Sky Art’s documentary on @sadlerswells including @lizziegough Teneisha Bonner and myself rehearsing for ZooNation’s “Some Like It Hip Hop”
Just copy the link below and paste it into the web browser to watch Sky Art’s 8 minute documentary on Sadler’s Wells.
The UDO World Street Dance Championships 2011 will be held in Blackpool from 26-28th August. I’ll be judging the competition, perform a solo and selling my merchandise.
An accumilation of reviews from my performance of “Don’t hate the Player, Hate the Game” by Kristen McNallly at Cloud Dance Festival 2011
Retox Magazine – M. Andre
“Tommy Franzen, as expected, gave a blasting performance to close the show – the best saved for the last.
Tommy Franzen turns the stage into a serious sizzler
The versatile hip-hop sensation Tommy Franzen, the first ever hip-hop dancer who was nominated for a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award earlier this year gave a heated performance effortlessly accelerating into top gear with his breaks, as always, in tact.
As we know, Tommy Franzen was an aerialist in the opening ceremony for the Asian Games, and in the closing ceremony Tommy played a lead character as an actor. Tommy Franzen also has a strong background in musical theatre and has previously taken dance classes in a variety of styles. Defining Tommy as a hip-hop dancer would therefore be a bit of an understatement. Much of what we saw during the So You Think You Can Dance series last year and even on Saturday night at Cloud Dance Festival where Tommy Franzen stepped into the role created by the Royal Ballet’s soloist Thomas Whitehead in Kristen McNally’s famous choreographed piece “Don’t Hate The Player, Hate The Game”, which he very much made it his own, not only shows Tommy’s passion for different forms of dance but continues to exhibit skill and talent. No wonder Urdang Academy offered Tommy a scholarship back in 2000.”
Thepublicreviews.com – Tony Stotts-Rates
“Festival headliner Kristen McNally’s enjoyable Don’t hate the player, Hate the game, was a worthy close to the night and hip hop dancer Tommy Franzen a very engaging performer. McNally is known for her use of pop culture music and references mixed with some exciting choreography to create fresh cutting edge pieces. In this she successfully merges various dance styles from breaking to contemporary ballet movement which is effectively explored and performed by b-boy Franzen. What makes this piece stand out for me was how palpably the dancer enjoyed dancing it, it was sexy and dangerous, humorous and fun, dancer and movement interacting with the music and lighting, bringing to mind James Bond, Cowboys, and suave and dapper gentleman partners at formal dances.”
Londondance.com – Libbo Costello
“Bringing Firefly to a close on Saturday was perhaps the most anticipated artist of the evening. Tommy Franzen, of So You Think You Can Dance fame, performed Royal Ballet soloist, Kristen McNally’s Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game. It was originally choreographed to Kanye West’s latest album, in the Apple Store, Covent Garden earlier this year. With the audience helping to create the work, this was probably one of the first dance pieces to be made interactively in a shop.
Franzen took the place of Royal Ballet soloist Thomas Whitehead in this reworked solo and used his unique hip hop based style to ease through the movements. At least part of the joy of watching Franzen is down to the sheer happiness he radiates when on stage. McNally’s choreography saw him, with the help of the music, transform from gentry to city slicker in a few brief movements.”
“Highlights of the evening included Kristen McNally’s work, Don’t hate the player, Hate the game, danced exquisitely by Tommy Franzen. The music, moves and charisma had the audience laughing for the mere joy of it.”
The Londonist – Lindsey Clarke
“Star billing goes to all round ace and SYTYCD star, Tommy Franzen dancing a solo by Royal Ballet soloist and groovy mix it up with hip hop choreography cat, Kristen McNally. Tommy is – as always – awesome”
“Known for her small-scale ‘indie ballets’ with modern cultural references, Kristen McNally’s choreography fuses numerous dance styles to varied sound accompaniment – from music to the spoken word. Don’t hate the player, Hate the game was an utterly engaging piece and a comment on people’s need to conform rather than dare to be original. Hip-hop dancer Tommy Franzén was exquisite, especially in robotic body isolations where he moved minute body parts with the utmost precision. He seemed to be testing out different identities in order to find one that fitted, always moving with a tangible pleasure and allure. At times bouncy, at others poignant and everything in between, Don’t hate the player rounded off the evening with a punch.”
” Sunday evening concluded with a second showing of Kristen McNally’s Don’t hate the player, Hate the game. Again performed exceptionally by Tommy Franzén, this rounded off Cloud Dance Festival’s weekend of choreographic treats wonderfully.”
“Kristen McNally’s Don’t hate the player, Hate the game performed by Tommy Franzen left no dance genre unturned. Franzén sauntered from popping, to breaking , mime and contemporary seamlessly. However, writing this made me question: why is this noteworthy? If a breaking move fits in the music alongside contemporary, why should it be out of context? It’s all dance, isn’t it? Although McNally will admit: ‘it was based on my interest in the Stanford prison experiment and our nature to conform to a perceived ideal. As always it ended up a million miles from this!’ I’ll forgive a tangent when it’s this enjoyable to watch!”
Kim Lofthouse (Cultiv8 Arts)
“The night culminated with Kristen McNally’s “Don’t hate the player, Hate the game”, an edgy indie ballet performed by hip-hop dancer Tommy Franzén. The exquisite choreography is peppered with pop culture references from Reservoir Dogs to Michael Jackson and this is reflected in the modern score and the urban edge that Franzén brings to the classical ballet movements within the piece. The themes of conformity & control that inspired McNally quickly become evident as the dancer shifts seamlessly between conforming to and resisting the demands of the music. Franzén personifies this character wonderfully, engaging the audience throughout and leading us on the same adrenaline-filled journey that he is going through on stage. The blending of the classical and the modern is the true genius of this piece, making it endlessly engaging to a modern audience of dance lovers and dance first timers.”
“The climax of the night was Kristen McNally’s “Don’t hate the player, Hate the game”, an edgy indie ballet performed by hip-hop dancer, Tommy Franzén. Normally, I struggle to watch dance pieces more than once and still feel the same sense of excitement as I do the first time, but this was definitely not the case for this one. The pop culture references and blend of humanity & urban edginess that Franzén brings to this piece resonated as loudly the second time as it had the first, enthralling the audience. It was truly a joy to be able to watch this piece a second time and pick up on the subtler nuances of McNally’s choreography that underpin the tangible energy of this piece and its dynamic blend of old and new, urban and classical. It is this mixture that sets the piece apart from its rivals as something truly original. A wonderfully high-octane end to a fantastic weekend of dance.”
“Closing the show with a work that in contrast brought some light relief to the evenings more serious offerings was Firefly’s festival headliner Kristen McNally. A soloist for the Royal Ballet, McNally presented Don’t Hate The Player, Hate The Game, a quirky animated solo, reworked for the BBC’s ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ finalist and ZooNation’s star Tommy Franzén. Although originally based on McNally’s interest in the Stanford prison experiment, it’s not this narrative that ultimately shines through during the dance, but Franzen himself, with an absorbing and charismatic performance.
Whether a debonair hero, cowboy or enthusiastic Elvis impersonator, Franzén struts, body pops, leaps and windmills his way through the material, gloriously imitating the melo-dramatic intro to Michael Bubles’ ‘Cry Me A River’ and then a beaty, up-tempo electronic track. A fusion of Street Dance, Contemporary and Balletic styles, McNally’s witty, cutting edge choreography sits well on Franzen, effectively showcasing his talent for versatility and musicality. If there’s one criticism for McNally it’s that this enjoyable escapade seems to end too soon.”
“The evening drew to a close with an outstanding performance by Swedish-born dancer Tommy Franzén, with choreography by Royal Ballet soloist Kristen McNally. Don’t hate the player, Hate the game was truly worth the wait as Franzén plays out numerous styles from classical ballet to body popping and hip-hop, a style Franzén is renowned for, which was utterly superb. There has been a buzz of excitement surrounding Cloud Dance Festival this year like no other Festival before it, and for me, this performance was the reason. McNally’s unique choreography and Franzén’s mesmerising performance was breathtaking.”
© Jonathan Hughes
This is a performance I did with ZooNation at the Olivier Awards 2011 and was broadcast on BBC Red Button. It was mainly choreographed by Kate Prince but Duwane Taylor, Teneisha Bonner and I helped her with certain sections. It’s the BBC Symphony Orchestra playing an out take from West Side Story.
Dancers: Tommy Franzén, Denny Haywood, Rowen Hawkins, Duwane Taylor, Rob Anker, Sarah Louise Richards, Lizzie Gough, Teneisha Bonner, Natasha Gooden, Suki Wong, Corey Culverwell ,Michael McNeish, Liam Francis and Isaac Edwards
Cher Lloyd’s T4 in the studio performance, which was filmed in June 2011 but aired in July 2011. This is actually the first time Cher performs Swagger Jagger even though her performance at T4 On The Beach was aired before.
I choreographed this with great help by Maria Swainson from RiRi Productions.
The dancers are: Sarah Jane Aboboto, Dan Uppal, Sarah Richards, Ivan Blackstock, Christabelle Field and Lindon Barr.
Bboys: Michael “Ninja” Worwood, Tim Butt, James Hall and Michael Silk
Here is a behind the scenes video by The Found Collective of Cher Lloyd’s music video Swagger Jagger.
Production Company: The Found Collective
Post Production: Mainframe
Directors: Mike Sharpe and Marcus Moresby
Choreographer: Tommy Franzen
Swagger Jagger is also my music video choreography debut. 7 days to go…
I will be taking over the role created by Royal Ballet’s Thomas Whitehead, in Royal Ballet soloist Kristen McNally’s “indie ballet” work ‘Don’t Blame The Player, Blame The Game’. Come to Cloud Dance Festival at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington on the 23rd and 24th of July to watch it.
I’m part of the 2nd iPhone dance app from Make Dance called “Street”. Learn moves from some of the UK’s finest dancers including Turbo, Lizzie Gough, myself and many more.
We’ll be performing a 20 minute extract of Some Like It Hip Hop at West End Live today (Saturday the 18th June). It’s taking place at Trafalgar Square at 5.20. Come and watch us to see what you can expect from the full show from 20th October – 19th November at Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre.
2010 runner-up Tommy was nominated for a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award and is currently working with X Factor star Cher Lloyd.
How have the last 12 months been?
“It’s been brilliant and it’s still accelerating. It’s not stopped even 12 months on. I have moved slightly into choreography. I haven’t done that consciously because I want to dance for a bit longer. But I’ve had lots of requests and it’s just naturally moved that way without me trying. I can’t complain really.”
What projects are you working on right now?
“I’ve got three exciting projects at the moment. One is choreographing for Cher Lloyd, her first single and her promo tour, which is new to me. At the moment, I’ve got a show on at The Place, a show I’ve done with Supple, one of the choreographers for So You Think You Can Dance and creative director for Got To Dance . Then I’m also working on Some Like It Hip-Hop, where I’ll be choreographing and playing one of the leads. We’re doing a month of that at the Peacock Theatre.”
Is the Cher Lloyd work getting you lots of attention?
“The hype is so high about her. If you mention anything on Twitter all her fans start following me and start tweeting me, ‘say hello to Cher for me’. They are just so excited about what she’ll come out with, so I tease them a little bit with information and pieces like that.”
What do you make to her first single?
“I am actually. I think the song will do really well. Especially among teenagers. It’s really catchy. I think the video is going to be wicked too. From what I’ve seen on the shoot, I think it will be a good one. There is something special about her. She’s got that swagger and you can see that on X Factor when she’s performing. She moves really nicely too. She’s not a trained dancer or anything, but when she does, it’s really, really good.”
The So You Think You Can Dance final airs on Saturday at 7.15pm on BBC One.
By Alex Fletcher.
Well this was recorded last November so it’s kind of a bit dated! They used some weird clips of me and Lizzie (well particularly me lol) which would rather qualify as outtakes. Haha! Never mind…. Enjoy!
So the long wait for the girls tunic vests is finally over. They come in three different colours and cost £12. White with Black print, Grey with Black print and in Black with pink print. I’ve also extended the free delivery offer on all orders over £30 until end of June so you can take the advantage of it with the vests.
Hope you like them!
I’m creating, alongside Supple (SYTYCD choreographer and Got To Dance creative director), a show called EDD!!, which is 20 minute solo piece for myself. The show will be on the 11th June 8pm at The Place Theatre in London for one night only as a part of a double bill. Book your tickets now!
The tickets are finally on sale for ZooNation’s Some Like It Hip Hop at https://tickets.sadlerswells.com/performances2.asp?ShoID=1354 or call 08444124322.
We are doing a run from 20th October – 19th November at Peacock Theatre in London. The choreographers are Kate Prince, Tommy Franzen, Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, Ryan Chappell, Duwane Tayler.
Watch the trailer!
Behind the scenes.
I will be choreographing Cher Lloyd’s first music video that will be shot on the 17th May. I went through RiRi Productions to find the dancers I needed and we did indeed find a lot of good ones. After have had two dance auditions for it, we’re in the process of finalising who is to be in it.
Keep a look out for the video! I believe it’s going to be a good one!
Visit my online shop to order some cool T-shirts, Sweatshirts and Cups with exclusive Tommy Franzen design. Free delivery on any order over £30 until end of May 2011.
Edited by Natalie des Fontaine
On 31st March Karen Hardy Studios and Karen Hardy Events held a masquerade ball at the Wyndham Grand Hotel. The night included performances from world-class professional dancers, including Tommy Franzen, showcasing different types of dances from across the globe, live music and even a dance lesson from Karen Hardy and Brendan Cole.
The event also raised awareness for CLIC Sargent, a charity which helps children who have been diagnosed with cancer.
This video is made by James Dorrington
Simeon Qseya choreographed a hip hop routine for the choreography camp of So You Think You Can Dance 2011 and Tommy & Lizzie performed it for the contestants. Afterwards Simeon, Tommy and Lizzie taught the routine to the contestants but unfortunately the performance didn’t make the edit in episode 2. The video of Tommy & Lizzie rehearsing the routine is by no means polished as it was done in 2 hours but I thought it might be interesting to see the whole routine.