Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, May 01, 2012 by Travis Cody in
4

It's live from Hollywood!


Our 7 remaining pairs face the challenge of dancing to classical music.  This could be interesting, if we get good matches of melody to style.

I love the costumes on our Dance Troupe in the opening number, choreographed by Anna.  The featured violinist is Joshua Bell.  We also have young prodigy Jackie Evancho and a world renowned tenor Vittorio Grigolo to perform for some of the routines.  There are also some additional singers for a more robust sound with our orchestra.

It's individual dances and Team dances.

This could be good, gang.

Katherine and Mark dance Rumba.  Does she have an edge because she performs in the genre?  We shall see.  I like the theme Mark has crafted for this dance.  It's very sensual but not necessarily erotic.  There is a respect paid to the music and the atmosphere.  I think that makes the dance more romantic.  The poses are different and unique within the frame of the story.  I thought Katherine's lines were wonderful.  There was a subtle heat throughout the piece.  It wasn't in your face and I appreciated that because the dance was as much a showcase for the music as it was for the performers.  The dance had sophistication and elegance, which I thought suited the music and Katherine as well.  She was Aphrodite.  I enjoyed the dance.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.

Melissa and Maks dance Argentine Tango.  Maks has a painful cyst on his foot.  Val steps in to help Melissa learn the choreography.  The music doesn't have a distinct Latin flavor, but it has the sharp staccato beats that emphasize Tango movement.  That was an ugly lift about halfway through.  And here's another ugly lift at the end.  There was a lot going on in that dance.  Melissa felt a bit like a prop in the piece, because the tempo of the music was so fast.  It sort of seemed like Maks was dragging her through parts of it.  I liked the Mozart for Tango.  I have to agree with the judges that there was a ton of stuff packed into the piece, and because they had to get so much done the dance seemed to lack artistry.  Melissa has to focus so intensely on her technique.  When the tempo of the music edges up, she loses track of her posture.  She loses her firm legs, her toe point, and her frame.  Judges say 7s across for a total of 21.

William and Cheryl dance Viennese Waltz, with an assist from Jackie Evancho.  The injured ankle was giving him a lot of trouble during rehearsal.  There are a ton of spins in Viennese Waltz and that puts strain on the ankles.  The two of them look stunning together...classic white on white for Cheryl and a classic tux with clean white shirt and tie for William.  I like the gentleness with which he danced.  I enjoyed that performance very much.  It was romantic.  I thought they danced very clean.  I liked his frame and posture.  I thought he had control of his feet during the spins.  This was my favorite performance from William and Cheryl.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.

Roshon and Chelsie dance Argentine Tango.  I like the opening series of quick movements with the lift spin.  He almost had it, but lost his balance just slightly.  He just doesn't seem to be able to keep his center and takes a balance step almost every time during something tricky.  I'll say he gave this dance a really good effort, but I don't think he quite got there.  I thought his footwork was pretty good, but they didn't have much close body contact which would have made the footwork look cleaner.  To me, the between the legs steps they did looked like they had to stop the flow of the dance, do the steps, then restart the dance.  I did like the performance, but I don't feel that it was really top tier in terms of quality.  Judges say 9,8,8 for a total of 25.

Donald and Peta dance Viennese Waltz.  Tenor Vittori Grigolo sings for this performance.  Peta has put together a content-full piece of choreography, and Donald has got to nail each piece of it.  Well it was certainly packed with movement.  I liked their rise and fall.  I loved all the spins.  Donald was light on his feet.  He was in control of the dance.  He was a strong lead.  His frame was outstanding.  He had all of his footwork squared away.  That was a very classical Viennese Waltz and I think they pulled it off quite well.  I liked the mix of intensity and then the lightness in the performance.  I thought it was appropriate to the music.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.

Maria and Derek dance Paso Doble.  I love the idea of her as a vampire and him as a hunter in this piece.  The choreography is strong and powerful.  I think her footwork is outstanding, as is her posture.  I think these power dances are right in her wheelhouse.  I really liked that performance.  The dance had passion and aggression.  It was full of drama.  The dance had tension, plus it was sharp and precise.  They kept control of the rising tension and let it build slowly.  They were crisp and clean.  Derek crafted a complete story in that piece, and then they went out together and danced the full performance.  Outstanding work.  Judges say 10s across for a perfect 30!  First of the season.  And well deserved.

Jaleel and Kym dance Viennese Waltz.  He looks like he's leaning forward just a little bit, and that throws off the smoothness of the rise and fall.  I think that was down to the footwork, which wasn't quite right.  I loved all the spins and turns.  The dance did have an ethereal quality, enhanced by the haunting melody of the music.  But something was off for me.  The lines weren't attractive.  And I thought Jaleel struggled with his posture and frame.  I really liked the story they told, but I think the technique suffered this week.  Dangit.  I thought they would take the momentum from last week and really move forward.  But it didn't quite happen with this Waltz.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.


Here's our leader board after the individual dances:

30 Maria and Derek
27 William and Cheryl
27 Donald and Peta
27 Katherine and Mark
25 Roshon and Chelsie
24 Jaleel and Kym
21 Melissa and Maks

It's Team Dance...but this is weird because the teams are unbalanced.  In previous seasons, Team Dance has come with 6 pairs left.

Jackie Evancho performs again as our teams get ready to dance, accompanied beautifully by Tristan and Karina.  The young lady's voice really is fascinating.  

Team Tango is up first with Katherine & Mark, Maria & Derek, Roshon & Chelsie, and Jaleel and Kym.  I liked the opening patterns, but I thought their unison was off just slightly.  The solos had tons of difficulty and I thought Roshon and Chelsie were the best.  I thought the unison in the closing section was much better than to start.  The whole performance was dynamic and passionate.  I enjoyed it.  Judges say 10,8,9 for a total of 27 added to the individual scores.  I don't think the 10 is warranted.  I would have said 9s and an 8.

Team Paso Doble is William & Cheryl, Donald & Peta, and Melissa & Maks.  Fantastic music for Paso.  The drama is immediately set.  The opening was excellent...unison outstanding.  The solos were all outstanding.  Power, drama, aggression.  They lost a little steam when the guys went to the capes, but they quickly pulled it back together.  Wow.  That was so full of content.  And it was danced so well.  Excellent work, despite the loss of unison during the capes and at the end.  Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.  Well, I'll tell you what I think happened there.  I think they lost the points for lack of unison.  If they had been able to stay in sync for the capes and at the end, I suspect they would have scored higher than Team Tango.

The one point difference is due to that 10 from Carrie Ann for Team Tango that I don't think was a correct score.  I think there were issues in both dances and the scores probably could have been the same for each Team.

Here is our combined leader board for Classical Night:

57 Maria and Derek
54 Katherine and Mark
53 William and Cheryl
53 Donald and Peta
52 Roshon and Chelsie
51 Jaleel and Kym

47 Melissa and Maks

Pretty good night of dancing.  Only 7 votes per phone, so the split votes must come to an end very soon.  I actually split just 2 ways this week.  My favorites were Katherine and Jaleel.

While Pam appreciates how strong a dancer Katherine is, and while she enjoys Jaleel's personality, she has decided that her favorites are William and Maria.

Well!  We're completely different this season.  That doesn't happen often.  We usually have at least one favorite in common.

You know the drill.  Tune in tonight for results.  Then check back here for my encores and results recap.

Later gang!

4 comments:

  1. Oooh! The first perfect score! I haven't watched it yet, fell asleep before it came on! I'll look forward to it!

  1. Cherie says:

    Maria and Derek were quite spectacular!

  1. TopChamp says:

    ooh - scores are tight!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Just finished this episode...excellent show and I loved the classical music! But what was up with the Lady Gaga song? Strange! Now did you say Kym instead of Pam. I'm confused!

    Julie!