old – DWTS 11-8-10

The competition seems now to be between Brandy/Maks and Jennifer/ Derek with Kyle/Lacey on their own jetstream.

Kyle & Lacey. Viennese Waltz. My mark 8.
Smooth, engaging & musical. From what I could see of his feet, they looked good. Kyle looked different in this dance, like he gained height and elegance. Choreography was sweet and showed off their connection, but for me wasn’t anything exceptional to distinguish them from others in the competition. Yet Kyle is a true chameleon. I believe he can do about anything.

Jennifer & Derek. Quickstep. My mark 9.
Wonderful. Nuanced. Derek’s solos provided excitement and contrast. The dance was romantic and evocative of the period of the Quickstep. With all the emphasis on Jennifer’s injuries and pain, I hope she is receiving daily massage and bodywork. I would like to see how ethereal and evocative emotionally Jennifer can be if she gets the chance.

Kurt & Anna. Waltz. My mark 7.
Lovely connection. Smooth, elegant and musical. However, Kurt holds his chest and shoulders still and he doesn’t quite extend his movement through his body and out as far as he could. Thus, there isn’t as much flow as there could be. He isn’t the dancer that some of the others are but the couple is enjoyable.

Bristol & Mark. Argentine Tango. My mark 7.
She’s heavy and slow. Argentine Tango needs to be liquid, like electric fire. There needed to be attack and passion as well as intensity and energy for this dance. Bristol has improved and her facial expression was the most evocative yet. She performed the steps but couldn’t maintain the tempo or style. It’s simply because she’s a beginner and no amount of rehearsal will make a beginner look like a seasoned professional in a few weeks time. It takes years to create a dancer. Some say 10 years.

Brandy & Maks. Waltz. My mark 10.
Incredible romantic connection. Exquisite. The feeling and emotional quality of this dance fit the music like a glove. Brandy’s head was too horizontal for waltz. Her head needed to be more slanted, more at a 45 degree angle, but that’s the only thing I would fault them on. I actually wanted the dance to continue. The emotional quality this couple has with the symphonic quality of the choreography to the music created a dramatic dance landscape that transported me to another place and time. Wonderful work.

INSTANT DANCES.

Kyle & Lacey. Jive. My mark 10.
Great fun. Couldn’t tell they had not rehearsed to that music. Great balance between solos and couple work. High energy, creative and natural. The dance fit Kyle to a “t”.

Jennifer & Derek. Rumba. My mark 9.
Beautiful connection, sensual and wonderful slow work. Clean. Still, Jennifer cannot naturally evoke the vulnerability that Brandy has. Jennifer’s technique is more advanced and she has more dance experience but every so often I feel that something is missing. As much as I loved this dance and this couple, there were moments in the dance when I felt the potential emotional quality was not high enough and not sustained. I found myself thinking that in other seasons the judges would have commented on the choreography as being too simple – not having enough content – for a dancer of Jennifer’s caliber.

Kurt & Anna. Cha cha. My mark 8.
One of their best dances. Kurt let himself go and really enjoyed the music and performance. He was musical and did really have sex appeal. A couple of times his stance seemed wide but the dance was enjoyable and loads of fun.

Bristol & Mark. Samba. My mark 8.
While I want to applaud Bristol for handling this dance, she remains too slow. She looked like she was dancing pieces of the whole without a real anchor to the music. She doesn’t know how to connect each section or flow from one part to the next so that the dance looks like a seamless unit.

Brandy & Maks. Cha cha. My mark 9.
The connection between them was fabulous, natural, casual and fun. I loved the quality, playfulness and ease. The judges can nitpick about not starting on the first count of the music but for me those initial moments set up the relationship and story. That’s a viable use of the music and it carried them. Brandy could be more graceful at times and more in control of how she brings her leg across Maks, but that’s minimal. Still, it is such things that make a champion.