My article/interview with Jean Marc Genereux on tvguide.ca
It’s the moment Canadian dance fans have been waiting for: the return of So You Think You Can Dance Canada. Tonight, Canada’s favourite home-grown competition begins its fourth season with two hours of Toronto auditions, with returning host Leah Miller.
Back on the judging panel are Luther Brown, Tré Armstrong, Jean Marc Genereux and guest judges Mary Murphy and Rex Harrington. After hours of auditions, hopefuls will either get tickets straight to the finals or have to endure choreographer Blake McGrath’s dance boot camp to earn their way through.
If the first episode is any indication, viewers should be pleased with the level of talent in Season 4. We’ll see many dancers returning to audition with strength and passion, including many impressive contemporary dancers, break-dancers, and pop and lockers – even one super-cute classical dancer!
Now throw in some emotional life stories of hardships and the saving power of dance and you’ve got yourself a show. Of course, SYTYCD Canada would not be complete without some painfully hard-hitting (and not in a good way) auditions that make your toes curl.
Our favourite francophone judge and ballroom dance champ, Genereux, spoke with TV Guide Canada about what to expect on the show, and what he expects from dancers. “What is so important is the connection,” he explains over the phone. “If they are with their partners, the connection is physical and visual, but … first and foremost is the connection with the viewers. So it’s all about being able to project and connect, and that’s what I look for.”
When asked about special dancers to pay attention to, Genereux was not able to give any names just yet, but expressed that every province “showed up” on the audition tour. Though, from the past, he marked Nico Archambault, Vincent Desjardins, and last season’s winner Denys as special gems, and even mentioned that Season 1’s Natalie Reznik is now a dancer for Alicia Keys. These kids have gone places.
He says his favourite part about being a SYTYCD Canada judge is having a front-row seat to burgeoning success and talent. “It warms my heart every single show. I’m a judge, but I’m also a great audience and a great advocate of Canadian talent … it’s beautiful.”
He also talked of the show as a great launching pad for any dancer’s future. “Those kids are being discovered and they have followers, and it’s smart for any artist or production to tap (into) that market to boost their ratings…. Those kids have networks.”
Long-time fans will remember Season 1 champion Nico Archambault, who has since gone on to great success as a choreographer and dancer; this year returns to his roots. He will join the panel as a special guest in finals week, and Genereux is overjoyed. “It’s a full circle. And if people don’t believe in dreams, well there is an answer right there. Too many times, you see people and you would love to know what they think, but they don’t have the opportunity. I think the production was very, very smart to allow this guy to express himself and I think it’s great for the show.”
And what should we expect from Season 4? Crazy talent, says Genereux. “Be ready, OK? The cross training, and I know that ‘cause I witnessed it in the final, there is no weak link. So they’re signed and sealed, and they are ready to deliver on this amazing stage.” According to this judge, “the viewers have to buckle up, brace themselves, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride! Those kids are ready to play and they’re going to play hard. So if you liked Season 1, 2 and 3, you’re going to love Season 4!”