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The Green Room: Interview with The LXD’s Christopher Scott

August 11th, 2011 by Rebecca Harper Editor

Now in its third season on Hulu, “The LXD” dance series is an original, telling the story of good vs. evil in an usual way: through dance. It’s the brainchild of Jon M. Chu, the same guy who brought us “Step Up 2: The Streets,” “Step Up 3D,” and Justin Bieber’s movie, “Never Say Never.” (He’s also reportedly working on a sequel to the G.I. Joe movie.) The dance troupe has been making the rounds lately—they’ve toured with the cast of “Glee” for two summers now, and have performed at the Emmys and at the TED conference. Most recently, they made their second appearance on “So You Think You Can Dance,” where the LXD’s Christopher Scott also served as a guest choreographer for several weeks this season. We spoke to Scott about the new season of The LXD a day before the group’s “SYTYCD” performance.

Don’t miss our interviews with The LXD’s Jon Chu and Harry Shum, Jr. (“Glee”), in our archives.

Hulu: So, Chris, tell us about the “So You Think You Can Dance” performance.
Christopher Scott:
The performance on “So You Think You Can Dance” is kind of, in a way, a continuation of the last piece that we did on the show. We start off with Galen and I on stage. We choreographed it together. We brought in an element of snow to set the season and tone. We like to engage with a place when we dance, to provide a place for the audience to experience a cinematic feel. We kind of add on routines until we have everyone on stage this time — last time we had people come and go throughout the routing. This time, we added a couple elements like flexers, who we showcase. And we have Pandora with her cutting. There are two ballerinas on pointe. It was contemporary the first time; this performance is more contemporary ballet.

We really wanted to show individual styles. That’s always a mission for The LXD: that street styles are as beautiful as your typical ballet. This one was very much an LXD ballet. Their story is more in the relationship that people have. It’s very subtle in the way that it represents society and where people belong, and where do you fit in. People get pulled into different molds … at the end, we all come together. Ultimately there shouldn’t be any rules.

I think you really got everyone’s attention when you choreographed “Misty Blue” for “SYTYCD” finalist Sasha and Season 4 All-Star Twitch. What’s the story behind that routine?
Originally, the only thing I knew going into the week was that I was going to get Twitch. Twitch has so much power, soul, and passion when he dances. When I listened to the song, it just sounded like Twitch would make this special. Then I found out it was going to be with Sasha, and I knew she’d be great. She’s not a hip-hop dancer, but rather a contemporary dancer. She has so much soul and passion, too. I knew the song was going to be perfect.

Listening to this song, it’s about a woman who was torn. She shouldn’t be with this guy. She misses him, but she shouldn’t be with him. It has this whole blues thing. I did a routine earlier in the season, “Ain’t No Sushine,” and in that one, I had it so that the girl was gone, away most of the routine.

One line in that song, “It’s been such a long, long time,” made me think about any couple who had been together such a long time. You know, they’ve been with each other for so long, but one night, they get the babysitter and go back to how it was. They go have fun, have a glass of wine, get freaky. I decided to just go with it from there. It’s a ’70s song, so I wanted to set it at the time the song came out. I pictured “The Wonder Years” and how they always had dinner on that show. I had it at dinner at first. But for some reason, it was so much more fun if it was breakfast. You know, it’s like she’s so much more important than work. Everyone wants that in a relationship, that feeling of being special. “Forget work, forget reading my newspaper, my relationship is more.”

Who’s your pick to win this season?
I haven’t gotten a chance to work with everyone on the show, so I’m a little biased. Sasha is just amazing. She is so easy to work with. She puts everything she has into it.

All of these dancers are good kids. They’re so hungry, so talented. Any one of them can win the show. When you work with them, it’s different than watching at home. You can’t pick your favorites.

Now, The LXD. What can we expect from Season 3?
Epic-ness for sure. We like epic, always. Season 1 was contained. It focused on meeting the characters. Season 2 introduced the bad guys and setting up the idea of good vs. evil. In Season 3, we’re going to see the impact of the fight. It will be good versus evil. You’ll get a taste of where this all began.

You’ve obviously been busy lately. How do you juggle the series and side projects — after all, you guys toured with “Glee” this summer?
This season was a little tougher. There has been so much opportunity from The LXD, where I started as a choreographer. Now I’m getting recognition and opportunity. It’s getting harder to be available. The same is happening for Harry [Shum, Jr.]. His role on “Glee” has gotten bigger since we started the show. But we’ve been able to build a bigger team and expand. We brought on more choreographers Galen Hooks and Mike Song, a great up-and-coming choreographer.

We got to see some of the series regulars get involved behind the scenes, too. Luigi and David had asked before about bringing some choreography to the series, and this season has been a great opportunity for these B-boys. Madd Chadd — the robot — wanted to jump into the choreography, and it was amazing to see what he could bring.

What’s next for you?
I’ve been hired to be a choreographer on “Step Up 4,” in fact I’m on the set right now. I met Jon on “Step Up,” I came on in “Step Up 3D.” I went to Hollywood High School for performing arts. I started in theater, even though I was a hip-hop kid. My CD case was full of Tupac, “Ragtime,” and “Les Mis.” From there, I attended the Theater Academy and then Second City for improv school. I studied dance, but I never found myself dancing. I always thought “I like to dance, but I love acting,” but as I let it all happen, it just took over. I’d just be in an elevator with my mom and sister, tap-dancing the whole time.

What have been some of your all-time favorite performances?
The first time we did “So You Think You Can Dance.” This was the first time we established what we were gonna do in live shows. Harry and I had no idea what we were gonna do. We had all this crazy stuff. But then we just looked at each other and said we should do a B-boy ballet. We see hip-hop as beautiful like ballet. That’s when it all started.

TEDTalks was pretty amazing: just to be invited, to have 18 minutes on that stage. We had original music. Live musicians were coming to rehearsals and we’d freestyle.

But “Robot Lovestory” is definitely my favorite of the series, for the style of Madd Chadd and to work with him. He’s so precise, and the concept is so cool. I don’t know if anyone out there really got the concept, but we had extensions of Madd Chadd — we called them his energies, these dancers — these extensions were coming off his body and going all over the room. It was fun. It felt like choreographing a superhero.

Mark of the Ox” was another. Just being there. It was freestyle. We had Frantick there with the powder. It was so music. He’d never done it before, but he just came out of his hood. It was silent, even the music was in a quiet section. Everyone was just laughing at him, because the stuff he was doing with this powder was off the top of his head. It brought his mom to tears. For a lot of these guys, they’re street dancers, and to be filmed like this, this is why we do this.

Catch new episodes of “The LXD” every Thursday on Hulu.

Last comment: Jul 8th 2017 5 Comments

So You Think You Can Dance: Top 6 Recap

August 10th, 2011 by Rebecca Harper Editor

Will it be Melanie or Sasha? That’s the question on everyone’s lips leading into the finals of “So You Think You Can Dance” tonight. Sure, Marko and Tadd are still in the competition, but even the judges are comfortable saying it will likely come down to two female contemporary dancers. (Sorry, fellas!) While we won’t know who will take top honors until Thursday night, here’s a look back at the most notable performances from last week’s Top 6, where we bid adieu to dancers Caitlynn and Ricky. With lead judge Nigel Lythgoe waffling between which girl is his favorite — one minute, it’s Sasha; the next, it’s Melanie — it’s sure to be one of the best finals yet.

Sasha and Kent
Sasha literally hit the wall in her routine, but fortunately we mean that in a good way. The onstage prop for their Tyce Diorio routine was simple: a plain wall, which played a significant role in their his story about two people who have hit a wall in their relationship. Sasha poured herself into the routine, putting her technique and her emotion into the routine in a way that made it clear that early frontrunner Melanie wasn’t a shoo-in to win this season. “You put your finger against a wall and you break my heart,” guest judge Christina Applegate said. “And that’s dance. … Something has hurt you and I thank you for sharing that with us.”

Tadd and Melanie
Melanie showed off her acting skills with Tadd last week as they performed a story about a choreographer and his star dancer. As Tadd took the role of the choreographer, Melanie portrayed a young dancer who was falling in love with her teacher. As she showed off her technical, sensitive side, her B-boy partner showed how far he’s come this season. “Tadd, to think you are in this routine with one of the best dancers we’ve ever had on this show,” Nigel said. “… To say that you did not suck is a compliment.

Melanie’s Solo
Since the judges referred to Melanie’s solo repeatedly in their critique of her pairing with Tadd, here’s a look at the “beefy” performance. (Description courtesy of judge Lil C.) No wonder the judges call her a “beast.”

Marko and Caitlynn
It may have been Caitlynn’s swan song, but it was still worthy of a Lil C-ism: her final dance with Marko last Wednesday earned the title of “double hash tag buck.” Marko’s performance was top-notch, for sure, but that’s expected of the Guam native. And so the judges focused on Caitlynn, whose breakthrough routine was one of her best numbers in the series.

Melanie and Twitch
Week after week, Melanie has conquered whatever dance “SYTYCD” has thrown at her, getting to the point where it seemed there was no style she couldn’t master. Last week, however, we almost — almost — saw her falter as she paired up with All-Star Twitch for a hip-hop routine. The music was difficult, and the choreography was fast, but, as judge Lil C pointed out, she got through the routine, letting go of her precision and athleticism, and finally showing us that she has teeth and claws. That’s right, this Little Red Riding Hood has bite, too.

Tell us what you think: Which “SYTYCD” star gets your vote for America’s top dancer?