January 04, 2009 02:00 PM by Paulene Hinds
Tonight is the night! Superstars of Dance begins on NBC at 9 PM ET and it is the newest reality TV series executively produced by none other than the So You Think You Can Dancecreators Nigel Lythgoe and Simon Fuller. Hosts Michael Flatley and Susie Castillo will introduce us to dance teams from eight countries in this two hour premiere episode. The dance genres that will be performed include the monks from Shaolin: Wheel of Life (China), Irish step dancers (Ireland), Tango dancers (Argentina), a pop/lock dancer (United States) and Bollywood dancers (India) to name a few.
The show is said to be equal parts sporting event, rock concert and artistic exhibition and Superstars of Dance is poised to become one the greatest spectacles of dance performance ever seen on television.
Each country will feature two soloists, a duo and one large group which are represented by a coach and a judge to serve on the multinational panel. Below is a list ofthe countries thatare competiting and who’s representing each team.
Coach: Sandar, a Tony-nominated choreographer and principal dancer in the original cast of Forever Tango.
Judge: Maria Pogee, from the world-famous school of the Theater Colon.
Performing for Argentina: A sensual cabaret artiste soloist, a contemporary Tango soloist, an Argentinian Tango duo and a group performing Gaucho style dance.
Coach: Jason Gilkison, an international ballroom champion.
Judge: Kelley Abbey, who has choreographed for Savion Glover and 1,000 animated penguins in the movie Happy Feet.
Performing for Australia: A tap dance soloist, a contemporary dancer soloist, a Latin ballroom duo and a contemporary dance group.
Coach: Matthew Ahmet of Britain, a Shaolin Monk.
Judge: Master Haiyang Wang, the natural to become the next Abbott of the Shaolin Temple.
Performing for China: A Chinese ribbon dancer soloist, a double whip soloist, an acrobatic ballet duo and the Shaolin Monks Kung Fu group.
Coach: Marie Duffy Pask, who currently serves as dance director and associate choreographer for Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flames.
Judge: Daire Nolan, aka “Dark Lord” in Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance.
Performing for Ireland: Irish Step Dancers assembled from different groups currently performing all over the globe.
Coach: Nakul Dev Mahajan, the founder of the premiere Bollywood dance company in the United States.
Judge: Shirish Dayal, a producer, director and choreographer of stage shows for 15 years.
Performing for India: A Bharantanyam dancer soloist, a Kathak soloist, a Bollywood duo and a group performing the Bhangra style of dance.
Coach: Stanislav Issaev, a principle dancer for many years with the Moscow Ballet Theater.
Judge: Mikhail Smirnov, the director and founder of Barynya, a successful Russian folk dancing company.
Performing for Russia: A soloist from the world famous Bolshoi Ballet, a contemporary dancer soloist from the Bolshoi Ballet, a ballroom duo and a group performing Cossak.
Coach: Tandi Bhengu, the founder of a program and dance troupe called SAGA (South African Girls Abroad).
Judge: Harold Van Buuren, a winner of numerous titles as a ballroom and Latin American championship dancer.
Performing for South Africa: A hip-hop soloist, an Afrofusion soloist, a world champion jive-inspired dance duo and a group performing Gumboot, a style born in the gold mines of South Africa.
Coach: Marguerite Derricks, an Emmy-winning choreographer who has choreographed all of the Austin Powers movies and is currently working on the remake of Fame.
Judge: Tony Selznick, a founder of McDonald Selznick & Associates, where he represents the biggest names in American dance.
Performing for the USA: A popping soloist, a tap dancer, a cabaret-style ballroom duo and a hip-hop group.
Photo Credit: NBC