place of counts. (Dave: "what! no! ha!" Chehon: "No?"). On stage, while it's clear that Chehon doesn't have the movement completely nailed, he's nevertheless fully committed. He never shakes the ballet-dancer-trying-hip-hop thing, but the end result is enjoyably strange and compelling. The more I watch, the more I'm transfixed. I guess that's the appeal of Chehon -- even when he's getting it wrong, he makes it look like something completely new and riveting. Nigel thanks Dave for taking that stick out of Chehon's ass. Pretty well sick of Nigel using that metaphor on the overwhelmingly gay dancers on this series. He implores Chehon to keep finding ways to engage the audience. Mary wanted more funk, but she thought he accomplished a lot tonight. Benjamin, a fellow ballet dancer, seems to really sympathize how much terrain Chehon had to cover in the journey from ballet to hip-hop, and he gives him a lot of credit.
George and Alison Holker (Season 2): Jazz (Tyce Diorio)
The idea here is that George foregoes his train home so he can stick around Paris and have a raunchy rendezvous with Allison. I worry about George having to be sexy, but he actually performs the routine pretty flawlessly. I wish Tyce hadn't said "raunchy" in rehearsal, because the dance is gorgeous on its own terms, and no one would have thought to look for raunch if Tyce didn't call it out. The choreography is overstuffed with too much story that it threatens to overwhelm the quality of movement, which is too bad. These are two expert contemporary dancers flying at each other. Nigel risks the wrath of the audience by saying he didn't believe George's character and that it was immature. But the audience doesn't attack him with boos -- in fact both Mary AND Cat have to basically tell them too. This is the George problem in a nutshell. The Dance audience is hardly slow to boo a negative critique, so why don't they care about George?