So You Think You Can Dance fans were given a special treat Monday night. And, by “special treat,” we mean a bonus group performance by the All-Stars and an extra opportunity to reach for that box of tissues.
Emmy winner and 2017 nominee Travis Wall choreographed yet another awe-inspiring routine, but this one had an unusually timely bent. Set to Nina Simone’s rendition of “Strange Fruit,” a song written to protest racism and lynchings in America, the All-Stars began the number on the ground, splayed as the shadow of a barren tree. The imagery is striking as they lift and toss each other and drop like leaves, but it’s the conclusion — which reminds us of where we are today, just days after the events in Charlottesville, Virginia — that will leave you breathless.
While Wall hasn’t explicitly said the piece was inspired by recent events, he wrote on Instagram just a few days before the performance, “Be the face of love, in a world of hate! Sharing the conversation for the past week has been incredible to see how truly we all feel the same! It’s time to make art that’s important, art that speaks volumes and matters!”
Reactions to the piece were much like ours: tear-filled and awed.
So You Think You Can Dance airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.