DANCING WITH THE STARS, WEEK WHATEVER: JIVE AND RUMBA — Update With Marcelo Photos

Sorry, I think I’m a little off on the weeks! Probably because of the double elimination week.

I’m late with my post tonight because I went to an event at Barnes & Noble. Francis Patrelle is a SWEETHEART! I can’t wait to see his company later this week now; such an endearing personality. Seriously, one of the most personable choreographers I’ve heard speak!

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(I wasn’t able to take any pictures because my camera battery went dead, but Scott Schlexer, Marcelo’s representative, who was also there, kindly sent me some of his!)

Marcelo was there, Maria Riccetto, Cynthia Gregory — looking very regal! — I love how she holds herself — and several Dances Patrelle dancers and people involved in the upcoming production at Danny Kaye Playhouse. Writers of books dances are based on, composers, and even the songwriter of the Judy Garland song that Come Rain / Come Shine is danced to. He even played piano and sang, and he was very good!

(Marcelo and Maria in Come Rain / Come Shine, photo by Jade Young.

Marcelo didn’t talk much, but when he did I could hardly focus on what he was saying because … who told me he had no accent! Haha, he TOTALLY has an accent! And his voice is a bit higher-pitched than I expected. He actually kind of sounds like Pasha, except with a Latin, not Russian accent. Not an American accent! Anyway, I remember him saying he liked dancing with Maria — that she’s very light. Oh gawd, Francis Patrelle introduced Marcelo by saying he dances with all these huge ABT women! At first I thought he meant in stature, and then he made it clear he meant in size! I was dying, though no one else seemed to be. Patrelle is a total joker anyway — he says he loves to joke around in rehearsal, and it’s clear. So, he said, Marcelo’s used to dancing with all these large women, so I gave him tiny Maria, and he really throws her around that stage with ease — something to that effect. So then Marcelo nicely said something about how wonderful Maria was to dance with. Aw.

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(from right to left: Marcelo, Maria, Cynthia, and Francis Patrelle)

Marcelo also said his favorite ballet is Giselle. I know he really meant to say Romeo and Juliet though, and Swan Lake. Not Giselle! No, again Patrelle set him up for it by introducing him as just having guest danced in St. Petersburg with the Kirov, dancing Giselle with Diana Vishneva :)

Maria seemed rather soft-spoken. But very sweet. And definitely tinier than Veronika Part and Stella Abrera and Michele Wiles and most of the other larger-than-life ABT ballerinas. Funny she doesn’t look that tiny onstage though.

And Cynthia Gregory (retired ABT prima ballerina, who staged the piece Marcelo and Maria are performing with DP this weekend), sat in the middle of the group, exhibiting excellent ballerina posture and stately demeanor :) I want to be Cynthia Gregory.

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(Marcelo saying something very important :) )

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(Marcelo and Maria “waiting in the wings” while children dance and others have the stage. Thanks again to Scott for the photos!)

Okay, on to Dancing With the Stars. Anyway, this will be a bit out of order because I started watching during Derek and Lil Kim’s Jive. So:

Derek and Lil Kim Jive: Hmm. That song: Elvis’s Jailhouse Rock; when I first heard it, I thought, that’s the hardest song to Jive to — it’s way the hell fast for an amateur; is he nuts? But now I see why it worked: Len’s right — they didn’t dance a lot of Jive! A lot of posing and posturing, a lot of too grounded step kicks with no proper snap and jump — they hardly came off the floor! But that opening set of pivot spins was gorgeous. Those are hard and she deserves major kudos for doing those perfectly!

Lacey and Steve-O Rumba: “Steeeeve, how’m I supposed to be in love with you when you’re farting all the time?!” Lacey says in practice. Oh good lord. I guess it’s an appropriate comment given his Jackass stardom. Aw, he’s got a Marcelo dog! Okay, their Rumba: Well that was rather sweet, but did she teach him how to dance Rumba at all?! His toes did not trace the ground once and he was totally pigeon-toed, no turn-out whatsoever. But at the same time, he really got into the mood of it, and it almost looked okay given the attitude. His character was angry with hers but trying to make up with her, so it made a bit of sense that he was kind of putting his foot down, so to speak. Without tracing it along the floor. Interesting costumes — their clothes were half off, but it was like they were up in the middle of the night having a lover’s quarrel — maybe their last. Or like one of them was leaving. There was something very Romeo and Juliet in the last-night-together scene. It actually worked on some level even though the dancing was totally off. I agree with Carrie Ann, who said basically the same thing.

Cheryl and Gilles Jive: Wow! That’s all I can say! Is it just me or does he seem to have longer routines than everyone else? Anyway, it amazes me to no end how well he does at everything. He was so polished. It wasn’t perfect, and there still wasn’t enough snap in the kicks and up and down movement in the whole, but he was near perfect. He was perfectly in rhythm, had some very fast difficult footwork. And he looked hot! And most amateurs don’t — it’s more about either getting it right or not, not about really looking great doing it at this level.

Chuck and Julianne Rumba: Huh. Perfect dance for them — the real-life couple — to have romance problems over. How ridiculously scripted is this show. I mean, really! “Once we danced on the beach,” he says, “I realized it was all about connection and not the steps.” Please!

Well, I guess you could either see that as sexy or slutty, depending… Hmm. I thought he tried hard and he did as well as he could. I kind of love him just because he’s trying so hard, putting so much of himself into it, and mainly for her. He didn’t have proper hip action and he bent his knees too much — especially on those lunges. I’ve never seen a bent knee on the back leg during a lunge! And he was far too pigeon-toed. LADIES, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE TEACH YOUR MEN PROPER THREE-QUARTER TURNOUT. IT’S NOT THAT HARD — IT’S NOT LIKE BALLET TURNOUT. THEY CAN DO IT. THERE’S JUST NOTHING MORE ICK ON A MAN IN RUMBA THAN PIGEON TOES!!!!! Oh thank you Len — “that was more suited to the bedroom than the ballroom.” I love him. Glad he said it and not me :)

Okay, now rewinding tape and going back to the beginning:

Ty and Chelsie Jive: Well, funny. I was going to say that wasn’t so hot, but then he kind of got into it at the end, with that last set of jive kicks. He actually finished that rather well. I wonder if he was just so nervous up front, and just worried about running out of energy. Because that was a fast routine. And that song, Girls Gone Wild — eh, I always think of those girls who are given the date rape drug and then put in the college video-tapes. Bruno actually gave him some good advice: flick from the knee, point the toes, etc. I hope he stays on; I don’t want him to go home yet :) All the judges are right: he is a gentleman.

Shawn and Mark Rumba: Well, I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. Which I think is what he wants. Mark, show off! Those cucharachas looked a lot more wiggly than I’ve ever seen them before. But it looked good on him. He has a particular way of dancing that is different than other male Latin dancers. I think Shawn’s shyness and inhibitions might have got to her a bit. It was gorgeous and her dancing was near perfect. I thought it was really beautiful but maybe lacked a certain pizazz. Although, maybe not. I’m listenting to Len say he thought it had the perfect balance; it wasn’t oversexed. And I agree with him. I like that there was an innocense to it. I always like the more lyrical rumbas anyway. I guess the judges can make you like something you didn’t originally see much in before.

Lawrence and Edyta Jive: Lots of cursing in that practice session, Lawrence! Hehe. I can’t say I didn’t love seeing Warren Sapp come back for a visit to help Lawrence. I do think it was meant by the producers to create some fanship for Lawrence (as in, remember when football stars ruled this show?), but I did like watching them interact; pretty funny watching them go at it. So, he has a Motown-y Jive, which suits him quite well. He did pretty well with it I thought — had the rhythm down and looked pretty good with the slowish, groovy beat. But the other Jive contestants had much harder, much faster music, so don’t know if it’s completely comparable.

Tony and Melissa Rumba: Hmmm. I didn’t like it, I’m sorry to say. It looked like a ballerina Rumba. Not grounded enough at all and the hips weren’t proper. It actually looked kind of like a Bolero. It had a certain rise and fall to it that is improper for Rumba. And sometimes her legs seemed a bit too straight and she looked a bit stiff. But, as Carrie Ann says, there was a good emotional quality to it. She acted it well. I didn’t like it but think she’ll stay on the show and will redeem herself next week.

So, I guess my favorites this week were Gilles, and… Gilles, and … Gilles. And Marcelo :) I guess I really didn’t like the routines that much this week, apparently. I have hopes for next week… What about you guys?

19 Comments

  1. Sorry but Shawn was under-scored tonight. That dance except for her hips was perfect. Yes she was slightly uncomfortable at first but give her a break, she's 17! I hope she hasn't had experience (and doubt she's had, as she's usually in the gym) with, as Mark put it “a vertical expression of a horizontal desire”. It was very very good.

    I didn't care for Gilles. It was too all over the place. I think the song didn't help with that at all.

    What annoys me is that everybody keeps booing Len when he's the one that knows his shit in ballroom. The other two don't know Jack and frankly I wish they would be replaced with somebody like Pierre DuLane and somebody else who knows ballroom.

    I agree with you with Melissa… it was good but too much like a ballet dancer.

    The rest of my comments are at my blog

  2. There's something so winning about Ty Murray. I love that he's determined to work harder than anyone else and he takes his criticism so graciously.

  3. My favorite of the night was Shawn/Mark's Rumba. I really prefer a romantic/sensual rumba over a sexy/sleazy one. My favorite professional Rumba of all time is the Slavik/Karina rumba set to an almost classical sounding song. She's wearing that pretty white dress with the cut outs. Do you know which one I'm talking about Tonya? Anyway Shawn looked really beautiful and committed. I haven't really been a fan of hers but she really won me over with this performance. Nice choreography from Mark.
    Really underwhelmed by just about everyone else.
    Gilles and Cheryl got a too fast song and the dance seemed a bit rushed and underperformed. But he had the best jive of the night.
    I really love Lil KIm and that was entertaining as hell, but as I was watching it I kept waiting and waiting to see some jive kicks and flicks and they never came! I'm glad Len called them on it.
    Tony looked particularly pissed about the scores that Melissa got.
    Poor Steve O had no hip action at all but he's still sweet.
    I hope if Ty gets through to next week that he gets a Standard dance. He really struggles with Latin.

  4. ugh again i'm so mad i missed the patrelle event! thanks for blogging about it. he's definitely a sarcastic joker, haha.

  5. Wow I agree with you 110%.

  6. You do a great job with your blog, helping me to see the details of the performance from a dancer's perspective, rather than from a fan's perspective. I have to agree about Gilles, and was particularly impressed with his fast footwork. Seeing him play soccer explained a lot about his athleticism.

    I also appreciate your comments on the music. It really makes a difference when the music works with the style of dance, rather than the the poor dancers trying to force the more-or-less expected footwork into some inappropriate pop song. The worst example of that problem was last week's bizarre Barracuda for poor Ty. Just plain weird.

    Keep up the good work on blogging dance. Thanks!

  7. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    I know, I agree about the Len booing. He is by far the best judge. Yeah, it would be nice if they got another one. I feel like it's set now though. Maybe they could rotate more guest judges onto the show?

  8. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    Yeah, I was really generally underwhelmed by everyone else too. Yes, I do know exactly what you're talking about with Slavik and Karina! That is my very favorite ballroom dance of all! That is the dance that made me obsessed with ballroom and that rekindled my passion for ballet, because there was something so balletic about it! I'm so glad you brought it up, Susan! I am going to try to find it on YouTube!

  9. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    I agree, JT. I'm really loving Ty's personality. He does take his criticism very graciously.

  10. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    Thank you so much for the wonderful compliment, KathinPa!

  11. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    Is this it?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpKGY-AZO5M
    I love this one — I love it!

  12. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    Hehe, just watching it over now. I tried to incorporate some of those moves into my first rumba routine with Pasha. Needless to say, I didn't look quite like her! The picture in the icon on the top right of this blog is my attempt to do what they do around 3:18! Haha!

  13. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    What did you guys think of Julianne and Tony's dance tonight? I thought it was pretty but very trick-filled. It was like one giant lift. It was nice that they had that West Side Story piece on. The Broadway version looks so different from the ballet, even though Robbins choreographed both…

    Anyway, I'm sad Steve-O's off, but I guess it was to be expected…

  14. Yep Tonya that's the one! Be still my heart!

  15. I'm on the fence about steve-o… On one hand, I'm upset that LT didn't go home. He annoys me and it just looks like he doesn't want to be there. On the other hand, his dancing really isn't approving to me.

    There was one lift that I want to see again because it's reminiscence of a lift that John Zimmerman and Yoko Ina did in their show routines..

    I'm annoyed that Rascal Flatts were on again. I mean can't they get anybody new?

    They changed some things from the original stage version too. Karen was amazing Monday night (they taped it Monday night) but she wasn't dancing full out.. I think it's because she and the rest of the cast were slipping on the wood floor. Karen is just freaking amazing as Anita..

  16. oh, how much would I like to watch this show! You have made me very curious! I'll try to find some clips of it on YouTube :-) . From Russia with love… x Martine

  17. Yep Tonya that's the one! Be still my heart!

  18. I'm on the fence about steve-o… On one hand, I'm upset that LT didn't go home. He annoys me and it just looks like he doesn't want to be there. On the other hand, his dancing really isn't approving to me.

    There was one lift that I want to see again because it's reminiscence of a lift that John Zimmerman and Yoko Ina did in their show routines..

    I'm annoyed that Rascal Flatts were on again. I mean can't they get anybody new?

    They changed some things from the original stage version too. Karen was amazing Monday night (they taped it Monday night) but she wasn't dancing full out.. I think it's because she and the rest of the cast were slipping on the wood floor. Karen is just freaking amazing as Anita..

  19. oh, how much would I like to watch this show! You have made me very curious! I'll try to find some clips of it on YouTube :-) . From Russia with love… x Martine

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