Step It Up & Dance

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Jeff Long: B | Grade It Now!
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A Champion Within Oneself

Nomi tells the dancers that the audition part of their challenge will take place in the mattress store. Miguel wonders how shopping for a mattress could be part of the challenge. I bet, in the back of his mind, he still thinks he's shopping. Nomi introduces this blond guy standing next to her, Jacques Heim. He is the founder and artistic director of Diavolo. He's wearing sunglasses. Further damning him, Nomi explains that he just choreographed Cirque de Soleil's show, "Ka." Maybe I'm just not French enough, but I fucking hate Cirque de Soleil. Sure, some people can twist themselves into pretzels and whatnot. That's awesome. But must it be accompanied by creepy French clowns and ridiculous music? I'll be the first to say it: I don't think that shit's sexy. There have to be some people out there that agree with me. I actually attended a Cirque du Soleil performance once, and it was all I could do not to hurl myself down the stairs of the theater.

Jerry, with the most ridiculous overpronunciation, explains that Diavolo is a company that explores ways for its dancers to interact with their environment. From what we're seeing, that means rolling around on balls and spheres and wheels and stuff. Interesting. You probably get the whole idea after a few moments of watching, but I'm game. Let's do this. Jacques says they mix ballet, modern, and acrobatics with "structures."

Jacques says they will be working in teams of two, and the audition will take place in the mattress store. Michael points out in his interview that there are only two things you can do with mattresses -- sell them and jump on them. I guess "jump on them" can mean any number of things. You can also burn them and use them to cover yourself while you're hiding in the bathtub avoiding a tornado. True story. It ended up not being a tornado, but I was really in a "better safe than sorry" situation. Of course, I stayed in the bathtub for two hours and my roommate had already gotten home and made herself dinner by the time I came out (which reduced any feelings of proud preparedness I had), but still.

Jacques says that he wants them out of their comfort zone, which in this case is apparently a dance studio. He says that dancing in "real" places makes you spontaneous. Jacques picks the teams: Mochi and Miguel, Nick and Cody, Michael and Janelle. Jerry says that they won't learn about the specifics of their scene until right before they perform, at which point they will have two and a half minutes for their audition.

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Step It Up & Dance

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