old – DWTS 5-3-10

This performance analysis will be a bit different from the rest if you’ve been following along. When we perform, we bring people, role models, psychic debris, and longstanding patterns with us. We may feel as though we are dancing with our parents, a brother, a sister, or a long forgotten heart mate or partner. Sometimes we’re given cues to this by our behavior on and off the stage. Dancing with the Stars is no different though it may be more public.

Erin & Maks. Quickstep. My mark 10.
Symbols were up big-time with these two and symbols can sometimes be seen in the language used, in what is shown physically or emotionally, or in a gut reaction we have to something as the viewing public. Maks was told by Len that it was unnecessary to remove clothing and that doing so could detract and cause a loss of points. So we were set up in rehearsals by our knowing these “secrets.” I loved what the pair did, from rehearsal to their performance. It was like watching a night time soap. I loved how the removal of clothing was played up. Going from black to red: wow! Think of the symbolism in those colors. Are Erin & Maks, brother and sister? Is it a relationship that goes beyond the stage? This was definitely a quickstep with wonderful choreography. I gave the couple a 10 although the first place my eyes went was to Erin and how she sometimes really does not know how to embody a more glamorous “I am a star” and I’m great role persona when she performs. What did I see to remark this way? She doesn’t present herself through the upper body – the chest. More than posture, it is an energetic stance. Her shoulders are tense and although physically it’s not usually present, there is a feeling of her being sunken in her chest. You can see it when she stands at rest. If I worked with Erin, I would want to help her find a place of peace inside so that she can say with her physical, emotional and energy being: I’m here. I’m gorgeous and I’m a star – especially in this kind of dance and when dancing with someone like Maks.

Chad & Cheryl. Viennese waltz. My mark 9.
The pacing in this was incredibly well-done. Chad carried himself well through this dance and the beginning nuances were so elegant. Their connection, moment after moment, carried a theme: I’m here. I’m in love. I can do this. Chad was graceful, sincere, tender and very focused but with an ease to it so I never felt any of it was a hardship. His shoulders went off a couple times and Bruno’s comment about his fingers spoke to the way in which the physical can be used to enhance what a dancer wishes to convey. Fingers are part of the hand and the hand part of the arm. Fingers dance too. They open, they extend. They carry a message. Clenched fingers express tension and pain. A flat hand that doesn’t move sometimes gets taught to men, but it’s not expressive and does not have a finesse. A businessman speaking to a group could learn from this. Imagine what something graceful conveys. What tenderness and caring convey – without words. Now see a flat hand coming down dynamically, sharply. Chad talks with his hands and can dance with them too.

Nicole & Derek. Waltz. My mark 9.
The beginning and much of this dance was like watching Cinderella at the ball. Nicole was expressive, elegant, a princess, and it really helps her to think of dancing for someone else she loves. Nicole showed a presence through the chest that is what I want to see in Erin Andrews. In Nicole, we can see the honesty she carries. She tells us she gets in her head and we can see that when she appears tense, when she loses her lyricism or connection to Derek. She told us about the problems she’s had maintaining her frame. There were a couple times when I saw Nicole’s shoulders go askew, and for a dancer like this, the choreographer must be very careful to give her movements that are soft, that help her feel how beautiful she is, that don’t put too much strain on her upper body because she is so close to going into thought and thoughts that create tension and impair her ability to stay with the role and dance she’s doing.

Pam & Damian. Waltz. My mark 8.
This couple danced with a beauty and quiet grace. The one extension from Pam seemed to get stuck before the movement flowed through the foot. She conveyed the quiet understatedness of this waltz. I wondered why Damian didn’t add a bit of playfulness to the dance so that it would have had more texture, more content. I’d like to see him develop a more nuanced role for Pam since her forte is her portrayal of character through the dance.

Niecy & Louis. Quickstep. My mark 9.
Love their relationship. It flows from rehearsals to performance. This dance was romantic, fun, beautiful. Niecy carried it. The costume so suited her. Here we see what a brother/sister team can be, even though that is not who they are in reality. It’s the flavor of them. Louis’ choreography shows her off. It’s great ballroom: creative with an effective use of slow and sustained movements, upright and arched movements, and quick flowing steps. There is something so endearing about these two. They’re well-paired. Gorgeous.

Evan and Anna. Tango. My mark 9.
My feeling is that Evan will win this competition, not necessarily because he’s always the best dancer out there but because he’s an Olympic Gold Medalist and the judges are beginning to tip the scales in his direction. I wish I could be as enthusiastic about this pair as all three judges and because I’d root any day for this skater, but I’m seeing the same kind of dancing in every piece. It may be as much the choreography as the performance. He had attack and strength. He knows how to convey line and himself in stillness. Unfortunately and again because of his physique, I get distracted instead of immersed in what he’s doing. I noticed his feet and knee a couple times. They took my attention as did a feeling sometimes that he’s dancing on stilts. I also had the impression that sometimes Anna is too short for him and is dancing to a different music than he is. The judges have talked about the couple’s great connection. I’ve seen it often, but I also see when it goes away, when there is a gulf between them like she’s isolated. This is emotional, I think. I read it in the body and the space around them–in her field of energy. I would like these two to discover more about each other and see it flower in their dancing. Not sure if it can happen this season but one never knows when a transformative experience will bring forth a new way of being.

Group Dance. Cha Cha.

Team Gaga. My mark 8.
Well-rehearsed & in sync.

Team Madonna. My mark 7.
I saw cha cha steps though most of the time I had troubled focusing. They weren’t in sync and the costumes made me think floosies and can can instead of Latin.