Monday, January 11, 2010

Field report from Chris Trondsen: LA ABDC5 auditions

Here's the rest of Chris Trondsen's field report on the Los Angeles auditions for America's Best Dance Crew Season 5:

One thing I’ve heard a lot in earlier seasons is crews being formed at auditions or crews that are brand new.
It didn’t seem like that this year.  When I talked to each crew, they had been dancing together for YEARS.  And you could tell in their interviews and when watching them practice.  Everyone really seemed to know each other and what it was going to take to be on the show.

Also, I didn’t see any crews that plain sucked.  It wasn’t like American Idol where there were joke crews or dancers that thought they could dance but were finding out today that they just plain couldn’t.  They were all really good.  In fact, I really think that they could’ve easily found 9 dope crews and put them straight on the show from LA alone.  There was that much talent.

On the first day of taping, Randy Jackson did show up to surprise everyone auditioning.  People went crazy when he pulled up in a black Escalade.  He came out and really interacted with the dancers, taped some segments that will most likely being on the show for the casting special, and gave words of advice to all the dancers.

The crews had a lot of time just waiting outside for their turn to go inside the audition room so many crews just practiced in the street and on the side walks making sure that they were ready when their time came. They performed for a casting director, the show’s executive producer Karen Schwartz, and choreographer Chonique (Pink, J.Lo, Britney Spears). Inside the audition room, it was a dance studio where the dancers lined up and faced the judges telling them the name of their crew, each of their individual names, and their ages.  Then they played the music and the crew would perform.  Then they would line back up and hear the judge’s critiques.  If the judges felt they were amazing, they moved them on to the next round. If they liked them but weren’t 100% sure if they should make the show, then they would have them perform one more time but doing whatever advice they gave them (such as this time give more energy). Then they were told right then and there if they were coming back for the next round. 

The second day was moved to a different dance studio because the dance studio for day one was kinda small and some dancers needed more room. Day 2 started early again and about half of the crews from day one got called back.   In the morning they did their routine again from day 1 as well as a shorter piece they put together in just 24 hours from music given to them from the show. After that, there was another cut for the groups to perform in front of the judges, which included Shane Sparks and We Are Heroes very own Nichelle Thrower.

There were a lot of good crews and a lot of talent.  It will be interesting to see what crews from LA make it and if it’s going to be the 5 best crews or if they are going for diversity like last year.

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