BWW Interview: Derek Hough Talks About What an Exciting Show His DEREK HOUGH - LIVE! ON TOUR Will Be at Fox Theatre!
Derek Hough is coming back to Detroit! After the sold out successes of Move Live on Tour and Move - Beyond Live on Tour, he is returning with his own solo show, Derek Hough - Live! On Tour this Tuesday, April 30th at the Fox Theatre. It is a brand-new stage production featuring a live band with high-end choreography, and, as always, Derek's magnetic stage presence. It is a true fusion of dance and music as he explores styles ranging from ballroom and tap to salsa and hip-hop and everything between. Creative team and two-time Emmy winners, Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo, also known as NappyTabs, co-created, directed, and supervised choreography for the tour. Derek is an Emmy Award-winning and New York Times Best-Selling author, as well as the only six-time champion winner in franchise history on the hit ABC show Dancing with the Stars. This solo show has already been out on tour for a few weeks and pleasing fans across the country. BroadwayWorld Detroit had a chance to speak with Derek before one of his shows to find out what makes his Derek Hough - Live! on Tour show so unique and why Detroit fans are going to have a night to remember. Check out what he had to say below!
BroadwayWorld Detroit: What can the people of Detroit expect in your show, Derek Hough - Live! on Tour?
Derek Hough: For the first time ever, I have a live band with me. The live music really feels like a concert infused with incredible dancing and amazing dancers that are just extraordinary. Also, what is really fun is the different types of music and different styles of dance. We even have this amazing Motown section, which obviously for Detroit is going to be quite fun for everybody. There are so many sections such as Spanish, big band music, rock and roll, you name it - we cover it - there are so many different spectrums of music and styles of dance. I do "Singin' In The Rain," tap dancing, and contemporary. There is something in it for everybody.
Your previous tours have been with your sister, Julianne Hough. What made you decide to do this one on your own?
I really enjoy touring. I enjoy going out on the road and creating. She is sort of in a different place in her life and, for me, I enjoy going to people's cities and their homes and performing for them.
Was it a lot of fun to be able to do this one all yours creatively?
You know it was a lot of work - a lot of work. I put a lot more time into this one because it's a live band. Before I even got to the rehearsal studio to dance, I spent months creating these arrangements, medleys, and mash-ups of the setlists of just the music so it just feels really special, but it was a lot of work. What was great was that I hand-picked all the dancers. They all are so good. For me personally, like out of all the tours I've done, these dancers really stand out.
How much practice did the dancers and you have before the tour started?
Well there is a lot of preparation that goes into it. With the music, the ideas, the creativity, a couple months. With the dancers, we go in there, learn, choreograph, and create everything in two weeks. It's pretty quick - that's why the preparations are so important and that's why it takes so long to prepare everything because then it's like when you go in, we just got to knock it out. But it's really turning into something special. I was a little nervous and a little excited about what to expect. If I could even do this? It's like am I able to do this? And it's like in the past few shows, I think we have done about 11 shows now, and every single one, the audience has been just electric - it really truly has. Every single audience has been on their feet, cheering, and just enjoying it. We're enjoying it and it's been a blast. I, also, absolutely love the theatre in Detroit. It's such a beautiful theatre and I can't wait to get to play there!
What makes your show unique? You said the live band, but do you think that there's something special that you put a stamp on your show that makes it stand out from other live dance shows?
Oh man, to be completely honest, there's lots of things about it that make it stand out from other dance shows. Obviously, I said before, the live music definitely makes a huge difference. I think the creativity of the actual dances, the routines themselves - we really push the limits. We really push ourselves. My dancers are so good. Even when I watch them, I'm like 'what he just knocked out ten pirouettes and did a front flip into a split what happened?' Every night, I'm still in awe of what they can do. The costumes are extraordinary. But, also, for me personally, the main difference, is because it's my show, I have a lot of time for the audience to really get to know me a little bit. I really open up about some really sort of vulnerable subjects and it is playful and fun as well. It's a good time, it really is. The one sort of comment I have gotten from people is that the show is constantly engaging. You're constantly engaged in the show. There is not sort of a moment where you sit back in your seat. You are always sort of in - 'I'm watching, I'm engaged.' That was sort of what I was wanting when I was crafting this together. I'm really, really proud of it!
You keep bringing up live music. What is the difference between a dance show with live music and a dance show with recorded music? What would you say to audiences if they are coming and what should they expect?
I think for one, it's a feeling. Think of when you go see a concert, it's like when you hear that live percussion, you hear that kickdrum and feel it in your chest. It has a different feeling or like a saxophone solo. We have an amazing saxophone player where he comes forward and he's ripping a sax solo and we pick him up and hold him upside down while he still plays a saxophone solo. Just like fun things like that, which allow us to get more theatrical with the routines as well in some areas. It's something that even if you came just to the show and there was no dancing, you would still have a great time because the music is so good and so enjoyable and then we are going to add on some incredible dancing. So, it's a fun show, it's a really great show.
Do you have a favorite moment in the show?
There's a lot of moments! It's funny because there's different moments on different days. There is a fun moment where we get some gentlemen out from the audience and the ladies do this fun, little dance with them. It's always quite funny and unpredictable. When I ask people what their favorite part is, what makes me happy is that it changes and is that each person has their own favorite part. I sing a lot more in this show. I sing about four songs, so it's really cool to hear people's reaction. There is a moment where I talk about something quite important to me and I get sort of sentimental and talk from the heart. There has been people in the past that have come up afterwards and said it has
meant a lot to them. For me, I want to try to touch on all the different sort of colors of emotions and each person is different on what they enjoy the most, so that's quite exciting for me. But there's so many moments honestly, each number has one, if I'm completely honest with you. Usually there is a stand out moment that I could tell you from a show in the past, but from this one I feel like we have sort of standout moments in each act that we do. And we do about six different acts. It's pretty special.
If you had to describe the show in five words what would you say?
Fun, energetic, funny, exciting, passionate, and epic!
What would you say to the people of Detroit to get them to come out to the show?
Honestly, it's such a good time. I think one of the things I talk about in the show a little bit is that right now everything kind of feels a little bit like there is so much negativity on social media or the news or wherever it might be. You know what's bad is always available, but so is what's good. We want to celebrate what's good. We want to have a great time; we want to just get people dancing; get people singing; get people moving. You're going to love this music. You're going to love this soundtrack of this show because it is so eclectic. I have six-year-olds to 92-year-olds who all love the music - that was really important to me that the music was good. And the dancers, again like I said before, are some of the best dancers that I have ever seen. They are extraordinary. So talented! And you'll definitely walk away being fans of them. I want to share it with everybody!
Derek Hough: Live! The Tour will make a one-night appearance on Tuesday, April 30th at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Performance time is at 7:30pm. Tickets start at $59.50 and can be purchased at the Little Caesars Arena XFINITY box office, charging tickets by phone at 800-745-3000, or online at www.313presents.com. VIP packages are available through derekhough.com, giving fans the chance to purchase premium tickets, including pre-show parties and meet and greet opportunities with Derek.