(Also, don't sleep on group routines like "Hide and Seek" and this Alice in Wonderland creation.) That Mia's so-called "message" routines — on subjects like death or aging or aliens — tend to be excellent really helps temper the annoyance factor.Say what you will about casting a dancer the anthropomorphized concept of "addiction," but when everybody involved turns it out so spectacularly ...In more recent seasons, Stacey Tookey has stepped up, and while her earliest routines were Mia-lite, she's put her stamp on more than a few great numbers: Billy and Kathryn's "Jar of Hearts" and Eliana and Alex's "Bang Bang." My favorite happens to be from perpetually underrated Mandy Moore, who put together tiny Courtney and tiny Gev and capitalized on their outsized chemistry ...Runners-Up: Sonya has emerged as the definitive mad genius of the show's latter five seasons, with a strong, strange aesthetic and a penchant for big emotions and inhuman movements.Watch Allison Hokler spring to youthful life and dance beside her son in a moment of reverie and try not to feel Runners-Up: Outside of Mia and Travis, the ranks of contemporary choreographers is something of a patchwork.Tyce Diorio, he of the obnoxious personality and dreadful Broadway numbers, has done some of his best work in this genre: Ivan and Allison's "Why," Kent and Sasha's "Fool of Me," and the wildly praised "cancer dance" between season five's Melissa and Ade.
The Best: Kayla and Kupono, "Gravity," season 5Runners-Up: Second-season runner-up Travis Wall is the show's favorite son.
Since joining the choreography ranks in season five, he's come into his own rather quickly.
His first-ever routine — Jeanine and Jason's "If It Kills Me" — remains one of his very best; since then, he's succeeded with routines that were ambitious (Ellenore and Legacy's "Machine Gun"), emotional (Kent and Neil's "How It Ends"), and satisfyingly gimmicky (Melanie and Marko's "Turn to Stone").
His best work remains his most personal, a routine about his then-ailing mother, where he cast himself as her dance partner.
kicks off its eleventh season on Wednesday, and while the series can't be said to be in its prime anymore — the judges don't really critique anymore, and the whole enterprise might be well served by starting the competition at 16 dancers rather than the traditional 20 — it's still your go-to program if you're looking for top-notch dancing on TV. It covers the gamut from ballroom styles to modern dance and jazz and any number of evolving hip hop styles.
(While no one would confuse a Nigel Lythgoe show for a hip hop authority, there's no denying that it continues to strive to expand its vocabulary.)For its fans, routines that the show dedicated an entire episode to reprising her routines (it ...