Tonight on So You Think You Can Dance, Melissa and Ade made me cry. Endlessly.
I’m still crying a little.
They danced, number 1, to one of my favorite songs (This Woman’s Work - Maxwell), and number 2, AMAZINGLY. They radiated raw honesty and emotion the whole way through.
The choreographer: Tyce Diorio (of course.) The story: Breast cancer. Obviously inspired by one of Tyce’s loved ones who is battling it currently or has in the past. The moment they revealed that was the theme of the dance, I gasped, but that was nothing compared to my state at the end of the routine. Let me just say something about Tyce. He is a true, honest to god genius. To have the strength, as Mia Michaels (choreographer GODDESS) said, to create a dance of such emotional magnitude is remarkable. Props to Tyce.
Melissa. The weightless ballerina was clad in a light outfit and a head scarf, one that reminded me of a mother of a child who goes to the daycare I work at. Everytime I saw her, it pained me so much to watch her 6-year old, bright, loving boy hug her, not knowing when the last time he could do that would be. She always wore blue-green head scarves and had a bright, not sickly, face. Like Melissa’s. Her emotion was ridiculous. I don’t know if even I had cancer, I could express such emotion. She went from hopeful, to sad, to angry, to an angel. She is an angel.
Ade. Ade is kind of a back-up plan for me. I love watching the others and I always forget about Ade. Whenever he dances, though, he surprises me immensely. To put it frankly, he’s crazy good and has a SICK body. This dance was about Melissa, but Ade kept up. He was so strong, catching her in midair at times or letting her beat him up towards the end. Without his strength, Melissa couldn’t have done it.
The big part for me wasn’t the dancers or the technique, it was the story. After watching it twice, it finally dawned on me why the dance hit me so hard. I was thrown back to April, 2007.Betty Ethridge, a family friend and the mother of a very old and true friend of mine was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Her daughter, the friend, Tina, kept an online journal where she blogged about the trials and tribulations of dealing with cancer. Betty was gone in a heartbeat - that November, she passed away. I didn’t cry when I found out, and I didn’t cry at her memorial. It hit me a few days later, while making my bed. I broke down in tears as waves of emotion hit me like stones. I was numb for a week, and now it was all catching up to me. This dance tonight was a flashback to that exact moment - being bombarded by overwhelming sadness and grief. A piece of art that is so brilliant and so amazing you can’t find the words to describe it is just…remarkable.
Thank you, Tyce, Melissa, and Ade.
From, just one person who was touched so deeply by this stunning piece of art. You touched millions of us dancers with the choreography alone, but the non-dancing viewers were just as blown away. Thank you.