Sunday, January 04, 2009

Middling Stars of Dance

The new reality show, Superstars of Dance, is so far not as good as hoped. With the exception of a top notch Argentine couple and the Shaolin team, the other dancers are good, sometimes even great, but not spectacular. One lesson becomes clear, and that is how difficult truly precise unison dancing is. The Irish team was very sharp, since they are essentially the Lord of the Dance touring show, but the other groups and duos couldn’t compare.

Michael Flatley is a surprisingly charming host. The first episode showed him as genial, welcoming, knowledgeable but humble. Either he is a good actor, or age has matured him well, because the @-hole behavior of his Riverdance years wasn’t apparent at all. I can remember him soaking in thunderous applause yelling “Yes!” instead of the more receptive, “Thank you.” I assume he also has outgrown the demand to have sex immediately after every show (which may be an urban legend, of course). We joked among friends that we hoped the chorus dancers weren’t expected to serve in any such capacity.

In any case, I’m looking forward to seeing the American hip hop team tomorrow, and any return performance by the Argentine couple. After seeing so many mediocre attempts at Argentine tango, even by good ballroom dancers, it’s breathtaking to see lightning-fast, world class ganchos - those daring flicks between the partner’s legs.

Note to NBC – you need to improve your show website. It might be there, but I can’t find an explanation of your judging rules, names or biographies of your judges or performers. A website with lots of juicy details and photos is a great way to get your audience engaged with the performers.

Is anyone planning to watch the season?


Lara said...

my thoughts are pretty much on par with yours. the argentine was amazing - clearly the best argentine i've ever seen, by leaps and bounds. i enjoyed the irish and the shaolin groups (those little boys reminded me of Q!), as well as the south african "mining" group. most of the solo dancers were just flat-out mediocre to me, though.

i won't be able to watch the season because of DL rehearsals, sadly, but i'm excited to hear what you think as it goes on! :)

Bob said...

Funny, we couldn't find the Dance program in San Diego (not on TV, not in the newspaper TV listing). But it is listed in today's paper at 8:00pm- so we'll see if it is the Hip-Hop or your show yesterday.

Mayberry said...

I didn't catch the whole show yesterday, but am going to try to follow this one for a few weeks and see if it grabs me.

Anonymous said...

I only watched a little bit. The judging was annoying as there was no explanation for the numbers. Would love to see Nigel in there making some comments. I saw the Australians do their second(?)group number and my only thought was for them to get flesh colored knee pads. It may look "edgy" but it cuts up their lines.

4th B

Christina said...

I feel much the same as you. I loved the Argentina couple, and I loved the group Irish Dance. Yes, it was a Lord of the Dance piece, but it was def. one of the best.

The Australian group had me shaking my head. They didn't seem very well together, unless that was the point?

We'll be watching tonight, too.

And yeah, Michael Flatley did seem charming. And he's aging fast - as with many Irish guys, the face widens and the eyes start to disappear as they get older. (I say that coming from an Irish family where I noted the same changes in all of them.)

Lady M said...

From Madame A:

I was also disappointed and only watched for a short time. I might be interested if I could just watch the dance clips. Without having a clue what the criteria are for the judging (and with such a variety of dance styles it seems like comparing apples and oranges IMHO) it's just a jumble of numbers.