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S2 - Travis Wall: Before There Was Danny...


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#1

singwaitersong21

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Posted Aug 4, 2007 @ 10:45 PM

I don't know if there is a reason that past dancers don't have individual thread titles, but I thought that I would try to start a trend. Travis is an amazing dancer who should have won last season. I think even though he was a contemporary dancer, he was the best hip-hop dancer, and had the most star power out of the entire Top20 last season. He was so magnetic in the SexyBack dance.
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#2

provencal

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Posted Aug 4, 2007 @ 10:50 PM

I said this on the Danny thread, but I'll say it again. I think TPTB are trying to hide that Danny's family is white. The camera hasn't shown Denise Wall as Danny's mother even though there was a clear shout-out to her from Danny and Cat (a perfect TV moment). When they first mentioned that Danny was Travis' brother, Travis was shown dancing, turning, in a far away shot. And when Cat pointed out that Travis was in the audience, it took a long time before Travis was finally shown, and then it was in a small group. If you didn't know which one was Travis, you wouldn't have known who it was.
Compare that to the number of times Benji's face has been shown.
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#3

TWoP Dietrich

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Posted Aug 5, 2007 @ 12:07 AM

I don't know if there is a reason that past dancers don't have individual thread titles


It's because there are too many of them and they don't have enough traffic to need their own threads. Discussion of them should go in the Tales of Dancers Past thread, please.
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#4

Purplish

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Posted Jun 25, 2010 @ 10:35 AM

Don't worry Travis. I can't tell the difference between contemporary, jazz, and lyrical either.
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#5

TwizzWhizz11

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Posted Jun 25, 2010 @ 11:30 AM

Don't worry Travis. I can't tell the difference between contemporary, jazz, and lyrical either.


Didn't like how Nigel condemned him on Wednesday's show either. I felt it came from a place that was more "You were a contestant on this show, so you should respect everything I say" than anything constructive.

To be truthful though, I missed the rehearsal clip and forgot what Mark had said they had when they 'picked' partners, and just caught the dance itself. I totally thought it was a contemporary routine - but I digress. If I had known it was a jazz routine, it probably would have seemed 'jazzy' to me.
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#6

IHeartDVR

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Posted Jun 25, 2010 @ 12:02 PM

Here's the rub, Nigel has let other choreographers get away with a loose interpretation of the style they drew if the routine was deemed stellar. Wade frequently does whatever he wants to do (and I love him for it), but if you think of the week Wade was choreographing Jazz for Hok and Jaimie and we ended up with "The Chairman's Waltz," well, I wouldn't call that Jazz either. Travis choreographed a contemporary routine that was middle of the road, that's why he got called out. Had he produced a Wade not-jazz-but-freakin'-fabulous routine we would not have heard anything. Nigel has been rude to several of his choreographers before, he used to abuse Cecily and Olisa on a regular basis, and he has snarled at Wade, Mandy, etc; Travis just got initiated.

I have mixed feeling about it. On one hand, it was unfair of Nigel because he's being inconsistent. On the other hand, Travis has received tongue baths for routines that were not that fabulous in the past, so maybe this was the universe's way of balancing things out. The person who really got short-changed was Ashley, who did exactly what was asked of her by her choreographer (the professional) but got caught up in the Travis backlash. She's left with "we haven't seen Ashley yet." Whatever.

Edited by IHeartDVR, Jun 25, 2010 @ 12:05 PM.

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#7

allemand

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Posted Jun 25, 2010 @ 3:15 PM

Yay! A Travis thread at last!

I agree that Nigel has been really inconsistent when it comes to genre. He's let contemporary dance performed to waltz tempo music pass as a Viennese waltz one week and hammered a fox trot a week or two later because there wasn't enough time in closed hold. He's let the Chairman's Waltz pass as jazz (also, I think, the mama and baby fox number, which was basically critiqued for lack of content, not for being something other than jazz).

He has persisted in referring to Mark as a contemporary dancer, just because he's neither ballroom or hip-hop, and Mark is still getting criticized for his lack of classical technique, which he never claimed to have. Mark was listed in the tour program as Jazz/Funk, which is closer to the truth.

Anyway, I agree that Travis didn't deliver a jazz routine, although the choreography was really faster and (I'll have to go back and look) more rhythmic than your average contemporary. I don't feel that the critique of Ashley's performance was the time to mention it. He regularly checks in at rehearsals, and presumably is aware of what he's going to see on performance night, so he could have spoken to Travis prior to the show.

Anyway, Travis is trying to be cool about it and Ashley was safe this week. Thank goodness (not Nigel) for small favors.
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#8

westsideuhoh

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Posted Jun 25, 2010 @ 11:12 PM

It was contemporary jazz through and through, not classical Jazz.

It actually lends itself a lot to Modern, although I doubt that was Travis' idea. Tilts are not apart of Jazz technique, and neither was that penche. Leave it to a competition trained trickster to mess up his genres.
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#9

dcalley

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Posted Jun 26, 2010 @ 7:01 AM

When Nigel said something after Tyce's jazz number about it actually being jazz, the camera cut to Tyce in the audience. You could also see Travis, who made me laugh because he was saying something out loud, and I assumed it was anti-Nigel.

Edited by dcalley, Jun 26, 2010 @ 7:02 AM.

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#10

musica

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Posted Jun 26, 2010 @ 7:42 AM

When Nigel said something after Tyce's jazz number about it actually being jazz, the camera cut to Tyce in the audience. You could also see Travis, who made me laugh because he was saying something out loud, and I assumed it was anti-Nigel.


You tell him, Travis!

To me, I have never understood the difference between jazz and contemporary. I do not think Nigel know the difference, really.

Cannot there be a slow jazz that look like contemporary?

So shut-up, Nigel. Is not like Travis is not a trained dancer. I would like to hear what Travis has to say about it because maybe I might learn something. Nigel did not even say why the routine was not jazz. So I do not even think Nigel know, really.

I like Travis grow some cojones!

Edited by musica, Jun 26, 2010 @ 7:45 AM.

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#11

provencal

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Posted Jun 26, 2010 @ 7:43 AM

My take on the "not jazz" comment was that it didn't show Ashley in a different light, which it was supposed to. It wasn't an artistic criticism, rather more like a supervisor telling an employee he didn't do what he was supposed to, and therefore caused problems for the system.
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#12

musica

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Posted Jun 26, 2010 @ 7:49 AM

My take on the "not jazz" comment was that it didn't show Ashley in a different light, which it was supposed to. It wasn't an artistic criticism, rather more like a supervisor telling an employee he didn't do what he was supposed to, and therefore caused problems for the system.


I am not going to argue about this, but how long has this show been on the air now? Do not they have production meetings? I do not know what when on behind the scenes, so maybe Nigel had mentioned this prior.

But I still would have like to hear what Travis had to say--not necessarily in criticism of Nigel (even though he is my least favorite judge of all time), but more about what Travis thought he did choreograph a jazz dance rather than comtemporay.

Maybe Travis will explain on his twitter?
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#13

tyladurden

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Posted Jun 26, 2010 @ 8:36 AM

My take on the "not jazz" comment was that it didn't show Ashley in a different light, which it was supposed to. It wasn't an artistic criticism, rather more like a supervisor telling an employee he didn't do what he was supposed to, and therefore caused problems for the system.


I would agree with this assessment. But I would not agree with Nigel's point of view. I was annoyed that Nigel praised Tyce for giving them a "real jazz" piece which was also a messy poor man's Sonya Tayeh knock off while berating Travis for not ticking off the right SYTYCD boxes even though he at least attempted to come up with something original and interesting and Travis-ish. Then again, the Mark/Ashley piece was actually my favorite of the night and I really loved the "lifty" choreo, even if it did lean more lyrical jazz/contemporary.

ETA:

He has persisted in referring to Mark as a contemporary dancer, just because he's neither ballroom or hip-hop, and Mark is still getting criticized for his lack of classical technique, which he never claimed to have. Mark was listed in the tour program as Jazz/Funk, which is closer to the truth.


This brings up a great point. Fusion choreo and fusion dancers always run into trouble on this show because they cross genre lines and don't fit into a preconceived box. I guess I'm less concerned about what's "real jazz" or "real hip hop" or whatever and more interested in what's enertaining and creatively satisfying.

Edited by tyladurden, Jun 26, 2010 @ 8:40 AM.

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#14

Ekova

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Posted Jun 26, 2010 @ 8:45 AM

I think Travis mumbled "whatever" when Nigel pointed Tyce's piece being Jazz. Imho his reaction on being criticized reflects more poorly on his character than on the judges. Smoke is constantly blown up his ass and the one, as far as I recall, time he is criticized, he acts childish.
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#15

musica

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Posted Jun 26, 2010 @ 8:58 AM

Smoke is constantly blown up his ass and the one, as far as I recall, time he is criticized, he acts childish.


At least he is not crying about it. Boo hoo, I am crying when I am happy; I am crying when I am sad. Boo, hoo, hoo. I am just a crier so this is what I do. I am just here to learn even if what I learn is just a bunch bs on how to become an asskisser. To me, this not normal that somebody expressing disagreement is considered arrogant. Sure, I respect humility, but at the same time, to be a doormat is not good either.

I do not think is childish to respond to criticism. People can disagree with Nigel. Just because he is producer of show does not mean he is right, necessarily. I mean, he might be right as far as what was during his time as vaudeville or variety show dancer, but he is not necessarily correct now.

Of course, I think Nigel want to give everybody something to argue about, but he does this at the expense of choreographers. Why cannot the choreographers respond or at least react if they do not disagree. Why cannot Travis respond without being considered childish if others can cry all the time, but seem oh so mature? This is why I like Maks on DWTS. He speak his mind. He should have an opinion. He is accomplished dancer and teacher, too. So you know, Travis is not some nothing, or why is he even on this show as choreographer? Travis has right to have respected opinion, too.

At one point, these people are professionals, you know. Travis is no longer a contestant(?) on show, so why cannot he have an opinion or response.
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#16

Ekova

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Posted Jun 26, 2010 @ 9:02 AM

I didn't say he couldn't have an opinion on being criticized, but his reaction on camera was imo extremely childish.
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#17

looseleaf

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Posted Jun 26, 2010 @ 9:26 AM

I do not think is childish to respond to criticism. People can disagree with Nigel. Just because he is producer of show does not mean he is right, necessarily. I mean, he might be right as far as what was during his time as vaudeville or variety show dancer, but he is not necessarily correct now.

Of course, I think Nigel want to give everybody something to argue about, but he does this at the expense of choreographers. Why cannot the choreographers respond or at least react if they do not disagree. Why cannot Travis respond without being considered childish if others can cry all the time, but seem oh so mature? This is why I like Maks on DWTS. He speak his mind. He should have an opinion. He is accomplished dancer and teacher, too. So you know, Travis is not some nothing, or why is he even on this show as choreographer? Travis has right to have respected opinion, too.

At one point, these people are professionals, you know. Travis is no longer a contestant(?) on show, so why cannot he have an opinion or response.


Travis is entitled to respond however he wants, and we are entitled interpret it however we want to. Simple as that. Childish or not, him mouthing something has given people something to speculate about, and this is what comes out of it.
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#18

musica

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Posted Jun 26, 2010 @ 9:36 AM

I didn't say he couldn't have an opinion on being criticized, but his reaction on camera was imo extremely childish.


I mean is not like Nigel asked Travis a question, "Why did not you make more difference in the jazz dance to show this contemporary dancer is versatile? Then Travis could say, "Well, I was trying to show her at her best, so I thought this would be the way to go." Then maybe Travis would have, "I see what your saying, but I did not think about it at the time." Or then maybe Travis would have said, "Whatever, " and I might agree he was acting childish then, but he did not have chance to explain. To me, the choreographers are trying to help the dancers, not hurt them, and I do not think Travis meant any harm. He was just trying to do his best and in doing so make her look her best.

No, Nigel just make this opinion statement as fact as if Travis did not know the difference between jazz and contemporary. Maybe is Nigel who do not know the difference? Has not Wade made some choreographies in the same fashion--jazz that looked like contemporary. You mean to tell me Wade do not know the difference either?

I am just saying, Nigel made Travis look bad and did not give Travis an opportunity to express his disagreement Then to top it off, Nigel congratulate Tyce, and from what I have read here Tyce is pretty hit or miss, too. So is like pitting children against one another rather than treating the choreographers professionally. So IF Travis is considered childish, then he was just responding to a childish situation.

I understand Nigel probably does this for show because he want to give viewers something to talk about, or why would these choreographers keep coming back? But to me is only human to be going WTF with some of the proclamations Nigel make. I do not blame Travis for being human. As I said, are the only people considered human the ones who are cry all the time and are.., "Yes, Nigel, I want to learn so much from you and this show." Oh please, is not normal to just be like that all the time. And really is more "entertaining" for us to see the choreographers stand up for themselves rather than Nigel just dictating to everybody. That is reality: people do stand-up for themselves, no?

I guess the dancer-contestants have to "take it" which reduces them to playing this game which is a little sickening, for me anyway. Is a little boring all the kids are so pc, I think. But why the choreographers?

So anyway, I disagree with you about Travis.
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#19

tyladurden

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Posted Jun 26, 2010 @ 9:44 AM

I actually thought his "whatever" was pretty funny. It all amounted to a bunch of meaningless reality tv posturing and drama, and Travis's reaction was tres apropos.
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#20

vallegirl

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Posted Jun 26, 2010 @ 10:21 AM

I didn't say he couldn't have an opinion on being criticized, but his reaction on camera was imo extremely childish.

I thought his reaction was funny because it was a candid moment when he thought he wasn't on camera. Even though he was seated next to Tyce, he likely assumed he couldn't be seen and had an honest response to a passive dig at him. Had he rolled his eyes when he was being criticized I'd have thought he was being childish, but it did feel like Nigel wasn't so much praising Tyce as getting in another dig at Travis and Travis' response just screamed "Whatever, I heard you the FIRST time."
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#21

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Posted Jun 26, 2010 @ 11:25 AM

I can't say that I didn't have a moment of schadenfreude when Little Miss Perfect got a note on TV from the boss, but I think Travis handled it fine. I can't begrudge a "whatever" when Nigel brought it up a second time. I do hope that Travis and the other choreographers took that note, though. Dance of the flailing nightgown is getting tiresome enough in contemporary; it doesn't need to set up home in jazz, too.

Edited by CassandraRedux, Jun 26, 2010 @ 11:26 AM.

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#22

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Posted Jun 26, 2010 @ 12:03 PM

I thought he said "you gotta be kidding me"
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#23

Purplish

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Posted Jun 26, 2010 @ 1:27 PM

I think Travis has great potential as a choreographer, but sometimes, it looks to me like he goes to his dancers, says "show me your tricks", and then just strings them together.
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#24

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Posted Jun 26, 2010 @ 5:44 PM

Contemporary or jazz, it was still shit choreography. Like Heidi Fleiss' pocketbook, it was all tricks. A frantic series of lifts that related nothing from the music to the audience.
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#25

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Posted Jun 27, 2010 @ 12:44 AM

I was actually rewatching the Mark/Ashley piece today, and was particularly impressed that Travis managed to make all of the complicated partnering work intertwine perfectly with the rise and fall of the music while also creating the ebb and flow of the on again/off again relationship between the two dancers. I think this one was really underrated, and I'm not one to ooo and ahhh at tricks for tricks' sake. I also think Travis's musicality has always been one of his greatest strengths as both a dancer and a choreographer.

Also, Purplish, that's exactly how I would describe Tyce's usual M.O. (Tyce choreographs for Neil, you bet your ass Neil will be flipping. Alot. Tyce gets Jakob- HMS! HMS! Alex? Can you say jete?) Travis not so much, though. For me, Travis's biggest weakness as a choreographer is his habit of falling back on the angsty relationship theme over and over, but I think he's fairly creative when it comes to the actual choreography. The only instance where I can recall Travis going overboard to incorporate a dancer's tricks is the disappointing Legacy/Ellenore piece. I'm sure he was trying to show Legacy off to his best advantage because it wasn't his genre, but the choregraphy didn't work for me at all even though Ellenore performed the hell out of it.

*Edited because Neal is not Neil

Edited by tyladurden, Jun 27, 2010 @ 12:49 AM.

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#26

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Posted Jun 27, 2010 @ 10:19 AM

For me, Travis's biggest weakness as a choreographer is his habit of falling back on the angsty relationship theme over and over, but I think he's fairly creative when it comes to the actual choreography.


This, a thousand times over. I never get excited when I hear Travis is choreographing because I know exactly what it's going to be. "We're-boyfriend-and-girlfriend-but-we-have-PROBLEMS!" is such a lazy theme in contemporary. Occasionally a dance can transcend this if it's stylized enough--Sonya's "Tore my Heart"--but I hate that this has become the goto storyline for Travis. He's bordering on Tyce-level ridiculousness who, whenever he gets an impulse to choreograph something "serious," feels compelled to explain in opening packages that love "Is the greatest thing two people can EVER FIND!" or that he needs the contestants to find "That man and woman thing". The emphasis placed on (heterosexual) angst heavy relationships is getting nauseating and it's boring to witness.

Travis is still a younger choreographer, and I think he can overcome this with time--and I give him a bit of a break because I know this show favors romantic themed stories--but he's never going to become an interesting choreographer if he doesn't stir the pot every now and again.
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#27

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Posted Jun 27, 2010 @ 1:39 PM

Hell yeah, some pot stirring is in definitely order, especially now that Nigel has thrown down the gauntlet. Come on, Travis, you know you want to... I agree that the thematic repetition gets frustrating, especially when something like this, totally devoid of the silly STYTCD storyline trap, totally blows me away. (And makes me wish a pox on Nigel's house for allegedly banning same sex dance pairings this season.) I think (know) Travis is capable of a lot more if he pushes himself in other directions. But for me (for you) the difference between a lurve is awesome! Tyce piece and an angsty love! Travis piece is that Travis's choreography is usually fairly inventive and you can see a creative process at work while Tyce's is usually either ripped off or paint by numbers. Comparing the Tyce Neil/Ashley piece to the Travis Mark/Ashley piece, for example, once I got over the "oh no, not another lurve thing" eye rolling, I thought the Mark/Ashley piece was a lot more visually interesting and worked better with the song. I dug the the way the Mark and Ashley's bodies seemed to create this kind of continuous rolling, up and down rollercoaster feeling that was echoed by the divine Ms. Lennox, "does it feel cold, does it feel hot." Tyce's piece, OTOH, was a lot of flailing and standard contemporary moves thrown together and was really only carried by the commitment of the dancers.

Edited by tyladurden, Jun 27, 2010 @ 1:40 PM.

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#28

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Posted Jun 28, 2010 @ 12:08 AM

Damn, tyladurden, that was incredible. Thanks for that! I wish the dancers could pull a choreographer's name from the box/hat instead of the genre. Then there would be more opportunities for fusion dances and collaboration in the vein of that (supposedly improvised) routine with Ivan.
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#29

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Posted Jun 28, 2010 @ 7:37 AM

I'm so glad that someone went ahead and made this thread.

I suppose I could have posted this in Danny's thread, but since it's based on a Travis tweet, it's better here. Apparently Denise Wall has breast cancer and had surgery last week.

Sending thoughts, prayers and healing vibes to Denise.
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#30

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Posted Jun 28, 2010 @ 11:50 AM

think (know) Travis is capable of a lot more if he pushes himself in other directions. But for me (for you) the difference between a lurve is awesome! Tyce piece and an angsty love! Travis piece is that Travis's choreography is usually fairly inventive and you can see a creative process at work while Tyce's is usually either ripped off or paint by numbers.


I vehemently disagree. Tasty Oreo's Broadway sucks, but many of his jazz/contemporary pieces have been both visually stunning and intrinsically connected to the music. I don't think "Adam and Eve" (Jessica/Will), "Wonderful" (Natalie/Benji), "Why" (Ivan/Allison), or the piece he did for Randi/Evan in Season 5 are anything alike and yet they were all gorgeous and raw.

Travis has only been choreographing sporadically for about three seasons whereas Tasty has been on since Season 1; we'll see what his work looks like after a longer stretch. I agree that there were some great moments in the Ashley/Mark piece, but it was not on the level of the Jeanine/Jason one where creativity and connection to music are concerned. In fact, it boggles the mind why he did not go for something more similar to his group routine in Season 5 to "Let It Rock"; he has stuff on the internet that's better than his routine last week, and this is from someone who enjoyed it. I should also add that there were times that it looked VERY similar to Tyce's "For All We Know."
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