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Superstars of Dance (2009)
If Only for the Dancing
Wow, I am about halfway through the second show and I can barely watch it, which is a shame because the dancing is rather good - at least what you can see of it. Where to begin? First, while there is plenty of good dancing, since when did Kung Fu become a form of dance? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching Shaolin monks perform some of the most complex and difficult martial arts moves on Earth, but on a show that features ballroom dancing?
Which brings me to my second point. What is with the rating system? How the Hell can you compare clogging/tap dancing to traditional South African dance? There is no rhyme or reason to the scoring system other than it being a 1 to 10 scale and the judges are atrocious. They seem to have no concept of multi-cultural dance and can't score anyone lower than a 7 or higher than a 9. The whole concept of this show being a contest to see what country has the best dancers in the World is laughable at best.
Let me indulge you a little further with my third point, the directing/cinematography. When the camera comes around front of the dancers the flood lights on the back of the stage at stage level wave around and shine directly into the camera making it impossible to see parts of the dance. Then they do a sweeping view from in the audience and you are so far from the stage while the camera is moving that you miss even more of the dances. One point that sticks out in my head is on the second show the duet from Australia was performing a lift where the girl was above the guy's head horizontally, or at least I think horizontally but I wasn't really sure because the camera angle was so horrific.
The only reason I rated this show a 5 out of 10 is because the main point of the show is to showcase dance from around the globe. The dancing (from what you can see) is intriguing and captivating, it is such a shame that the show is trivialized by some phony competition when it solely could be about dance. Also, I do have to give props to Michael Flatley as host, he is genuinely a gracious host.
To sum all of this up, good idea, poorly executed. I don't know what is more appalling, the format of the show or the fact that it doesn't surprise me that NBC would put such a show on TV. What is this country coming to?