DWTS 4-16-12

Latin week on Dancing with the Stars – was it something to savor!

In the weeks to come, although I will be looking for those competitors able to bring precision in footwork and a knowledge of the style dance they’re performing, I will also be looking for a visual/kinesthetic experience – contrast and coloring – that take me beyond the technical aspects of ballroom dance.

Sad to say goodbye to Gavin. I enjoyed his performances with Karina.

My analysis:

Jaleel & Kym. Samba. My mark 8.
Jaleel obviously enjoys dancing and I enjoyed him. Some wonderful moves. However, this time he seemed inconsistent. I’m not sure if he was fatigued from all he may be doing, which is one way the performance came off to me. He’d attack a movement one moment and the next appear a bit lost, dropping his energy. One minute he’d extend through his fingertips and the next his arms were behind his body and his hands looked limp and forgotten. Kym could help him be more aware so he fills out every movement, sets the intention of focus, and sustains his energy level throughout the performance.

Melissa & Maks. Salsa. My mark 8.
Wow – was that Melissa Gilbert? She can shake her booty. Her best dance although she lost it rhymically about three-quarters of the way through. I know that she requested to include moves in which she was injured. I understand why – we’ve all been taught to get back on the horse. Yet I saw hesitation before the moves. For me, it also wasn’t a pleasant experience to watch Melissa tossed across and spun on the floor. It was downright frightening. I have to wonder about a performer who suffered a broken back and a concussion repeating some of the moves that hurt her. It’s enough to dance again – that’s the equivalent of getting back in the saddle. But when a person is not in a war zone defending her life, I wonder about risking more harm to the body. Focus instead on quality of movement and conveying mood and meaning. Enough with dangerous moves.

Maria & Derek. Salsa. My mark 9.
The dance was fluid and Derek and Maria conveyed that they were having fun. Then Derek ripped off his shirt and there was the long kiss, which added not a thing to the performance. What these two elements did however was send up a big red flag – a huge sign that said – lacks content – something’s funky – maybe Maria can’t dance – and maybe Derek ran out of ideas.

I can’t give these two a ten partly because Maria is one-dimensional. She gives us this beautiful lightness without much else. She doesn’t know how to create color – the lights and darks, texture – the kinesthetic qualities that help us get excited and feel the movement in ourselves. Instead, despite the shimmying and light-heartedness, Maria presents as superficial and unaware of what the body is capable of doing. And she is oh so capable. She can dance. I hope Derek can bring nuances she doesn’t know she has out of her. He is a talented dancer, coach, performer and choreographer. Instead of emulating Maks by tossing away clothing, let Derek emulate Fred Astaire and use the fabulous gifts he has to choreograph a star vehicle for Maria in which the two of them transport us to a place we’ve never been to find something we never knew we were missing.

Katherine & Mark. Argentine Tango. My mark 9.
These two looked beautiful together and the dance had a wonderful storytelling quality that made me recall college modern dance performances. Katherine seemed like a wooden doll – following exactly what she was told. If she wants to improve, I’d like to see her more aware of her entire body so I can enjoy her more – see more articulation and presentation of the legs and feet – the feeling that Katherine “has the most gorgeous legs” ever and she knows how to unfold and display them. I’d also like to see into her soul.

William & Cheryl. Argentine Tango. My mark 9.
Passionate, attacked, liquid. William is so sensual – he oozes it. I think he sickles his foot and that may be the injury he suffered showing itself. He doesn’t yet know how to sculpt and shape the body, nor create lines and pictures. He doesn’t have those instincts. However, what he brings to the dance makes me almost forget that. I wonder what could happen if Cheryl helped him with the other elements of dance? What would that dance be like? A ten?

Gladys & Tristan. Samba. My mark 7.
Her presence and sensuality is amazing – magical. It’s no wonder she’s a star. She shimmers. Her feet are a bit slow and not articulating well – that has to do with her age, I’m sure. Overall, an enjoyable exuberant performance.

Chelsie & Roshon. Salsa. My mark 9.
Yeowza! Fantastic. What a talent! Roshon can do it all. So much depth and the ability to create such a mood. Roshon found his own sex appeal too. He’s musical and upbeat. Some gorgeous unison moves, and choreography that really showed this couple off. Great connection between these two.

Although I don’t yet have the explanation for it, I feel like these two youngsters have an uphill battle. I think it has something to do with their youth. Two sparklers against more mature performers who have a weightedness to what they do. Not sure what could turn that around nor if anything will. It’s truly difficult to compare these youngsters with the others.

Donald & Peta. Argentine Tango. My mark 10.
This dance had everything I could want. Fantastic, the way Donald used his body. He’s vivid and oh so physical. What a gift! Donald knew how to attack this dance and he captured its sensuality. He went at it like a scientist and that focus and attention to detail showed great intelligence, which is why he’s a top athlete. He really jives with Peta. Incredible. At the top of my leader board now.