Saturday, August 18, 2012

Happy Dance Friday #108b Dueling "Mercy" 2/8

When I decided to compare this week's performances to the originals, my first question was which to look at first. Not as easy a task as it seems. For most of us, the original performances are what we know, unless, like the week's guest judges, the ballet boys, they had not seen the original and then the new performance is all they know. There's also the fact that Mia choreographs for the original dancers, and stepping into someone else's role has an added challenge.

Still, I want to look at the new performance in its own merits. What do these dancers bring to the performance? Are their characters unique while still maintaining the flavor of the piece? making something the same but different is a tough challenge, and one writers of genre fiction face on a regular basis. Reach happily ever after, solve the crime, save the world, come of age, etc, but in a different way with each new story. It's all in the details, and that's what makes comparing the same dances with different dancers this much fun for me.

That said, it's time to get down to business. For ease of writing, each dance story will have two characters, the Woman and the Man. tWitch and Katee's original performance has a definite dynamic to it. I get the craziness of the relationship, the Man's easy swagger, his cooler demeanor contrasted with the woman's perpetual and prickly determination. I imagine the man has been through this scenario before. He's doing what a man does in his own home, and then she's baaaaack. He opens the door, there's the kiss and it's on.

All wrapped up with that achingly vulnerable look on the woman's face when the door closes with her on the outside yet again.

Love tWitch, love Katee, so I was curious who they'd put in this version. Cyrus and Eliana definitely put their own spin on things. Cyrus' interpretation of the man seems younger (understandably) and Eliana's woman strikes me as less deranged and more aggressive. What stands out to me most for the flavor of the new performance is at about fifty seconds in, where the man puts the woman outside the door. The man flat out grins. (Yes, tWitch's character grinned as well, but this has a different feel.) I like the way that fits in with Cyrus' looser movements, giving, to me, a more humorous take on this scenario. I don't think the man minds the woman's actions as much as the previous incarnation, and when the woman finds herself shut out at the end, I would suspect she'd be back before too long. Like Nigel, I would not have been surprised if the woman had been the one to shut the man out this time.

I don't know if anything like this exists for the other performances, but I found an interesting split screen of both versions here:

Okay, dance fans, which version did you prefer? Apples and oranges? Mix and match? Are there any other dancers you'd want to see perform this routine? If you were/are a dancer, would you ever want a crack at such choreography?

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