Thursday, June 30, 2011

So You Think THIS is Dance? [video]

By Lizzie Leopold

See below for a special pre-sale offer.

I’ve always wondered, with a hint of jealousy, why we struggle to fill a theater the way we fill sports stadiums. How do the arts get that kind of continued, dedicated fan base? FOX’s smash hit So You Think You Can Dance has certainly taken on that challenge whole heartedly and created the Super Bowl of dance shows.

When I heard that AXIS Dance Company would perform on tonight’s (Thursday June 30) show I was shocked, thrilled and nervous all at once! AXIS is an Oakland-based company known as one of the nation’s leading ensembles to feature dancers with and without disabilities. Wheelchairs and prosthetics become fully integrated body parts like any leg or shoulder. AXIS is award winning, inspiring and absolutely unexpected. AXIS company members Sonsheree Giles and Rodney Bell will perform the duet To Color Me Different, choreographed by Alex Ketley.

Whether you are a dedicated SYTYCD viewer or have never watched before, this is an important moment for dance and, in my opinion, a significant change in course for the show. The millions of viewers will have the opportunity to think more deeply about what dance is, what a dancer’s body is and where the possibilities lie. I will be holding my breath, hoping that the judges, the audience, the camera men and the producers recognize this as an expanding of horizons.

So, tune in tonight to So You Think You Can Dance, June 30th at 8pm/7 central on FOX. But more importantly, come see AXIS Dance Company perform live at the Auditorium Theatre in November. Sit in the packed theater. Watch the plush, gold curtain rise and experience dance collectively with the people around you. It will be less shiny, no rock star lighting and no screaming fans. But maybe, you’ll be able to see the dance a little clearer. Be a little closer. Hear the breathing and feel the shared energy. And if an episode of So You Think You Can Dance brought you to the theater, then I owe a great debt to network television and split leaps everywhere.

Special Pre-Sale for One Week Only
Pre-sale tickets are available Thursday, June 30 at 9:00 am through Wednesday, July 6 at 10:00 pm.
Use code DANCE when purchasing pre-sale tickets (limit to 8 tickets).
Pre-sale tickets are available online ONLY at
Tickets go on sale to the general public on July 11.

Lizzie Leopold
Lizzie Leopold is a Chicago choreographer and dance scholar. She is the Artistic Director of the Leopold Group and holds degrees from the University of Michigan (BFA in Dance) and New York University (MA in Performance Studies). Lizzie is a PhD candidate at Northwestern University, writing about the intersection of dance and business.

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