Well, I was going to say it didn’t bother me this week as much as last, but then I watched the first 15 minutes (I had a legal seminar tonight and didn’t get home until after the show had already begun, so had to watch the first 15 after the rest). The Flatley number was horrendous. What was up with that girl in the bikini walking around playing Yankee Doodle Dandee with a flute at the beginning? What is this, a boxing match? Soft-core porn? I actually thought this whole show was kind of porn-ish — generally more about flaunting bodies than artistry.
Except for Maria Kochetkova — the Russian ballerina who competed — and WON thankfully! — in the solo category. I think that’s probably why I liked tonight better than last week — she was on, just about the show’s only saving grace. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a ballet fan. I would really have loved to have seen some wonderful ballroom, but, I’m sorry, I’m just not into that Australian couple. I thought the same of their Jive tonight as I did their Samba last week — fast footwork but just lacking in precision and clarity with an overall sloppy look. At least compared to the Latin I’ve seen at the big competitions.
I liked Victor DaSilva and Claudia Sawides — the South African duo — tonight better than the last time we saw them. The routine was still about the lifts — those exhibitions always are — but this one had a bit more narrative and emotion, passion to it. I felt like they connected better this time than last. I also liked the Argentine couple. Their Tango was very polished with sharp footwork. Lovely! I pretty much agreed with the couples results.
And I agreed with the solo results too, but only because I liked ballet. I’m sure Robert the popper is excellent at that kind of dance style, as was the Indian dancer at classical Indian dance. As I and others have said repeatedly, you just can’t judge these wholly different styles of dance next to each other.
I’m again annoyed at camera guy though. Camera person, I should say — don’t know why I think it’s a guy. S/he kept homing in on the Indian woman’s face and we couldn’t see some of her beautiful hand and foot gestures. You don’t dance with your face! I felt like she must have been going very fast with her feet at one point because of all the applause, and I think I heard the sound of the bells she wore around her ankles, but I’m not sure because the show’s acoustics weren’t so great. I also think I saw Maria Kochetkova do continuous fouettes with some double pirouettes thrown in, and at one point changing feet right in the middle — which is marvelous! But because of the camera panning in and out, then down to her feet, then a faraway shot, etc., I’m not exactly sure if that happened.
Sorry, by the way, to keep calling most of these dancers by their nationalities and dance styles. The show’s website doesn’t seem to have their names, only those of the judges and team leaders.
I didn’t think any of the group routines were anything to write home about, and both the intro to the American team and that silly Yankee Doodle Dandy number by Flatley and crew up front were ridiculously chauvinistic (I mean in a nationalist way). Why the need to celebrate America and proclaim it the nation with no boundaries, encompassing all the world, etc. on a supposedly international show like this? And is anyone surprised that our team, and our country, won the gold? The whole thing was just so corny. When Flately said at the end to his co-host, “I know, I’ve never seen anything like this on television!”, it looked like he was trying hard not to burst out laughing. At least he should have been.
And what happened to Pasha and Anya? Who knows. According to the website, team Russia was supposed to have two soloists from the Bolshoi, one pair of ballroom dancers, and a Cossack team. I saw two pairs of ballroom dancers and one soloist from San Francisco Ballet. But I missed the first night, so I might have missed the “other” Bolshoi soloist? I don’t know; I’m not a huge fan of the show’s website.
I think the idea behind this show is a good one. I like having dancers from a variety of countries dance different styles — some native to their country, some not, giving audiences wide exposure to the art. But there were just so many cheesy, corny, porn-esque moments, the camera work seriously frustrated my ability even to see what I was supposed to be seeing, and the judging was downright ludicrous.