Once in a generation, there is a group of artists who change the trajectory of a genre. By delivering new ideas and innovative interpretations of storytelling, they dedicate not only their hearts but also the very core of their being to their audience.
With a captivating storyline, Emmy-nominated choreographers Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance, and Kyle Robinson are changing the face of dance with their new company, Shaping Sound, which just kicked off a 13-city North American tour. The show pulls viewers deep inside the imagination to experience love, loss, and fantasy in a dance spectacular.
The company consists of 14 world-class dancers, including So You Think You Can Dance all-star Jaimie Goodwin. The company's creation was documented on Oxygen's hit show All the Right Moves and proved that watching two gay guys and two straight guys create beautiful dance pieces together is a guaranteed recipe for amazing television.
The red carpet premiere for Shaping Sound in Los Angeles May 19 attracted a star-studded lineup of who's who in the dance and choreography world. Among the attendees were former American Idol judge Paula Abdul, singer Lance Bass, director-choreographer Adam Shankman, Dancing With the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba, actors Missi Pyle and Laura Linda Bradley, and Dance Mom Abby Lee Miller.
When asked what makes a great dancer, Wall responds with one word: "Intention."
The intention of the Shaping Sound collaborators is clear: to "shape" the minds of their audiences. These dance advocates are no different from previous pioneers in the art world who challenged their generation to think differently. And as with the work of those predecessors, the magnitude of Shaping Sound doesn't sink in until the production is over. Only then does the audience understand that these artists not only brought new meaning to their craft but in so doing also changed its course forever.
"We had a small idea and didn't know it was going to become a company," Wall says. "It's inspiring to even think about how this has happened and how many people believe in it. This is our dream. To tour the country with your best friends and not only do what you love to do but also get paid for it."
In today’s world, being a dancer means that paying jobs are hard to come by. The passion an artist posesses is measured by the love they have for their craft. Having the courage to live your art is a rare gift — one that requires a supportive community that understands the challenges.
The spirit of the dance world has always been unlike any other. The bond dancers share resonates within one another's experiences, and the resulting freedom of expression is appreciated and understood as if it were one's own. There are no words in dance — the language comes from the heart, spoken through the body.