A New Twist for "SYTYCD"
SYTYCD is focusing on young contestants for Season 13.
A young dancer auditions in Los Angeles. Photo by Adam Rose, Courtesy Fox.
It’s been more than 10 years since “So You Think You Can Dance” began plucking young talents from the masses and asking viewers to crown “America’s favorite dancer.” For its 13th season, beginning May 30 on Fox, “So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation” will concentrate on contestants ages 8–13, across various styles of dance. Instead of the usual Las Vegas week, selected dancers will enter “The Academy,” from which a top 10 will be chosen. Then, each contestant will be paired with an All-Star dancer from a previous season. Is this the slow demise of the “So You Think” brand? At its peak, the show aired twice weekly and auditioned in six cities; this season, it will hold auditions in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City. Nigel Lythgoe, Paula Abdul and Jason Derulo will return, with the help of a new judge, Maddie Ziegler.
Yvonne Rainer's Parts of Some Sextets (AKA "the mattress dance") hasn't been revived since it premiered in 1965. Nor has Rainer had any wish to do it again, to ask performers to heave 10 mattresses around while carrying out 31 tasks that changed every 30 seconds. It was an unwieldy, difficult dance. (Even the title is unwieldy.) But Emily Coates, who has danced in Rainer's work for 20 years, became curious about this piece and was determined to see it again—and to dance in it. She will get her wish November 15–17, when the mattress dance will be performed as part of the Performa 19 Biennial.
Back in 2011 when Joe Lanteri first approached Katie Langan, chair of Marymount Manhattan College's dance department, about getting involved with New York City Dance Alliance, she was skeptical about the convention/competition world.
"But I was pleasantly surprised by the enormity of talent that was there," she says. "His goal was to start scholarship opportunities, and I said okay, I'm in."
Today, it's fair to say that Lanteri has far surpassed his goal of creating scholarship opportunities. But NYCDA has done so much more, bridging the gap between the convention world and the professional world by forging a wealth of partnerships with dance institutions from Marymount to The Ailey School to Complexions Contemporary Ballet and many more. There's a reason these companies and schools—some of whom otherwise may not see themselves as aligned with the convention/competition world—keep deepening their relationships with NYCDA.
Now, college scholarships are just one of many ways NYCDA has gone beyond the typical weekend-long convention experience and created life-changing opportunities for students. We rounded up some of the most notable ones:
"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.