old – DWTS 10-4-10

Due to a family crisis, I was unable to get Monday night’s Dancing with the Stars onto the web in a more timely fashion. Below is what I did write up as I watched. I’m sorry to see Margaret Cho go off but it had to happen eventually as there are so many wonderful competitors this time.

Jennifer and Derek. Samba. My mark 8.
Creative, expressive and nicely executed. The energy though is strange and because of this, I’m spending a bit more time with this couple. The energy I’m talking about is the overall sense I get from the dance and the performers–the quality of it. There is an ability to project outward from the body–dynamic presence a colleague of mine calls it. Energy is often something one feels and if you know how to look for it you can see what’s going on with it.

A dancer can execute nicely and there can be sharpness and attack; however, if the dance fails to reach out and grab, excite or sing, that’s when I look at the energetic quality. In rehearsal Jennifer and Derek looked exhausted. There was this slow feel to it like you get when you can’t think and you want to lie down. I wondered if that played a part in how they performed.

For me the dance wasn’t sharp and crisp and there were not enough nuances or striking dynamics. It’s like wanting a fresh, shiny Delicious apple and being given a baked McIntosh that has a completely different quality to it. It’s odd that this couple can perform so well and do fast movements yet the dance came off as sedate, careful, quiet.

I want to be so excited by this couple’s performances in the future and by what they dance and how they dance that I fall out of my seat yelling rapturously, “Oh God!” I know they can do it. What I want for them this week is rest and a series of spa staycation days while they rehearse 🙂

Florence and Corky. Waltz. My mark 6. Some beautiful expressive moments and poignancy visible in facial closeups. Some stiffness and staccato that broke up the flow for me though.  She seems unsure of herself at times or her balance. This may be age-related.

Kurt and Anna. Foxtrot. My mark 7. His smile carries it. Lovely storyline and connection. Unfortunately he has a stiff, held upper back and shoulders and his hands and arms come off and move like they’re uncared for appendages, instead of extensions of the heart that embrace, give, gather love and share the soul. I wonder if yoga might help as well as Shiatsu or Thai massage to loosen up the upper body.

Margaret & Louis. Samba. My mark 6.
In and out of spontaneity and fluidity. Her face was better. Story was weak. There were moments where I felt if she could maintain the flow and the dance, she could be good. But the dance felt pale and the story they wanted to tell didn’t seem to go with the music or style dance.

Audrina & Tony. Waltz. My mark 7.
When they first appeared and I saw the first move, I thought Audrina might be able to win. Then I saw the dance in sections. There were beautiful moments. Unfortunately, she comes off as expressive yet too restrained. The waltz has to sing, flow, connect and this one didn’t for me. So much potential here and I think in the judges’ minds there was a seed of poignancy due to the story. The war is a very real thing for some of us, men fighting and separated from loved ones and those at home dreaming of and missing them. I want to honor the story, and at the same time, I have to analyze the dancing and performance as I see it. So I didn’t agree with the judges because of the sectioning I saw throughout the dance.

Bristol & Mark. Foxtrot. My mark 5.
Her eyes were alive but she held her face except when she gave us a big smile. Now I realize she could be frozen in fear but as someone who has seen people who hold in emotions and trauma, it looks like Bristol needs a whole lot of comforting and support to be able to be who she really is in her heart. I would suggest she work in front of the mirror to watch her face while she reads and when she thinks she’s expressing something visibly so she can see how she is failing to show anything. In other words, she was stoic throughout most of the dance and also a bit lethargic. There was none of the pep and zing of foxtrot for me. The beginning had a story then it lost something. I wonder if Mark can get to her true passion – where her heart lies.

Brandy & Maks. Samba. My mark 7.
I’m glad that Brandy stands up to Maks because he seems to get off on being the “bad” mean guy. It isn’t fun to watch and in the long run this kind of treatment mars his image as a coach. But this is how some people learn to coach and be a father or mother.

For the story they chose, I felt as though Maks didn’t need to perform with her. He could have stood there like a bodyguard and let her perform. She danced it well – had a character – and was loose and enjoying it. The choreography was samba however, and somehow the dancing came off as a bit flat for her. The choreography didn’t build and I got distracted by Maks. Brandy needs help to become aware of color, dynamics: strong/light, sharp and loose, free and contained, all elements of Rudolph Laban’s Effort-Shape, which to me is craft of choreography and dance. She still has this light playful quality, which can be used some of the time in some dances but not all of the time in all dances.

Kyle & Lacey. Waltz. My mark 9.
Sooo cute, so genuine. Great storyline and Lacey really created choreography that spoke the quality and story she wanted. Kyle is so charming, he could probably do anything and carry it on his own skill. It’s true he lacks footwork and dynamics–there are no real “POWS” and shading–but everything else simply works. Great entertainment. Ah, this couple’s taken the lead in my book.

The Situation & Karina. Foxtrot. My mark 6.
Karina has a gift for working with young people. This reminded me of her work with Aaron Carter. The Situation is obviously not a natural dancer. He does the large body moves yet doesn’t seem to really get in his body what he’s doing, what dancing’s about. Some men don’t comprehend what the arms are for and how they move from the center of the sElf to show us line, emotion, fun. Arms are participants in the joy of the whole being.

Rick & Cheryl. Samba. My mark 8.
He can act and created a very believable character throughout. His character seemed actually to “be” him. Cheryl came up with a great idea and the story was carried through in the choreography. Though Rick sometimes looks like he’s walking through a dance rather than dancing it all, he is expressive in his face and so at ease that I can get carried by this alone. He’s sexy and oozes charisma and a genuineness that is so engaging that in my book he’s already a winner. I want more dynamics from him though – that could make a big difference when it comes down to choosing between him and someone else.