Chicago dance duo “Freckled Sky” graced the stage of “America’s Got Talent” this season. The couple scored the coveted golden buzzer and won a ticket straight to the live shows in New York. Creative genius Val Syganevich took a humble bow after being called out from behind stage. For Syganevich, the journey to the stage was all consuming.
“I only sleep six hours a night and the rest of the time I do this,” Syganevich said. Born in Kharkiv and having lived in Kyiv for seven years, Syganevich moved to the U.S. this past November. Working with his sister Katia, Syganevich has expanded the boundaries of performance, creation, and innovation on stage. Freckled Sky’s performance on “America’s Got Talent” featured unique water and light elements. After wowing the judges, the video then received over 5 million views on YouTube.
“We understood a couple things,” Katia added. “We have to surprise the audience and we have to elicit emotion from the audience. Those are key elements.”
The story told on the show featured dancers Olga Sokolova and Jalen Preston. After weeks of casting and auditions, Syganevich finally settled down with two dancers who weren’t just talented, but who also could emit chemistry on stage.
Sokolova and Preston performed the choreography through light effects and real water elements. The story portrayed, however, is interpreted differently by different people.
“I think that’s the beauty of it,” Syganevich said. “That one creation can be interpreted to mean so many different things.”
For Syganevich, the story is about a boy who loves a girl from a different world. Try as he might, the girl always returns to her own world while the boy remains stuck as an outsider.
For Katia, however, the story is different.
“We live in this virtual world,” Katia said. “To me the story is about a girl getting lost in that virtual world. The boy tries to find her, pull her out of it, but fails. At the end, he crashes through the water and joins her in the virtual world.”
For each member of Freckled Sky, the story has meant different things. In an experiment, Syganevich asked 15 different people for opinions and each offered a unique interpretation.
“Our dream is and always has been, even back in Ukraine, to have our own show, an interactive show with many different elements,” Syganevich said. “It’s still a far dream, but now it’s becoming clear to us that we will be able to do it.”
By Olga Tymouch
Photo credit: NBCUniversal
and AGT YouTube channel