Catching up on some news items you might have missed:
• OUT: Two-time Emmy-winning choreographer and So You Think You Can Dance star Travis Wall (above) has been taken off of the Break the Floor dance company’s tours after allegations of sexual misconduct and grooming were leveled at him by a then-underaged dancer with the company. Continue reading “News Round-Up: October 25, 2021”
I’m certain the emotionally raw new music video from Grammy winners A Great Big World for “Boys In The Street” will strike a chord deep within LGBTQ audiences.
Directed by Se Oh and choreographed by Emmy Award winning choreographer Travis Wall (So You Think You Can Dance), the video chronicles the story of a father’s journey to accepting his son for who he is.
Through Wall’s richly layered choreography, we follow a young gay man (alternately played by Aydin Eyikan and Wall) who fights to save his fractured relationship with a homophobic father (Colin Cunliffe). Kudos to director Oh for using light and darkness as a metaphor for the father’s inability to truly ‘see’ his son.
The song and video delicately crystallizes both the pain and hope that LGBTQ young people experience in their search for affirmation from their parents.
Chad King, vocalist for A Great Big World, shared his thoughts on the video with HuffPost: “I would love for people to connect with the honesty and authenticity of the story behind the song and video, and to maybe have an awareness and appreciation for someone else’s struggles and differences in a way they haven’t had before. I am so proud of the video and how it captures the feeling the song gives me. I hope others will connect to it in a similar way!”
“The dance world has always embraced our music, really since we started making music together and we can’t think of a better way to visually tell the stories of our songs,” Ian Axel, pianist and vocalist for A Great Big World added. “We’ve been fans of Travis’ for a while now and have always wanted to work with him. There are few choreographers who make our hearts burst like Travis does. We’re so honored and thrilled that he was open to be a part of this!”
“Boys In The Street” follows A Great Big World’s “Fall On Me” with Christina Aguilera, both of which will be featured on their third full-length album due out this August.
The latter has generated more than 30 million streams worldwide and reunited A Great Big World with Aguilera following their seven-times-platinum GRAMMY award-winning hit “Say Something.”
Follow the band on Instagram here and Travis Wall here.
Award-winning dancer-choreographer Travis Wall will host Break the Floor: Live, a free virtual dance convention April 18–19.
Faculty members from JUMP, NUVO and 24 Seven will gather virtually for online classes, auditions, a group competition, and more.
The event will be streamed from Break the Floor’s new studio in Los Angeles beginning at 12PM ET April 18.
Wall first hit the national spotlight as a competitor on So You Think You Can Dance in Season 2 before going on to choreograph for the reality dance competition for 14 seasons, earning nine Emmy nominations. He currently serves as a resident choreographer for the reality competition and a guest judge.
Wall took to Instagram to share the news writing, “CALLING ALL DANCERS!!!! I’m hosting the FIRST LIVE DANCE CONVENTION APRIL 18th & 19th! Come take class with me and some of your favorite convention teachers! And it’s FREE! My soul needs this! I can not wait to dance with you next weekend! TAG SOMEONE who would love this!!!!”
You can also check out a short live performance by Wall and SYTYCD alum Ricky Ubeda below as well.
You are not ready for this. Stop, drop and scroll down to watch this.
Broadway/recording diva Shoshana Bean teams up with choreographer divine Travis Wall to brings visual life to her acoustic cover of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s “This is Me” from the Hugh Jackman film, The Greatest Showman.
Wall conceived, directed, produced, and choreographed the music video wherein Bean talks Wall through the fears and doubts that life dumps on us.
Wall, like Bean, is a Broadway veteran having made his Broadway debut in the 2000 revival of The Music Man before becoming a major force in the dance world as a fierce competitor on the second season of Fox’s reality dance competition So You Think You Can Dance in 2006.
Bean, of course, starred on Broadway in Wicked as the wicked witch “Elphaba” and brought down the house in Hairspray. She’s since moved on to conquer the music charts with her own R&B/pop albums, touring the country to sold out audiences. I’ve previously written about Shoshana extensively – find more posts about the diva here.
It was only recently that I learned Bean recorded the original demo of “This is Me,” which won the 2018 Golden Globe for Best Original Song. But, with her still strong Broadway roots, it comes as no surprise.
Bonus point for the recording – Proceeds from downloads and streams of the new cover benefit the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
While I enjoyed the song in the context of the film, the powerful point on view here is both Wall and Bean bring their impressive powers to bear on a collaboration where, in my opinion, the song finds its new universal destiny.
Talking about the recording, Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein wrote, “My daughter, Shoshana Bean, takes this song and makes it her own, which means… she makes it OURS.”
Uber-talented Travis Wall (So You Think You Can Dance?) and his dance company Shaping Sound serve up some serious awesomeness on ELLEN with a dynamic dance piece set to Queen’s iconic “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
This dance, choreographed by Travis Wall, opened last night’s show and is apparently one of the few times, SYTYCD has utilized same-sex partners actually dancing with each other in a some-what romantic scenario.
Clearly the theme of the dance references LGBT equality and same-sex marriage. On top of the excellent execution by the final four dancers (Valerie Rockey, Ricky Ubeda, Jessica Richens, and Zack Everhart Jr.), the choreography is creative, current and thoughtful.
By the way, the recording of “Wind Beneath My Wings” was by Canadian twins RyanDan. You can find the recording here on iTunes.