Friday Video Review: Paso Doble by Noah and Sharna

Happy Friday readers! Welcome to the Friday Feature: Video Reviews, in which I will react to and analyze dances of all varieties. Join in the conversation!

So this week’s video is from the recent semi-finals of “Dancing with the Stars”, featuring star Noah Galloway and pro Sharna Burgess. Have a look:

Full disclosure–I have very mixed feelings about “Dancing with the Stars”, worthy of their own opinion post. But what I love about this piece is how it is avante-garde. It takes a risk. It isn’t afraid to not be strict Paso, and it totally works. The music, “Unstoppable” by E.S. Posthumous (who I happen to love), is in no way a traditional Paso song structurally, but the intensity and driving motion completely sell the unusual concept. I love the four bulls as supporting dancers, I love the command Noah asserts over them in the choreography.

My only quibble is that the bulls + matador thing they have going on is so strong, especially from 0:51 – 1:13, Sharna’s part fades to the background. In traditional Paso, the woman plays the bull (and a cape and a lover), but since we have the four bulls, she almost doesn’t feel necessary to the piece. What would the piece be like if it were solely all-male? That said, I like the section at 1:14 where the bulls are in a square around the leads, and Sharna’s part is completely integral. Perhaps if this whole piece were longer, it would have time to breath and she could be more woven into the texture.

People who are friends of mine may know that I have dreamed of running my own ballroom/ballet theater company. Too often I see the same, stale ballroom choreography, and I know it can be pushed further. Ballroom dance is not traditionally used to tell stories in the same way ballet is, but it is pieces like this one that prove new, original takes on the competition art are possible.

What do you think, readers? Love it, hate it, don’t get it–comment down below and let me know!

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