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Danny Tidwell-- and the matter of dancer career choices


Helene

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[Edited to add]: This was a reply that was originally in the Monique Meunier thread, because of Danny Tidwell's former association with Complexions, Meunier's new company.]

According to Tidwell's website, he co-founded the quarterly magazine, Movmnt Magazine, which launched in June. About company affiliations, his "about" page states

This 22 year old guest artist, was featured in prestigious gala's in spring and summer of 2006. Classical and contemporary, the opening ceremonies of the USA IBC in Jackson, MS, was a highlight for the summer. Tidwell has worked with several companies and continues to collaborate creatively.
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As zerbinetta mentioned in the 2006 City Center season announcement, schedule thread, Danny Tidwell is dancing two performances of Christopher Wheeldon's ballet "Dance of the Hours" in the opera La Gioconda.

He just danced his first. Even getting an acknowledgement on the opera list reviews that a ballet exists is an achievement, but he's been getting accolades for his performance as well.

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I have avoided reality shows since their inception - I think they're a lazy producer's way of filling airtime and I'm sure viewing them leads directly to brain rot but still - there comes a point where you just can't say no. Had to tune in to "So you Think You Can Dance" once I heard that Danny was a contestant. Wow, he sure can dance - even though I think this is a huge waste of his talents I still can't take my eyes off him. Guess I'm hooked for as long as he's in the running, and he seems to be one of the judges favorites. Nice splits, Danny!

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Damn! I missed tonight :wink: . How did our guy do?

He danced the jive to Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend." :icon8:

If he wins, he'll get a handsome cash prize, yet I'm still scratching my head as to why he is on the show (and I know I'm not the only one who is baffled about his leave from ABT). Surely he has better taste than that?

I still don't understand the purpose of the show. It's not like American Idol where the winning talent gets a recording contract; they don't get a dance contract with a reputable dance company. Last seasons winner received the prize of dancing for Celine Dion's show in Vegas. So what's it going to be like this season if Danny wins: he'll go from dancing for ABT to dancing for Barry Manilow? Doesn't make sense to me. And at least AI has all the singers performing a unified style (they don't get any rappers or classical vocalists on the show), as opposed to So You Think You Can Dance, where breakdancers are pitted against ballroom dancers and ballet dancers and modern dancers, etc. Yes, I just raised American Idol on the competition merit meter. Because this Dance show makes it look that good.

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:clapping: Yeah, a lot of these viewers who are interested in 'dancing' may be inspired to go see him later on since they now know his name and have seen his talent. This could be a successful way of bringing the 'outsiders' to the world of ballet.

I really don't care for any of these types of shows but now that y'all have mentioned his appearance don't forget to update on what they say about him and how he's doing. Do the judges still think of him as cocky -even if he's safe- or has he proved himself?

I feel that him being on the show sort of lowers the status of his talent and makes some people that knew him prior to the show wonder where the quality has gone and perhaps not look at him the same after the show. Is he trying to prove something or try to be famous? Does this kind of thing look good on a resume'??

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I don't think it lowers his "talent." It's not unheard-of for a male dancer to do TV to increase his exposure and his income -- Edward Villella did it way back when, and it was good for him and for everybody -- increased the exposure of male dancers, gave the rural public a chance to see a GREAT dancer, got Villella an extra income and some more fans -- the only downside I've heard of was that dancing on concrete studio floors was seriously bad for his feet.

Hope Tidwell et al. are insisting on sprung floors.

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as a discipline, i think there's a limit to how far away you can go and still expect to come back, talent and youth notwithstanding.

also when edward villella was making his television appearances etc. he was still dancing with the new york city ballet, they were in addition to.

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Will his name be better box office when he returns to ballet as a result of the television exposure?

There's no guarantee that he will return. If people want to see Danny Tidwell dance, they're going to get tickets to the "So You Think You Can Dance" tour. It's not going to make an impact on ballet, just like Center Stage didn't increase interest in ballet all that much (there may have been an initial surge, but I still think it was confined to young dancers who already had interest in ballet), at least not in the way Red Shoes did.

On the show they don't even label Danny Tidwell a ballet dancer, so how will an uninformed audience know? They present him as a "contemporary" dancer.

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I’ve never watched “So You Think You Can Dance” before, but I was under the impression that it was geared toward young, inexperienced dancers who are trying to break into the realm of professional dance by getting some exposure (and another thing to add to their resumes). So what is Danny, who’s already had a very, very prestigious job in the professional dance world (at ABT) doing on the show??? Does he feel a need to prove to the world – via television – that despite his ballet background, he can succeed in other types of dance?

Although I have no idea why he left ABT, I agree that the lure of the cash prize and the popularity that winning the competition brings with it might have been a big factor behind his decision to participate in the show. How many years of dancing in ABT’s corps does it take to accumulate $250,000? More than two or three, I’m sure. Plus, although “So You Think You Can Dance” is no “American Idol,” it does have a devoted fan base that is larger (or at least more vocal, it seems) than the devoted fan base for ballet. If Danny were still dancing at ABT, he might get the occasional mention in a published review and a few kind words on BalletTalk or in individual balletomane’s blogs, but participating on this show means that he gets to dance before a crowd of screaming fans and (attempt to) win the hearts and votes of the American public. Maybe he feels that his talents are better enjoyed and appreciated now, given that TV reaches way more people (of many different backgrounds) than a performance at the Met does?

I don’t want to accuse Danny of selling out, but in my view that’s essentially what he’s doing, in the name of money, exposure, and popularity. Although I can’t blame him for it – given how underpaid and underappreciated ballet dancers tend to be, I can understand why “So You Think You Can Dance” might be a more fulfilling project, at least in the short term.

That said, I’m still rooting for him and actually took the time to watch video clips and read comments about him online. But I’m saddened by the fact that his ballet background and what we think is by far his greatest accomplishment – dancing with ABT – gets pushed to the background, both on the show and by bloggers who write about it. On the FOX website, he actually says the following:

If you had to categorize your dance style, what would it be (hip hop, ballet, tap etc…)?

I would have to say contemporary. But with a strong ballet background.

Well, at least he acknowledges he has a ballet background. But he is always referred to as a “contemporary” (how is that different from modern?) dancer on the show. Maybe he and/or the producers think viewers would actually be turned off by hearing the word “ballet” associated with him? And bloggers who comment on the show (few of whom have any real knowledge of ballet, as far as I’ve gathered) only mention in passing that he trained at the Kirov Academy (and many people might not know what that is, just from those two words) and was involved with ABT (or American Ballet Company, as many still think it is called).

Finally – correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Danny featured on the cover of Dance Spirit magazine in January or February 2003? I remember reading the article, and I am almost certain it was about him. He must have been quite new at ABT at the time, and the interview noting that Danny started in jazz and tap but was soon encouraged to try ballet. He said something about hating ballet at first (because of the stereotypes) but then finding that it is the most challenging and most fulfilling form of dance. He seemed to be very happy with where his career was going in ballet.

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I’ve never watched “So You Think You Can Dance” before, but I was under the impression that it was geared toward young, inexperienced dancers who are trying to break into the realm of professional dance by getting some exposure (and another thing to add to their resumes). So what is Danny, who’s already had a very, very prestigious job in the professional dance world (at ABT) doing on the show??? Does he feel a need to prove to the world – via television – that despite his ballet background, he can succeed in other types of dance?

Exactly. The show isn't about finding some amateur, undiscovered talent who wants to break into the dance world. Many of the contestants seem highly experienced in their field of dance. From what I've seen it's about gaining national exposure. Afterall, how much exposure is a professional dancer going to get through the dance community alone? Alessandra Ferri and Nina Ananiashvili are not familiar names with the average American public.

Well, at least he acknowledges he has a ballet background. But he is always referred to as a “contemporary” (how is that different from modern?) dancer on the show.

When I think of modern I think of modern technique or modern style, like Martha Graham and Paul Taylor. I'm guessing contemporary differs in that it can be a combination of jazz, hip hop, tap, etc.

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Well, at least he acknowledges he has a ballet background. But he is always referred to as a “contemporary†(how is that different from modern?) dancer on the show.
His most recent job-job seems to have been with Complexions, which identifies itself as a "contemporary dance" company. In fact, its homepage boasts an audition notice for dancers who "must have strong ballet, modern and contemporary foundation" and advising women to bring pointe shoes.
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Anybody else watching? Last night, Danny Tidwell did a great job to escape another elimination round, earning himself a spot in the all-important Top Ten -- the group that will tour the USA after the final show. I'm not really into hip-hop and other contemporary styles but Danny's balletic qualities are apparent to me in everything that he dances (extension, posture, etc.). Yeah, Danny!!!! :D

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The question was, how did he end up (for the second consecutive week) in the bottom three, anyway? The silver lining there was that his low standing made it necessary for him to do his "dance for your life" solo. I don't know ballroom standards, but as a theatrical exhibition, his foxtrot on Wednesday was ravishing. Shadows of Astaire.

I hope his loss of Anya and the need to start fresh with a new partner doesn't present an obstacle for next week.

Does anyone else think his smile is a secret weapon? Everytime he flashes it, I melt.

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I also think that smile is a secret weapon: dazzling, confident, yet sweet and somehow a bit bashful. You are not melting alone carbro!

I think his other secret weapon may turn out to be Jamie (sp?) who is also without a partner now.

I suspect, the best is yet to come....

I hope :D

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I don’t want to accuse Danny of selling out, but in my view that’s essentially what he’s doing, in the name of money, exposure, and popularity. Although I can’t blame him for it – given how underpaid and underappreciated ballet dancers tend to be, I can understand why “So You Think You Can Dance” might be a more fulfilling project, at least in the short term.

I have to wonder about that, ZB1. :shake: Financially enticing perhaps, but fulfilling? :D

I found the recent Times article on Tidwell touching enough to make me tune into the show, but I didn't last more than a few minutes and didn't see Tidwell. Perhaps his routine is a cut above the norm there, but I like what Robert Weiss, former NYCB dancer and now artistic director of Carolina Ballet is quoted as saying in an article in today's Links:

"I don't understand So, You Think You Can Dance? either. It's really popular, but it's really sleazy … Beauty translates into a certain kind of goodness, a certain kind of morality.

The article continues:

It's an idea developed by Neo-classical French philosopher Denis Diderot (1713-1784), who thought artists had a social responsibility to educate the public through the innate morality of beauty.

"It does educate," [Carolina Ballet principal and guest choreographer Attila] Bongar said. "(Ballet) shows people how (things) should or shouldn't be."

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