DWTS 4-11-11

Classical Week.

Is dancing to a huge orchestra a good thing? Depends on the musical selection, I’d say. Is more always better? No.

Romeo & Chelsea. Paso Doble. My mark 7.
Romeo was much improved this week, which is a good thing. His posture was better and he was focused and intense, establishing the quality that is paso doble. Yet he can definitely clean up his footwork and the articulation of his legs. I’m still seeing that he needs to understand how movement comes from the core of the body and flows out through the body to create a full body shape, extensions, and gestures. No need to rip off the jacket like he did. It didn’t fit the quality of music or theme and it lowered the quality of the dance first because he didn’t get the jacket off with finesse and second because this then hindered his performance.

Kendra & Louis. Viennese Waltz. My mark 6.
She’s better in hold when she dances with Louis. However, when she danced alone, I noticed her posture. Kendra’s trying; however, she’s also self-conscious and doesn’t believe in herself. This is what she shows me. She looks blocked and constricted in her chest and there’s a lot of insecurity conveyed in that. But she’s a beginner and Louis needs to find a starting point for her – somewhere she feels safe. What popped into my head was Argentine Tango where she can close her eyes and hide her face.

Sugar Ray & Anna. Viennese Waltz. My mark 8.
So cute. Well-performed. Anna’s choreography suited Sugar Ray this time. Really enjoyable to watch. I could see stiffness sometimes in Sugar Ray’s body and yet the dance was so charming and entertaining that the whole thing was as Bruno stated, “effective” for a waltz, for their personalities and Sugar Ray’s performance dance level. If Anna can keep discovering Sugar Ray and allowing him to show himself through the steps, movements and qualities she may be able with his gifts to keep them competing awhile longer.

Petra & Dmitry. Paso Doble. My mark 7.
This seemed one of those orchestral pieces better suited to a group of peasants than a couple. Petra kept her character and sold the choreography. To do a paso to this marchlike piece of music from Carmen! Eeek. I had a lot of trouble watching it, I have to admit. It kept striking me as “wrong” – costume, going against the music trying to convey some sort of gypsy harlot story. At times I felt the dance should have been done as a farce and to me it became this at the end when Dmitry ripped off Petra’s skirt and she rolled on the floor. Sometimes classical music is too grand to be danced to, especially by only two people.

Ralph & Karina. Waltz. My mark 8.
Passionate and well-danced. His hands were better. I think it’s actually keeping the hand alive, articulating and expressing through the fingers that is what needed addressing.

This dance at times was close to being melodramatic, which can easily happen when you try to emulate music played by an over-large orchestra and you’re a couple. I wanted to see more softness from Karina. She seemed too strong for a waltz. He filled out the music and extended himself wonderfully but for me there was not effective enough connection. Ralph is lyrical and emotionally alive. I feel that soft, quiet moments with less drama would have tempered the rest of the dance and showed us not only nuances but the intimacy that is needed in such a duet.

Hines & Kym. Paso Doble. My mark 8.
The choreography really helped Hines shine. He’s blockish and if the movements had been intricate he would have looked bad but in this – kept simple for him – he sustained the quality of restrained strength and his presence spoke volumes. To me it was as though his soul sang through the whole number. Wonderful work: choreography and performance.

Chelsea & Mark. Viennese Waltz. My mark 9.
The performance really captured the magic and musical quality of Harry Potter. Beautifully danced. The choreography was original, nuanced, theatrical and showed off the mischievousness of this couple. The quality of these two technically and emotionally and how they played off one another – wow! Such a sense of witty fun. In reference to Len’s comment about the Viennese Waltz being 300 years old, perhaps Chelsea had moments of being too contemporary where she could have been softer and more legato, reflecting how ancient magical spirits from England can be.

Cheryl & Chris. My mark 9.
Beautiful! Exquisitely danced. Best choreography done by Cheryl in several seasons. Chris maintained the quality of the music. He was sexy, strong, charismatic and the fact that he never lost that for the entire dance, signaled that he knows how to embody what Cheryl gives him. Really great work.

Maks & Kirstie. Waltz. My mark 8.
Lovely. Well-danced and yet something odd was going on energetically. I wish they could have maintained a quality for this dance. Kirstie seemed self-conscious in parts and she’s older so her body doesn’t necessarily cooperate. Some of us know how that is. They recovered after the shoe incident and the accident actually seemed like part of some underlying story, which got blocked from being told. Still, these two are so wonderful. She’s light and ethereal and could have sold this thing serious or not. I felt at times that as a couple they needed to go after making their dancing more whimsical and fairytale humorous, like the fairy godmother who wanted to be queen yet got mixed up coming out of the woods and sulked ever after. There’s huge potential here and no one is mentioning it. I hope Maks can bring it out and Kirstie can sustain it with no accidents unless they’re designed and serve a choreographic purpose. 🙂