The So You Think You Can Dance 2011 New York auditions were held at the Howard Gilman Opera House where Broadway choreographer Jason Gilkison replaced Robin Antin, and joined Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe to judge what would end up being a motley crew.
Still, some SYTYCD Big Apple contestants stood out with his or her own particular style. There were two such dancers in particular: Brian Henry and Samara Cohen. Both crossed the bridge from Brooklyn to audition for So You Think You Can Dance.
Going by the stage name Princess Lockeroo, Samara Cohen was first up. She did what she described as “whacking.” This particular and very peculiar-sounding dance style is influenced by both helicopters and martial arts. Or so the artist who “whacks” explained. Yet, as wacky as “whacking” sounds, Princess Lockeroo was fantastic as well as entertaining.
On the So You Think You Can Dance stage, Lockeroo took on the persona of a deadly super hero spy, circa the 1970s. Dressed to the max in black leather and shades, this ingenious artist played out her intriguing scenario (see the video here). She was adept, she was captivating, and she was awarded a trip to Las Vegas after her performance. All three judges were lured by Princess Lockeroo.
Meanwhile, Brian Henry took a bit longer to hook the official critics on So You Think You Can Dance.
This Brooklyn boy is a self-proclaimed “crumper” who says he “makes stories with movements.” Henry uses a lot of visuals to get across what he does, explaining that he “gets loud because they hear [him]” and he tells a SYTYCD camera that he is “writing with [his] body.”
On stage during his introduction, Brian Henry reported that while Lil’ C brought “crump” to the mainstream, he is “taking it back.” This not-very-modest putdown isn’t exactly a good way to charm the judges since Lil’ C is one on So You Think You Can Dance.
Nevertheless, this crump-style dancer does his thing, which is executed in a fierce way and without his shirt on for the majority of his audition. No doubt this man owns one mean physique, so much so that Mary Murphy asks Henry to put his shirt back on so she can “focus on her critique.” But before she gets to that, this careful judge gives this contestant a lesson in etiquette, telling Brian he should never knock down a fellow dancer. And then she admitted that this guy’s crumping was “fantastic.”
Nigel agreed, telling the talented Henry he “gave it his all” on stage. Jason was enthralled as well, but couldn’t quite picture this performer doing “a Broadway number, a cha cha or a Viennese waltz.”
So the crumper was sent to choreography, where the B-Boy hip hopper jumped out of his homey mode and does a more traditional duet. The result? Brian Henry was given his ticket to Las Vegas to follow his dreams. His response? This tough guy cried real tears and tells the camera, whom he calls “Dude,” that “this is a big deal.”
And it is for both dancers from Brooklyn who went to the So You Think You Can Dance New York auditions to prove their worth. That being said, do you think that either of these two whacking and crumping performers will win this very competitive TV talent show? Will one or the other — or both — go all the way to the finals, or is it too early to tell? Thoughts?