Netflix’s new competition series could’ve been called So You Think You Can Dance… Next to 100 Other People Who’ll Determine Your Longevity in This Show.
Dance 100, a 6-episode, hour-long show, was released today and pits eight choreographers against each other for an ultimate prize of $100,000. The set-up: Each week, the choreographers are assigned a song and a group of dancers who’ll perform one of their pieces in front of a live audience. The choreographers also dance during the performance. And ultimately, those dancers — along with the rest of the 100 professional dancers who make up the titular troupe — decide which choreographer goes home each week. As the weeks continue, each choreographer’s group gets larger.
Peloton instructor Ally Love hosts the series, serving as cheerleader to the nervous choreographers and emcee to the raucous live audience. She also frequently interacts with the non-performing members of The 100, who watch each number from a catwalk suspended at stage right and offer their critiques as the dancers on stage catch their breath.
The premiere introduces us to the choreographers, whose experience varies greatly. We watch them hear their song for the first time (they don’t get to choose), meet their dancers (they don’t get to choose them, either), rehearse, attend a dress rehearsal and then go for it in front of the crowd. Briefly, the rundown is:
* Keenan: A dancer/dance instructor/choreographer from New York City who has worked with artists like Cardi B. and Jennifer Lopez; his Episode 1 routine is to Rosalia’s “A Palé.”
* Rudy: A dancer/choreographer/instructor from Miami; his Episode 1 routine is to Eve’s “Tambourine.”
* Brandi: A dancer/choreographer/dance teacher from Hawaii who has worked with Cirque du Soleil and Julianne and Derek Hough; her Episode 1 routine is to Ke$ha’s “Tonight.”
* Rex: A newbie who’s never had a choreography job; his Episode 1 routine is to Dead Prez’s “Hip Hop.”
* Janick: A dancer and choreographer from Montreal who has appeared on So You Think You Can Dance Canada and America’s Best Dance Crew; her Episode 1 routine is to Disclosure’s “You and Me (Flume Remix).”
* Celine: The New York-based co-captain of the Brooklyn Nets dance team, the Brooklynettes, who has performed with Lil’ Kim and DJ Khaled, among others; her Episode 1 routine is to Stefflon Don’s “16 Shots.”
* Akira: A dance instructor, choreographer and founder of Pretty Big Movement (a dance company inclusive of bodies of all sizes, types and colors) who has appeared in two Beyoncé videos; her Episode 1 routine is to Doja Cat’s “Woman.”
* Max: A Los Angeles-based dancer who has performed with Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake and at events like the Super Bowl and the Grammys; his Episode 1 routine is to Samm Henshaw feat. Earthgang’s “Church.”
The elimination at the end of the hour comes in two parts. First, the choreographers stand across the stage, facing the audience, as the dancers who performed in the premiere move into lines behind them. Their choice of line signifies their votes for which contestants they want to keep. “Dancers, make your move now,” Ally says — and then the episode goes to credits: You’ve got to watch Episode 2 to find out who gets voted off!
But if you’ve read this far, we assume you’re invested, so we’ll tell you now: [Spoiler Alert for Episode 2] All of Akira’s dancers throw their support behind other choreographers, leaving her standing by herself in the spotlight. And when the rest of The 100 come down to join lines on the stage, no one stands behind her. The visual of all of the combined troupe positioning itself in solidarity with anyone but Akira is brutal; she’s the first to leave the show.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of Dance 100‘s premiere? Grade it via the poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts!