NBC rings in the New Year with a brand new dance extravaganza. Superstars of Dance
begins on Sunday, January 4 with a two-hour premiere episode beginning at 9pm, the newest dance show to hit the airwaves.
Superstars of Dance
, hosted by Michael Flatley
(whose "legs flail about as if independent from his body", TM-Chandler Bing) and Susie Castillo
, is NBC's answer to the television dance craze. This new series, which sprang from the minds of executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Simon fuller, two of the masterminds behind American Idol
and So You Think You Can Dance
, brings together accomplished dancers from all over the world, each masters of their own style. Each country will showcase dance styles unique to their nations, in an Olympics-esque competition.
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Eight countries will participate in the competition with each team comprised of two soloists, one duo and one larger group. There will also be one judge per country.
A list of each of the countries, judges, coaches and the genres each act will perform is listed below.
Coach: Sandar is a Tony-nominated choreographer and principal dancer in the original cast of "Forever Tango."
Judge: Maria Pogee attended the world-famous school of the Theater Colon. She has directed, staged and choreographed dance productions throughout the world.
Performers: A sensual cabaret artiste soloist, a contemporary Tango dancer soloist, an Argentinian Tango duo and a group performing Gaucho style dance in which the Gaucho's use their bolas' to produce intricate rhythms.
Coach: Jason Gilkison is an international ballroom champion who currently oversees choreography and artistic direction for the FloorPlay version of "Burn the Floor."
Judge: Kelley Abbey is Australia's most outstanding dancer, actor, singer and choreographer. She has choreographed for Savion Glover and 1,000 animated penguins in the movie "Happy Feet."
Performers: A tap dance soloist, a contemporary dancer soloist, a Latin ballroom duo and a group performing contemporary dance.
Coach: Matthew Ahmet of Britain serves as Coach for team China. As a troubled teen Ahmet went to China and found his way by becoming a Shaolin Monk.
Judge: Master Haiyang Wang is the natural successor to become the next Abbott of the Shaolin Temple and a senior Buddhist in China.
Performers: A traditional Chinese ribbon dancer soloist, a double whip soloist, an acrobatic ballet duo and the Shaolin Monks Kung Fu group "Shaolin: Wheel of Life"—known as the greatest performers of Kung Fu for over 15 years who have performed in over 40 countries.
Coach: Marie Duffy Pask currently serves as Dance Director, Associate choreographer, for "Lord of the Dance" and "Feet of Flames."
Judge: Daire Nolan is most famous for his role as "Dark Lord" in Michael Flatley's "Lord Of The Dance."
Performers: Performing for team Ireland are Irish Step Dancers. This team is assembled from different groups currently performing all over the globe. They will perform for the first time together on "Superstars of Dance" as team Ireland.
Coach: Nakul Dev Mahajan is the founder and artistic director of the premiere Bollywood dance company in the United States.
Judge: Shirish Dayal has been producing, directing and choreographing stage shows for the past 15 years.
Performers: A Bharantanyam dancer soloist, a Kathak soloist, a Bollywood duo and a group performing Bhangra style of dance.
Coach: Stanislav Issaev was a principle dancer for many years with the Moscow Ballet Theater and was named People's artist of Russia, the highest artistic honor anyone can receive in the country.
Judge: Mikhail Smirnov is director and founder of Barynya, a hugely successful Russian folk dancing company.
Performers: A ballet dancer soloist from the world famous Bolshoi Ballet, a contemporary dancer soloist from the world famous Bolshoi Ballet, a ballroom duo and a group performing Cossak style of dance.
Coach: Tandi Bhengu has been a dancer and singer her entire life and has founded a program and dance troupe called S.A.G.A. (South African Girls Abroad).
Judge: Harold Van Buuren has won numerous titles as a Ballroom and Latin American championship dancer, representing South Africa internationally on numerous occasions.
Performers: A hip/hop dance soloist, an Afrofusion dance soloist, World Champion jive-inspired dance duo and a group performing Gumboot, a style of dance that was born in the gold mines of South Africa.
Coach: Marguerite Derricks is an Emmy-Award winning choreographer. She choreographed all of the "Austin Powers" movies and is currently choreographing the new version of "Fame."
Judge: Tony Selznick has danced with greats such as Gene Kelly. He is also the founder and senior agent at McDonald Selznick and Associates where he represents the biggest names in American dance.
Performers: A popping dancer soloist, a tap dancer soloist, World Champion cabaret style ballroom duo and a group performing hip hop.
According to the NBC press release, the series is “equal parts sporting event, rock concert and artistic exhibition” and “is poised to become the greatest spectacle of dance performances ever seen on television. What do you think? Do you think Superstars of Dance
will live up to this degree of hyperbole?
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)