Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Season 8 So You Think You Can Dance Winner

*Spoiler Alert

I know the winner was announced a few weeks ago, I just haven't gotten around to posting it. And I have to say, I was ecstatic about the results! So the winner of the eighth season of So You Think You Can Dance is...drum roll please...

Melanie Moore

Yes, one of my season favourites, who I said would win from the very beginning! I was so pleased when I found out, I YAWPED barbarically to the rooftops and screamed "I called it! I said she would win!", pointing madly to the television screen and bouncing up and down in my seat all the while. In case you need a refresher, Melanie Moore was the dancer who, while partnered with Marko Germar, did that beautiful statue dance, the light bulb dance, and the wedding dance (you know, the one where EVERYONE started kissing each other!), among others. (Like the one she did with Neil Haskell that had the flying leap in it!) Oh, and just for the record, the other three dancers in the top four (Marko Germar, Tadd Gadduang, Sasha Mallory) are all just as amazing and I hope to see them as All-Stars in the future.    

There's not much more I can say, because if you don't already know this stuff, you should hurry up and find out for yourself by watching it! I do however want to congratulate and thank the choreographers, the producers, everyone backstage and the entire top 20 for another amazing season! It was truly breathtaking. Every time I watch the show I get goosebumps and feel an uncontrollable urge to dance.

Friday, August 12, 2011

CRAZY about Dead Poets Society

He was their inspiration. He made their lives extraordinary

As one of my all time favourite movies, Dead Poets Society is a brilliant, heartwarming, intelligent, insightful, hilarious and inspiring piece of cinematography...that I will never, ever forget. I think I've seen it about a million times, so it's kind of imprinted into my brain, but that's not why it made such an impression on me.

For the life of me I don't know why it has taken so long to put this on my blog. I've been watching this film for years! If you haven't seen this film yet - in which case I urge you to get your butt out there and see it - Dead Poets Society is a 1989 drama film about a group of friends from an all boys preparatory school. The film starts at the beginning of a new school year. The new English teacher's unique style of teaching catches the boys of guard at first, but they soon take to the lessons he is trying to teach through poetry and literature, such as the merits of divergence and having the ability to change their lives through free thinking. Among the students are a group of friends - Neil, Todd, Knox, Charlie, Meeks, Pitts, Cameron - who become very inspired by Mr. Keating's lessons. And then they discover Mr. Keating's old graduating yearbook and the mention of a club called the Dead Poets Society...

The brilliant Robin Williams plays John Keating, and received many allocations including an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Speaking of Academy Awards, Dead Poets Society received four nominations, including one for Best Motion Picture and winning won for Best Original Screenplay. The boys in this film display the most wonderful kind of comradeship, loyalty and smart, sleek humor throughout the film, but one thing about the Dead Poets Society that warms my heart to bursting every time. Neil Perry, the more responsible leader/instigator, is played by the House actor Robert Sean Leonard. The shy newcomer and Neil roommate, Todd Anderson is played by the young Training Day star, Ethan Hawke. The group's rookie romantic, Knox Overstreet is played by none other then The Good Wife's Josh Charles. And finally, the class clown/smart-ass, perhaps Mr. Keating's most inspired student, Charlie Dalton is played by Gale Hansen. Every character is just so polished and well played ... it makes me want to be their friends!

Apart from the amazing characters and outstanding story, the film has this very inspiring  and heartwarming ... soul to it. Every time I watch it, I get this warm and fuzzy feeling inside and I get so excited about my life and what I can do with it. It makes me want to seize the day, YAWP barbarically to the rooftops and definitely go to a boarding school. It just one of those films that has it all; great characters, a heartwarming story, beautiful music and gorgeous set and scenery. And when you do watch it, remember to curl up with a box of tissue - I cry every time... 

Click on the following video to watch the trailer. You can go to http://www.YouTube.com/ for more Dead Poets Society videos.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A So You Think You Can Dance Update

So we're on our eighth week for season eight of So You Think Can Dance! It's getting closer and closer to the finale, with only six dancers left - Melanie Moore, Marko Germar, Tadd Gadduang, Ricky Jaime, Sasha Mallory, and Caitlyn Lawson. I am both disappointed and excited about the results so far. My season favourites, Melanie Moore and Marko Germar have made it to the top six and are in no position to be going home anytime soon. Unfortunately, both Jess LeProtto and Clarice Ordaz, two of my other favourites have gone home. Still, Sasha and Tadd are luckily still with us.

My season eight top four prediction? Melanie, Marko, Sasha and Tadd. Ricky may be able to back flip across the stage and over split in mid air, but he just isn't personable enough to be America's favourite dancer, in my opinion at least. I mean, a lot of his routines weren't bad, but he hadn't been connecting with the audience and he landed in the bottom I don't know how many times! And Caitlynn, well she doesn't really connect with me. She hasn't done anything that has wowed or impressed me yet (except maybe the Argentine Tango), and let me tell you, she's running out of time.

Anyhow, over the past eight weeks, there have been some very amazing dances and I would really like to share them with you. I think I covered the first to weeks with my last So You Think You Can Dance post in July. Click on the following link to read the post and check out some of my all time favourite So You Think You Can Dance routines: http://ifyouvegoteyesyoucanread.blogspot.com/2011/07/so-you-think-you-can-dance.html. From then on there have been many outstanding pieces! Also, the Emmy Awards are coming up and the nominations were announced just a few weeks ago. So You Think You Can Dance received eight nominations, including one for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program. Out of the six Emmy nominations for choreography, five of them went to So You Think You Can Dance choreographers - Travis Wall, Mia Michaels, Stacy Tookey, Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo and Mandy Moore!

Please enjoy these various routines...non of them really need an explanation since they kind of speak for themselves.

Melanie Moore and Marko Germar - Contemporary routine by Dee Caspary  

Caitlynn Lawson and Pasha Kovalev - Argentine Tango by Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo

Jess LeProtto and Clarice Ordaz - Broadway routine by Tyce Diorio

Melanie Moore and Neil Haskell - Contemporary routine by Mandy Moore

Top 8 dancers - Contemporary routine by Tyce Diorio

Alexander Fost and Sasha Mallory - Jazz routine by Tyce Diorio

Chris Koehl and Ashley Rich - Broadway routine by Spencer Liff

Top 12 dancers - Flamenco-Jazz routine by Kelley Abbey 

For more So You Think You Can Dance videos and information go to http://www.youtube.com/ or http://www.fox.com/dance/.

Calvin & Hobbes

The greatest comic strip ever! In case you have been living under a rock all your life, Calvin and Hobbes was a syndicated - meaning it appeared in newspapers, magazines and websites - daily comic strip written and illustrated by Bill Watterson from 1985 to 1995. Bill Watterson, an American cartoonist, was born in 1958 in Washington D.C and graduated from the George Washington University Law School to become a patent attorney in 1960. I suppose he later realised his life calling - to be a cartoonist.

I guess you could say that Bill Watterson was a one hit wonder, since Calvin and Hobbes was the only cartoon strip he was known for. But man, what a hit it was! Calvin and Hobbes follows the adventures of the hilariously  precocious six-year-old boy named Calvin and his cynical stuffed/real life tiger named Hobbes. To Calvin, Hobbes is a real life, living breathing tiger. To all of the other characters in the comic, Hobbes is just a stuffed animal.

After Harry Potter, Calvin and Hobbes has been my security blanket, my comforter for years. When I'm sad or mad, I read Calvin and Hobbes and the sarcasm and elegant humor calms me down. And what's so great about the comic is that while the main characters, Calvin and Hobbes, are very funny, the supporting characters, like Calvin's parents, the babysitter Rosalyn and little Suzie Derkins, are all just as enjoyable.

I first got into Calvin and Hobbes at school. They were all in french so I wasn't to interested but I read a few anyway. That got me curious because I new they were really an English comic, so I went to the library and took out a few of these very old, beat-up books full of Calvin and Hobbes comics. Then I really started to get into them. My sister and I started cherishing the books, reading them bit by bit, not all at once because we new that there weren't that many and we didn't want it to be over to soon. For Christmas we received this huge Calvin and Hobbes box set with three enormous volumes. They each weighed, like, three tons and were impossible to get up a flight of stairs. We actually had to separate them to get them into my room! 

What can I say - the Calvin and Hobbes comics are pretty darn amazing. They're sweet, simple, sarcastic and in a odd sort of humorous way, heartwarming. I'd recommend them to anyone who can appreciate sophisticated humor and a cartoon well done. They are a true treat.