"A Chance to Dance" vs. "All The Right Moves": A Reality TV Dance Off
It’s been a great summer for dance on TV. So You Think You Can Dance is about to wrap up a solid season on Fox. SYTYCD gave birth to two other dance shows this summer. On Ovation, A Chance to Dance, a reality/competition hybrid produced by SYTYCD‘s Nigel Lythgoe, premiered in August. Meanwhile, the first episode of All the Right Moves, a reality show starring former SYTYCD competitors Travis Wall and Nick Lazzarini along with a couple of their friends.
The two shows, despite having SYTYCD as their parent, couldn’t be more different.
Ovation, along with Lythgoe, have crafted a nifty reality/competition program with A Chance to Dance. The set up is straight forward. Lythgoe tasked the Ballet Boyz, Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt, to build a dance company to perform an a benefit for Lythgoe’s Dizzy Feet Foundation and then go on tour with SYTYCD. The major hurdle here–the only get a month to do the work.
The boys get right to it holding auditions and getting help from SYTYCD all-star Allison Holker. The show quickly picked the 24 dancers they’d work with and transported them all to the Jacob’s Pillow center in the Berkshires. Here they get to work to create the company and the benefit performance. Along the way they have to cut the company down to 12 dancers.
What makes this show good for me is the intense focus on the creative process. We see Billy, Michael and Allison work with the dancers and try to find the strengths each can bring to the company. The drama that exists is simply the dancers trying to be their best to get into this company. So far there’s been very little bitchiness. Billy and Michael are stern where they need to be, but they have a respectful relationship with the dancers they’ve brought along on this adventure. These dancers want it bad and they work hard for it, especially the dancers who fall outside the ballet and contemporary styles.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the company comes together and to see what they put together for the final performance. Plus, I’m excited to see them in person as part of the SYTYCD tour.
All The Right Moves should take a lesson from A Chance to Dance. I was exicted about this show when I heard about it since I’m a big fan of Travis Wall. The show centers around Wall and three of his friends–Nick Lazzarini (winner of SYTYCD‘s first season), Teddy Forance and Kyle Robinson–to create a new dance company. Before the show premiered I’d already seen Shaping Sound deliver an outstanding featured performance on Dancing with the Stars and I’ve been a fan of Wall’s choreography for several seasons on SYTYCD.
Unfortunately the show has way too much of the typical reality show drama. For every scene that shows the company creating something, we have to suffer through two of the straight boys arguing over a girl or one of the dancers melting down over her perception of how she’s being treated or how Wall is disappointed his friends occasional work on their own projects instead of helping him. It’s this kind of stuff that keeps me from watching most reality TV because it’s simply people behaving at their worst.
What I’d love to see more of is Wall and his friends creating performances and working with the dancers to make a cohesive company. There’ve been some great cameo apperances by SYTYCDers Twitch, Allison Holker, Melanie Moore and others working with the guys in the company. The only reason this show continues to have a place on my DVR every week is the two performance pieces that are in every show. Those show off great dancers doing some great choreography. It’s too bad they can’t all be framed in a better television showcase.
I do hope Shaping Sound is able to take off. I’d love to attend an full performance from the group since it would be all dance with none of the TV trappings.