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Dancing with the Stars: All-StarsSeason 15


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#46 Helene

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:13 AM

Karina was crying because she fell and was disappointed with herself.

#47 miliosr

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:37 AM

Karina was crying because she fell and was disappointed with herself.

I was being kind with how I described what happened. Posted Image

#48 miliosr

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 05:03 PM

Week Four - Elimination Five

Bottom Two: Bristol/Mark and Kirstie/Maks w/ Bristol and Mark leaving.

Truly, this was a mercy "killing". Bristol was way out of her league on All-Stars compared to the others (even Kirstie) and didn't seem to be getting any enjoyment out of the experience. It was long past her time to go so this was a just decision. And, I'm sure, no one is happier right now than Mark Ballas.

Even though Apolo and Karina were "in jeopardy," I didn't think they were going for one second. He has enough of a fan base to sustain him during a bad week.

The only person more surprised than me that Sabrina wasn't in the Bottom Two was Sabrina herself. Based on her reaction when Tom Bergeron declared her safe, she thought she was going.

#49 Helene

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 05:24 PM

Watching Melissa, I realized that it's not just performance quality that's a disadvantage to the "lay" people on the show, but also the lack of physical fearlessness. Bristol would have died trying the crazy lifts that Melissa threw herself into, and she didn't channel her competitiveness into physical competitiveness in that way.

Watching Shawn and Derek -- and maybe it was the hat or the different posture and hold demands, but he didn't seem much taller than she -- Sabrina and Louis, and Melissa and Tony, was really a joy, because the dance was equally about the star as the pro, and if she were on a dance floor, I would have happily watched Sabrina for hours. I was disappointed that every time I got a sense of Gilles, Peta would become the center of attention.

#50 sidwich

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 10:52 PM

Watching Melissa, I realized that it's not just performance quality that's a disadvantage to the "lay" people on the show, but also the lack of physical fearlessness. Bristol would have died trying the crazy lifts that Melissa threw herself into, and she didn't channel her competitiveness into physical competitiveness in that way.


I think Bristol was really having issues with getting the "villain" edit this season. She threw herself much more into her first season, but her effort this season was decidedly lackluster, and it got worse as the weeks went on. Mark shouldn't have been so open about having to dumb down this last routine, but it was pretty obvious. The difficulty level was about where a beginner class would be after a few hours, hardly what someone with first-class, private coaching should be doing after intensive sessions.

Watching Shawn and Derek -- and maybe it was the hat or the different posture and hold demands, but he didn't seem much taller than she -- Sabrina and Louis, and Melissa and Tony, was really a joy, because the dance was equally about the star as the pro, and if she were on a dance floor, I would have happily watched Sabrina for hours. I was disappointed that every time I got a sense of Gilles, Peta would become the center of attention.


I don't think Derek wore Latin heels in the Mambo which probably dropped him about an inch and a half. Mambo is also really "in the knees" (vs. Latin and especially Ballroom which are very "pulled up") which may have made the height difference less obvious. Also, height difference matters a lot less in in Latin than Ballroom (where leg swing is all). It can even be an advantage once you get into some Rhythm dances like Mambo where the physics of having larger/taller mass with long arms leading a smaller/shorter mass can lead to some spectacular speed effects with partners who know what they're doing.

I did raise my eyebrows at Derek's Mambo choreography, though. Conventionally, Mambo is a "break on 2" dance with the breaks on 2 and 6 beats, but Derek and Shawn were clearly breaking on 1 and 5 throughout the entire dance. (This is very simplified. There are lots of variations such as split counts and directions of beginning the 8). The break on 1 is usually referred to as "Salsa" among ballroom dancers, and it's generally considered much easier for beginners to learn at first than Mambo because it's easier for some beginners to hear the 1 vs. the 2.

On a social dance level, there's nothing wrong with breaking on 1 vs. 2, although it was a very different effect on musical phrasing. From a competitive perspective, though, it really surprised me to hear it referred to as a "Mambo." (I'd say it surprised me that none of the judges commented on it, but at this point, I'm used to the judging panel...)

#51 Helene

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:12 PM

When you see them in "real life" next to each other, Derek does tower over Shawn, which it why I was so surprised with this dance it wasn't that obvious.

Max with Kristie is never going to get the villain edit, so it had to happen to someone. He's the Erica Kane of DWTS, though, so maybe next season.

I find it very frustrating that I can't learn a thing about ballroom dancing from listening to the judges on this show.

#52 Bonnette

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 12:44 AM

I find it very frustrating that I can't learn a thing about ballroom dancing from listening to the judges on this show.

Yes, indeed! We hear a great deal about how much sexier someone is this time around, how strong the sizzle between partners, how fun and enjoyable and so on a performance was...but almost nothing about the forms, per se. I know that DWTS is more about stars than dancing, but there could be so much more depth and richness to the judges' necessarily brief commentaries...many missed opportunites.

#53 sidwich

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 04:15 PM

I find it very frustrating that I can't learn a thing about ballroom dancing from listening to the judges on this show.


The only way to learn anything about ballroom dancing from the show is by listening to the pros in the B-roll, especially Louis since he tends to care less about what looks good on the show and more about what actually works from a dance perspective. Other pros who tend to be good in the B-roll are Mark, Derek, Kym, and Cheryl (especially in earlier seasons). Other pros who were good about technique in the B-roll in earlier seasons were Nick Kosovich, Jonathan Roberts, Brian Fortuna (really underrated) and Julianne Hough.

#54 Helene

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 12:35 AM

Is the b-roll the rehearsal footage?

#55 Jayne

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:04 AM

[size=4]IMHO there is a lot of pandering to the audience by the pro dancers, who know it can influence the voting. So Max threw a fit last season, and the audience kept him around for a few more weeks. Karina burst into tears this season, and the audience kept Karina/Apollo around to dance another week. The show's staff does have a positive vibe, but there is some manipulation going on if you pay attention. I do think the costume staff can play favorites - I mean all you have to do is look at Nancy Grace and Ricki Lake - two women with similar body shapes and see how they were dressed by the staff. [/size]




[size=4] [/size]

#56 Paul Parish

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 06:52 PM

In the Bollywood dance, Peta kept taking my eye, too -- though I think that was because she had just learned the dance, could not teach it well, and Gilles consequently had no imagery to present, whereas she was getting a grip on it and came up with some interesting plastique. The rhythms of the choreography bored me, seemed very squared-off -- but she lenghtened her spine like a snake and carried her head in very interesting positions; while his head seemed stuck in place.

Derek and Shaun, what a wonderful use of the time and the space. When he got her into that handstand in the splits, it really seemed like hte final pose of the dance, and then he pushed down on her back foot and they were off again -- it's the most exciting useof stillness I've ever seen on the show. She can DO things -- lifts of course, but she can also chaine into a rockstep and anchor the new phrase with a powerful thrust off the down beat. I'm impressed with his choreography -- kinda like Balanchine's in that it put all the tricks into a rhythmic format that gave every little step its own life and all the big ones their chance to shine. I'm kinda raving here, but I really loved it.

#57 miliosr

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:33 AM

Performances are spread across two nights this week so I'll post the scores after tonight's show.

Last night, Kelly, Gilles, Kirstie and Emmitt performed their individual routines while Team Call Me Maybe (Sabrina, Shawn, Apolo and Melissa) performed their group dance. If you didn't see the show, here's the group dance:



On technique, I don't think it was '10'-worthy (from Len and Bruno). (Apolo could barely lift Karina.) But for sheer energy and entertainment value, it was great. And Sabrina and Shawn could pass for sisters in this.

#58 Helene

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:05 AM

I loved Sabrina in that. I hadn't seen her in her original season, but I can see why she would have been chosen as the season's wild card.

#59 sidwich

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:31 AM

[size=4]The show's staff does have a positive vibe, but there is some manipulation going on if you pay attention. I do think the costume staff can play favorites - I mean all you have to do is look at Nancy Grace and Ricki Lake - two women with similar body shapes and see how they were dressed by the staff. [/size]


The producers play all kinds of favorites with a lot of elements of the show. Off the top of my head, some of the things that are pretty obviously manipulated in favor of some couples: choice of pro, choice of music, tempo of music, dance choice, order of performance, team challenge, judges comments.... the list goes on and on. For example, Apolo had a very hard time managing slower tempos, so by the time rhumba rolled around, the producers gave him a rhumba with a relatively fast tempo which made it much easier for him. Conversely, some of the celebs have had Quicksteps played a molasses pace.

I actually think that costuming is one of the factors that the producers play with less, though. Costume is one of the elements that the couples have a good deal of say in, and some of it is practicality. Not to be crude, but one of the big issues is if a woman has larger sized, natural breasts because if she does, it makes life much harder for the costumer. The breasts have to be strapped down somehow which makes the costuming options very limited, especially when the woman is short like Nancy Grace. (Interestingly enough, this issue actually came up in the B-Roll a few times this year with Kelly and Kirstie.) Ricki Lake's breasts aren't as much of an issue because she's had significant breast reduction, and she actually three or four inches taller than Nancy Grace which makes a difference as well.

If you want an example of what can happen when this isn't done well, who can forget Kelly Monaco's wardrobe malfunction from Season 1?

#60 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:41 AM

I did raise my eyebrows at Derek's Mambo choreography, though. Conventionally, Mambo is a "break on 2" dance with the breaks on 2 and 6 beats, but Derek and Shawn were clearly breaking on 1 and 5 throughout the entire dance. (This is very simplified. There are lots of variations such as split counts and directions of beginning the 8). The break on 1 is usually referred to as "Salsa" among ballroom dancers, and it's generally considered much easier for beginners to learn at first than Mambo because it's easier for some beginners to hear the 1 vs. the 2.

On a social dance level, there's nothing wrong with breaking on 1 vs. 2, although it was a very different effect on musical phrasing. From a competitive perspective, though, it really surprised me to hear it referred to as a "Mambo." (I'd say it surprised me that none of the judges commented on it, but at this point, I'm used to the judging panel...)


In general I'm always surprised of how many diverse rythms and music here are referred as mambo or cha cha cha, without having the slightest resemblance or even without using the real music at all. Mambo music and rythm, as invented and developed in Havana by Damaso Perez Prado in the 40's, is a very specific, different animal from what we see in DWTS.

"The Mambo dance that was invented by Perez Prado and was popular in the 1940s and 50s Cuba, Mexico City, and New York is completely different to the modern dance that New Yorkers now call 'Mambo', which is also known as Salsa "on 2". The original mambo dance contains no breaking steps or basic steps at all. The Cuban dance wasn't accepted by many professional dance teachers. Cuban dancers would describe mambo as "feeling the music" in which sound and movement were merged through the body. Professional dance teachers in the US saw this approach to dancing as "extreme," "undisciplined," and thus, deemed it necessary to standardize the dance to present it as a sell-able commodity for the social or ballroom market. The modern dance from New York was popularized in the 70s by Eddie Torres and his contemporaries who were 1st or 2nd generation Puerto Rican immigrants. This style is not danced to Mambo music, for which it is poorly suited, but instead to Salsa music."

Here's the Cuban mambo of the 40's...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ10tn43H5M&feature=endscreen&NR=1

And here's the Cuban mambo today...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oqc1bAwMsrU


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