Thursday, September 06, 2012

Happy Dance Friday #108g - Dueling Benches

Happy Dance Friday comes early this week, as I'll be away from keyboard for most of the day tomorrow. This entry could almost stand on its own, because both performances affected me very deeply, but each has their own unique flavor, so onward we go.

There's nothing like the first time, really and seriously. As soon as I saw Travis and Heidi on that bench and the first few notes of music sounded -shoot, before that- I knew this was going to be something special. I wasn't wrong. This man and this woman try to connect; she comes closer, he can't help but move farther away, though reluctantly. She leaps at him, he catches her, they spin, but there's a poignant ache.

When they touch-but-don't-touch, through the freaking bench, people, it's no wonder the audience goes crazy. This depth of emotion, this is what draws me to stories that have that beautiful heart-hurt. Gorgeous. Though this is by now a moment dance fans know well, the first time I ever saw the man walk away at the end, leaving the woman with her outstretched flower, made all the more poignant by Heidi's presentation as an ingenue, it was a powerful surprise.

Have to admit that I was excited to see Chehon and Witney would be interpreting this story. It's interesting to see that the woman would be played, again, by a blonde ballroom girl from Utah (and they do tend to rock, so no complaints) and while Travis and Chehon are very different types, nobody does those leaps and spins like the ballet boys. Can I say there was a certain European flavor to this interpretation? I think that worked favorably, both in making this a distinctly different performance while still keeping the feel of the piece, and fitting Chehon and Witney's unique stregnths. Nice acting as well, with the facial expressions. When Chehon melts off the bench, it still packs a punch, even though we know the man is going to walk off, leaving the woman alone.

Verdict: Apples and pears. Both delicious, like spending time with two members of the same delightful family. Well done.

How about you, dance fans?

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