Originally Posted by DancnDude
Could you describe why? I thought it was good, but of course I don't have any idea what I'm talking about when it comes to Bollywood. It just seemed high energy and they looked to be having fun with it.
Sure, it was high energy, and it was a good attempt, given the limited rehearsal time that they had for the show. I just wanted more. I didn't think it had the polish that the jitterbug number had, for instance (no surprise there).
Bear in mind that the stuff I'm bitching about is not Gilles' fault. He tried damned hard.
The whole "pick the style for your competitors" idea is a recipe for a bad show. You have people deliberately steering others towards styles you don't think they can do. As a viewer, I'd rather do the opposite -- I want to have a list of styles and be able to pick the couple I think would be the best at each one -- so for Bollywood, I would have wanted Melissa and Tony, or Shawn and Derek, or Sabrina and Louis.
I don't know the work of the choreographer who helped with the routine. I have very limited exposure to Bollywood, mostly through seeing it on So You Think You Can Dance. So I've only been exposed to the work of a few choreographers.
With that in mind -- one of the things I watch for in Bollywood are the hand positions. They showed Peta and Gilles being shown some of the hand positions in the rehearsal footage, but I don't know how many of them actually showed up in the routine.
The other thing I was missing is the crispness and attack that I've seen in other numbers. That may be a difference in style between this choreographer and others, or it may just be an artifact of them being under-rehearsed.
Also, last night they set me up to be disappointed by the number when they showed Gilles attempting the knee turns in rehearsal, then not having them in the routine.
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I just watched it again, without watching the rehearsal footage beforehand, which sets you up to think the performance is going to be bad.
I think part of the reason it seemed "off" to me last night is the hideous music arrangement -- Gilles and Peta aren't to blame for that. The dancers can be doing really crisp movement, but if the music is schlooping through all the beats, the movement won't have the impact it should have.
I see that Peta did get in some of the more elaborate hand gestures; watching Gilles last night, the number seemed sort of lobster-handed, like he was only doing the easy hand shapes and not the harder ones.
And watching it back a second time now, it seems like Gilles is a little behind Peta a lot of the time. It's a 'big' ask for him, because he's a big guy -- it takes more time for him to move than it would for a smaller dancer, which is why Bollywood is a great choice if you want to sabotage him.
But never mind all that. The thing that is the MOST lacking in the number is the chemistry. Peta tries for the flirtatiousness, but Gilles is trying so hard to get the steps in, the whole thing just doesn't have the sparkle it should have.
See some of my favorite performances for comparison:
Here's the first Bollywood number from season four of So You Think You Can Dance, with Katee and Joshua (choreography by Nakul Dev Mahajan):
and from the skating rink:
From Dancing on Ice
-- Hayley and Daniel. This video is interesting for two reasons -- first, because the song is the same as the one they used on Dancing With the Stars, and you can hear what the song really sounds like. And second, because their choreographer (Minila Shah) talks about what she looks for in a good Bollywood performance (at 1:15) [performance starts around 2:40].
And finally, to show the flirtatiousness and fun, US Ice Dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White. This one of the earlier performances in the season, so may be not their best performance of this OD, but it's the clearest video I've seen, and includes the replays at the end so you can see a lot of the highlight moves in close up. Plus it has Charlie in the gold costume, and not the one they changed to later on, which I don't like as well. (The skating choreography is by their coach Marina Zoueva -- Charlie and Meryl learned the Bollywood movement from Anuja Rajendra
(More info at ESPN -- Davis-White's Bollywood-style OD a hit in India
Like I said -- Gilles performance was a good try; I just wanted more.