Saturday, 9 October 2010

Turns, Tassles and Tangotrots

Strictly really has had a makeover. The dancers appear able to break hold, thus making the fabricated 'American Smooth' of other series redundant. I can live with that. It allows creative freedom and keeps it fresh. The four 'Tangotrots' (Foxtrots with a Tango air, swivels, ochos etc) this evening would not have been so easily possible last year - (is this a current trend in dance btw? It seems odd that four couples came out and did something similar...) The use of p-p-p...oh I can't even say it, p-p-props, however... Well, the jury's still out on that. Right now, it's not looking favourable. I can understand it for the 'entertaining' celebs but it seems naff for the ones who can really dance. - C

Matt and Aliona

There's a lot of pressure on this guy's shoulders and not just from lumbering around with pumpkins and thankfully no tweed ballgown. I think I mentioned this last year, but sometimes when the pros don't fancy a dance they seem to just do something else, this was basically a tango-foxtrot. Matt's frame is really good but he looks a tiny bit robotic to me. Nothing like a random sex-attack at the end to liven things up though!

Tangotrot No. 1. Aliona is very clearly demonstrating that she's an extremely creative and talented choreographer. Who really doesn't like rules. Good job they've done away with them this year then. Oh, can't you just see Len biting his tongue? I think Craig is stamping on his feet under the table or squeezing his...hand, like, really hard. Because really, so much of this year's routines are just...faffing. Aren't they?

Peter and Erin
Imagine you're at a wedding, imagine your dad has had five pints, imagine there's something on the ceiling for him to point at irregularly. Your Great Auntie Mildred is filming it and you will laugh at it affectionately for years to come. That was this dance! Peter is very sweet and was certainly having a good time, gotta love a man who throws himself into it like that, so I think that is all that matters really.

Ah, salsa. No wonder we can't recruit new male salsa dancers. Oh guys, come on, it's really not like this. This is a style of salsa that has been picked up by ballroom dancers and they've run with it all the way to sequin-spangle-land. Which is about as far removed from the salsa I know as you can get. I'm not complaining as such; this is a ballroom dance show. It should be showy. And yes, your average social salsa dance isn't much to watch. I just feel it's misrepresented just a tad too much. Come along and see some of my male salsa friends dance. They're cool. This wasn't.

Oh the dance? Meh. Could be leaving us...

Tina and Jared

Tina gets the Disney Princess dresses that Ali specialised in last year, and of course it's perfect for a little pocket person. Jared made this very old school LA with a bit of razz-matazz thrown in (have I spelt that right? what does it even mean?). Certainly better than last week but still some nerves, who is getting the whiff of a j-word here?

Maybe. But I don't think we are going to warm to these two as much as I thought we would. They seem devoid of all personality. And Jared doesn't really seem up to the same standard as the other professionals. Perhaps he just needs more experience. But then you see young 'uns like Julianne Hough on Dancing with the Stars going for it like they've got dynamite in their tootsies (toes, to clarify) - and Jared seems a bit like he's firing on a damp match. Maybe confidence and time can help these two. They are all of adorable. And Tina has the potential to be a cracking dancer.

Patsy and Robin

After a slow start last week the training footage looked pretty promising and she seems to love her SCD-style LBD. The song was a fabulous choice, one of my real favourites, and she totally sold it with her enthusiasm and massive disco hair. Not really sure what I thought about it as a salsa though, didn't think there was enough arm-work etc. But glad to see she found her mojo, her face when she got the marks was a picture!

First of all, I love watching Robin dance. And Patsy, my, she did well with this one. Clearly the wardrobe department has given up on bespoke dancewear and has started sourcing costumes in Jane Norman. Ohh, gawd, I'm coming off as a right old grump today aren't I? Here I go again...but there was so much strutting and not much dancing. I am channelling my inner Len. As it seems he no longer cares...

Paul and Ola

OMG do we have to suffer some sort of magic trick every week? Nice traditional foxtrot, Ola as good as ever with the choreography. Bruno is right though, he does just sort of wander off sometimes like he's looking for the loo.

It wasn't unpleasant. Foxtrot is my least favourite dance. And yes, Paul does seems like he's just off on a stroll in the park and interacts with Ola as though she's a pesky Jack Russell who's blocking his path. And yes Alesha, ballroom is going to suit him more than latin. He's, like, 190. Way to point out the obvious.

Scott and Natalie

Well I think we have found something to finally replace Lilia's S4-Samba-turban, that is a headband and a half! The complete kitsch-tastic song somehow won me over even thought I should have hated it, the whole thing was like something from a classic 80s cheesy film. Buy your own spangled-flannel shirt in River Island come monday...

NO! They can replace Lilia, but they cannot replace her turban. Oh, this was so camp. And Natalie is so manic-of-eye. It wasn't bad. Yes Len, it was really good but not a really good salsa. It was what it was. It was good at what is was. I have a shirt like Scott's.

Michelle and Brendan

Now that is a dress (think it might be my favourite) and that is a entrance from Brendan, that man was born in the wrong decade. Totally loved the routine, proper foxtrot stuff with a bit of glam. There's was a nice balance of constructive criticism from the judges and Michelle has worked hard, but dammit where is the crazy girl who has 12 sugars in her coffee?!

Loved the traditional mood of this. It had the air of something smooth. The execution was a little bumpy though. Michelle is not a natural dancer and probably never will be. She's a bit like Heather Small and may just about get to competent with a bit of time and a lot of work. Great song choice and charming dress. I don't know how much the public has warmed to her though...she could be trouble.

Goldie and Kristina

Kristina really knows how to choreograph for her partners, since she's had a lot of work to do over the years! The routine really suited him but was actually not too complicated. Certainly better than last week and actually quite interesting for a foxtrot. And whilst props are the last refuge of the desperate, hats do not count!

Oh. The P. Word. P-p-props. Don't get me started. Makes me very uncomfortable. But yeah, a hat doesn't count. Looks like Kristina's been dealt a poor hand again. I just don't think there's very far he can go and I'd be worried if I were them this week. He's not good enough. And it's Strictly...he's just not bad enough either. Liked the song and the routine. But so forgettable amongst all the others.

Pamela and James

Probably the most 'proper' salsa routine of the night, meaning we forgive the Carry On Doctor opening. Wow this woman is fearless! Technique was pretty good but totally won over by her manic smile. As she said in her blog "I now understand why patients refuse anti-psychotic medication". Not sure if that dress has sleeves or not, wardrobe department you are teasing me...

Whip off that horrendous opening and I actually did like this. Please James, no. This girl does not need the gimmicks. And for those of you who have been waiting with baited breath (on Twitter don't cha know...) for me to announce my favourite couples. Here is one. I adore this pair. I love Pamela. And, my my, she can dance. She is full of verve and vim and vigour (all tragically under-used words imo) I'll even call this song acceptable. At a push. We have never had a winner like Pamela. I cannot wait to see how far she can go.

Felicity and Vincent

Now those are sleeves, but my word there are boobs too! This routine was classic Vincent, beautiful song choice too. Like the judges said it was good, but not spectacular, but this woman has so many fans I'm sure she'll be fine.

Tangotrot No. 2. Mmm, they looked like little Gu desserts. Scrummy. She's going to suit the ballroom more, as expected. This was a nice job but a tad forgettable. Apart from the fact that at some points she does look like she's taking a pee against a tree. Ok, it's Vincent, a bonsai tree then. Oh! She's so lovely I feel like I've just sworn at my Grandma. Does anyone else miss seeing the couples wait nervously behind the curtain as their names are announced?

Ann and Anton
Brace yourselves, here we go! The woman deserves a 10 simply for encasing the du Beke rug back in it's shirt where it belongs. Although I must ask if she is going to wear the same dress in different colours every week, a fashion mistake last seen on the Queen Mum. Actually there seemed to be some basic steps in there! Maybe she'll get a higher mark that Laila...

Now this may surprise you. This was, in fact, the most authentic salsa dance of the night. Nay, EVER on Strictly. How so?! I hear you cry. Anne was jabbering away at Anton all the way through. I'm sure I heard her say "Where were your arms???" This is precisely the kind of conversation (including the finger pointing) a bickering salsa couple has on the dancefloor. I'm not even joking. Kudos.

Kara and Artem

There was a hint of props at the start, but thankfully it turned into a very good routine. Kara's arms are really good, despite the supposed travesty of the left index finger. Put that 9 down Alesha, did no one follow my advice to take it away from her for a few weeks?

Tangotrot No. 3. And a 9? Week 2? Don't get me started.

Gavin and Katya

Well that's a relief, I thought we were going to get through a whole episode without any fringed outfits! I think that might be my favourite outfit of the series so far, because I'm classy and understated like that. Better than I thought it was going to be, like last week, think the judges were a bit harsh for his first latin! He had his game face on again, surprisingly intense actually!

Well he's embracing the sparkle in that pink shirt. But he just wasn't comfortable. Which kind of makes it squirmy to watch. Plfff.

Jimi and Flavia

Flavia finally gets a good dress after about three years of bin liners and net curtains, joyous day! Like Len, I think it got a lot better as it went along, but there were some very amusing faces from Jimi throughout.

Tangotrot No. 4 (though more for mood than steps on this one) For our Twitterites, this is my favourite couple number two. Jimi is just loving it and that makes me love him. Flavia's dress was my favourite of the week and I loved the routine. Great musicality. And the fact that he's leading is extra-awesomary.

See you soon for results!


ballet news said...

interesting post, thanks !

Charlie said...

I was upset that Peter didn't go, he can't dance to save his life! Goldie I think could have lasted another week.

I hope Anne stays in, she gives it such a bash and Anton and herself give me such a giggle!

Anyway, great blog!