Wednesday, February 29, 2012


If I were one of the judges for that "SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE" show that has just finished its eighth season, what would I say about me, EM, a/k/a Emily Frankel.

Yes, she is quite beautiful -- good proportions, not sensational but ...

Yes, when she's dancing I find myself absorbed in watching .... the flow, or is it ... what?

There's nothing spectacular about her extensions, her elevation when she jumps. Her splits, her suppleness, isn't unusual or amazing in anyway. Her pirouettes, her floor work -- in fact I don't remember specific "passe" pirouettes, her fouett├ęs, or turns ala seconde, or her fantastic floor work. She did all that stuff but somehow ...

As a judge, I find it hard to remember any moment, actually, where I was specifically riveted, enthralled, shocked, impressed ...

Her feet are not really "good" or "lovely" dancer's feet. I didn't pay much attention to her feet while she was performing. Yes, her speed -- it was okay, but the feet ... well, her arms and hands and head movements are interesting, but I didn't really judge her technique -- those technical things about a dancer that can take your breath away, when a fantastically gifted dancer is performing.

She's a smooth sort of performer -- big moments -- wow feats just don't emerge -- you just watch her and it's nice -- it's "dance" dancing where the movement just moves, and you find yourself dancing with her.

You like her hair and her face ... is it her eyes, or what, that somehow projects her presence? Yes. She has a strong presence.

No I wouldn't give her an award. My goodness, many of the other dancers on "SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE" are far, far more spectacular. They're doing steps -- incredibly inventive gyrations -- that leave us judges open-mouthed. Today's dancers have been powerfully inspired by Olympic ice skaters, and can do a lot of what skaters do without skates -- they're amazing.

Not Emily Frankel. You just watch her. You're rather surprised when she's finished. You like her. You like what you saw, but you don't know why.

You wouldn't hire her for your show -- she's not really a star-STAR. You wouldn't include her in the best dancers in the movies, (like the "DANCING AT THE MOVIES" clip that I posted) -- or include her on the list of the best dancers who've performed with major ballet companies, or on your list of stunning modern dancers such as Martha Graham. But you'd remember the presence.
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