News: Contemporary dance goes mainstream

Wednesday 3 February 2010

So You Think You Can Dance? BBC1’s current Saturday night show features choreography by the likes of Rafael Bonachela, Mark Baldwin, Matthew Bourne and Kate Prince. If you haven’t seen it yet its worth checking out this Saturday’s semi finals. (6 Feb: 7.05pm for the main show, 8.55pm for results of the audience vote and the judges decision)

There are just six dancers left out of the fourteen selected from open auditions, competing to win the title of ‘Britain’s Favourite Dancer’. Most of the competitors already have dance careers with varying levels of success. Hip hop dancer Tommy Franzen appeared recently at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre in Tamara Rojo and Kim Brandstrup’s collaborative project Goldberg and is about it appear in Anthony Van Laast’s new hip hop show _*Blaze* _at the Peacock Theatre – along with fellow competitor who’s still in the running Lizzie Gough.

Watch the clip for a sixty second ‘new viewers start here’ intro:

Since making work for So You Think You Can Dance? Rafael Bonachela has noticed more people are coming to see his company. So far,so good. But are there any downsides? “TV has great power. But it has ­limitations…Dancers train all their lives. You don’t just work at Tesco, go along to a competition and suddenly you’re a dancer.” Read more in the Guardian, 2 Feb 2010

“Is it a good trade – major screen time for dance in return for yapping presenters, self-promoting judges and emotional manipulation? BBC judge Sisco claims that “it gets us [the art form] out of the shadows”. And with viewing figures at over 7m, it would be curmudgeonly to disagree” Read more from dance critic Judith Mackrell, Guardian, 4 Feb 2010

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