Monday, August 16, 2010

Contest Contrast

We have a pair of contrasting videos today. Both are from "reality" television. Both are "dance" contests. Both feature tangos choreographed to music composed by Astor Piazzolla. Neither are very subtle. But the things that makes them interesting are the areas of contrast.

The first is from the U.S.A. show, So You Think You Can Dance, on the Fox Network. The featured dancer is 18 year-old,Lauren Froderman, who is dancing to the music of Oblivion with partner Pasha Kovalev. Choreographers of their dance were Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo. The dance is well crafted, athletic and sensual - something you might see in a tango show but not at a milonga. The purpose of the dance is to look good and to entertain. Nothing more.

Contrast that video to the second one which was posted from Lithuania. The only information about the video comes in a voice-over in a language I don't understand (Russian, I think). It is clearly a television program with a live audience and I see what looks like a panel of judges which suggests to me that this is also a "reality TV" dance contest. The central part of the dance is choreographed to Piazzolla's Adios Nonino. The dance is well crafted and the dancers are skillful although again, their dance is not something you will see at a milonga. The purpose of the dance, however, is not to entertain but rather to tell a story and it does so with dramatic directness. To some, perhaps, with disturbing directness.

Compare and contrast.

If the videos do not appear below, click here for the U.S.A. video and here for the Lithuanian video.

Embedding is disabled for the U.S.A. video so you must click here to watch it.

To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.

Follow Piazzolla on Video on Twitter.

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