Zap2it: After seeing so many thousands of dancers audition on “So You Think You Can Dance,” what do would-be contestants do on auditions that drive you crazy?
Mary Murphy: Certainly when someone is doing something because they think we would like to see it — as far as faking their emotions. What they don’t understand is unless they are a brilliant actor, it just doesn’t come across, it has to come from a real place. If you try to be someone else you lose it. The fake cookie cutters they all look the same. It is like the Stepford [Wives] dancers. When you see somebody that allows you to allow the walls to come down and see them. It seems simple enough when we talk about it. That’s when the real magic comes and when we are on the show and moved by something extraordinary.
Zap2it: So much emphasis is put on the dancer alone, but given that this is a show that forces dancers to stretch into new genres, how important are choreographers?
Mary Murphy: The choreographer plays as strong a role as the dancer does, and as does the music. And when those three come into alignment, that’s when magic happens.
Zap2it: When does the show seem magical to you?
Mary Murphy: When I have had an experience, and I have had many over the years, when I was greatly affected by something — so much so that I could not stop talking about it for several days. Then I go home and watch it, and yeah and most of the time it was.