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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Emoting before starting dance

It was amazing to watch this summer's So You Think You Can Dance Season 5. I liked it last season, but I was really drawn to the dancers' back stories, the choreographers' vision/message but most of all the high quality of the dancing. This was the first dance of the season and for new partners Joshua (popper) and Katee (modern), but it was hard to tell that Katee was dancing out of her element.

Entertainment Weekly voted this performance as the Greatest, but you could have also taken any of a handful of other Joshua and Katee dances. Enjoy!

1. Katee & Joshua's Hip-Hop
Season 5, Top 20, June 11, 2008

After clicking through clips of dozens upon dozens of routines for this list, the one that moves and impresses me most of all, even after repeated viewings, is easily this hip-hop number from the illustrious NapTab. A perfect match of story (a soldier telling his girlfriend he's going back to war), music (the Jordin Sparks/Chris Brown duet ''No Air'') and, most of all, the two dancers performing it — it ain't even a contest. Katee brought her technical finesse and deep feeling, and Joshua his preternatural talent and strength, and together they created a number that felt all of a piece, that transcended its steps, imbuing the movement with an uncomplicated humanism that is doubly impressive considering it was their first ever full performance on a nationally televised dance competition show. It's no wonder these two dominated so much of the season (and, in Joshua's case, this list), and in truth, their final routine together — an evocative Wade Robson number about a reconciling couple — could've made this list, too. But I figured two slots, including the very top, was a fitting recognition of this couple's accomplishments, and besides, nothing they or anyone else have done on So You Think You Can Dance has quite equaled the agile, eye-misting power of their earliest routine.

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