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Shaping Sound: The dance company that TV built

Published May 20, 2013 9:27 am

Dance • L.A.-based company with ties to "SYTYCD" and "Dancing With the Stars" to perform in Salt Lake City.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Los Angeles-based contemporary dance company Shaping Sound is the first of its kind to emerge from the competitive dance shows, "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dancing With The Stars."

The company's national tour — which coincides with the 10th anniversary of "SYTYCD" — stops in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 25, as part of a Los Angeles-to-New York City circuit.

Shaping Sound was formed by dancer and Emmy-nominated choreographer Travis Wall, along with fellow "SYTYCD" alum Nick Lazzarini, Cirque du Soleil choreographer Teddy Forance and Juilliard graduate and "West Side Story" cast member Kyle Robinson. The company includes 10 more dancers from L.A.'s stage, screen and video fame. Wall said audiences can expect the technical wizardry and dynamic style familiar to television viewers, but in a very different format.

"Shaping Sound is not a series of short, disconnected pieces," he said. "It is a 90-minute show with a narrative through-line set to an eclectic mixture of music and sound that shows our range as dancers."

Still, the company's roots are in television, originating from the Oxygen Network's "All the Right Moves," a docuseries that followed Wall, Lazzarini, Forance and Robinson as they endeavored to form their own company.

"Dance is in the public consciousness now more than ever," said Gil Stroming, producer of the tour. "And Shaping Sound brings a fresh perspective to contemporary style and collaboration."

Wall was in Ogden at the Nuvo Dance Convention and Competition last month, doing one of the many things he does best — mentoring young dancers.

Wall was lucky enough to receive his early dance training at his mother's studio in Virginia Beach, Va. But he says dance conventions are a great way for kids to learn the latest moves while also making lifelong connections and friends. Wall said he met choreographer Mia Michaels when he was 16 at a dance convention, as well as many of his friends who are now professional dancers.

"Utah definitely has some of the most impressive and committed young dancers we see as we travel the nation," Wall said. "I feel it is important to bring workshops and classes to young dancers everywhere, which is why on our Shaping Sound tour we host a preshow workshop." The Utah workshop is sold out.

At 25 years old, Wall seems to have found a new level of engagement in his art form. The crowd response to the pre-tour shows in L.A. kicked his creative juices into high gear and he said he can't wait to get on the road and start shaping "sound and movement into a really exciting and unique blend of art and entertainment."

Here's a detailed look at the four founding members of Shaping Sound.

Travis Wall • The 25-year-old made his Broadway debut at age 13 in the revival of "The Music Man," and in 2006 was the runner-up on "So You Think You Can Dance." Wall has assisted Wade Robson and Adam Shankman on television and movie projects — choreographing for "SYTYCD," "Dancing With the Stars," the 82nd Academy Awards and the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. He was nominated for an Emmy Award, along with co-founders Lazzarini, Robinson and Forance, for Shaping Sound's performance of "Without You" on "Dancing With the Stars."

Kyle Robinson • Robinson began dancing at age 11, and by 18 he had received the Gold Award in Modern Dance from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Legendary dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov mentored Robinson as he went on to the Juilliard School, earning a bachelor of fine arts. Throughout his college experience, Robinson worked as a freelance dancer with Aszure & Artists as well as the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company.

Nick Lazzarini • The Season One winner of the Fox reality show "So You Think You Can Dance" has been featured in countless publications, including twice on the cover of Dance Spirit magazine. Lazzarini has performed with Adele on "Dancing With the Stars," Kelly Clarkson at this year's American Music Awards and Florence + the Machine at the MTV Video Music Awards. Currently, he teaches on tour for JUMP Dance Convention.

Teddy Forance • Forance grew up dancing in his family's studio, the Hackworth School of Performing Arts in Massachusetts. At 17 he toured through Greece with international pop star Anna Vissi. Forance has partnered and assisted Mia Michaels in the Celine Dion "Taking Chances" tour, and performed as a lead dancer on Cirque du Soleil's "Delirium." Forance has begun to carve out a career on "Dancing With the Stars" as a featured performer and choreographer for Julianne Hough and Kenny Wormald. He has also performed with Lady Gaga, Usher and Florence + the Machine and choreographed for Kelly Clarkson. Currently, he teaches around the world for JUMP Dance Convention.

features@sltrib.com

Shaping Sound

Emmy-nominated choreographers and "So You Think You Can Dance" stars offer a dance show of movement, speed and physical strength. Presented by Break The Floor Productions.

When • Saturday, May 25, 8 p.m.

Where • Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $35-$80; 801-355-2787, shapingsoundco.com/tourschedule or tickets@shapingsoundco.com