Monday, September 15, 2014
Dance For Me
The 19th season of Dancing With The Stars premieres tonight on ABC. Although the show has always been rather liberal with the term 'Star,' (Kate Gosslin anyone?) it seems with each season the word has less and less meaning. I certainly crushed over Jonathan Bennett (above) in Mean Girls and Antonio Sabato Jr still certainly has it, this years crop of faux stars doesn't seem to have anyone really that excited.
Although he may not be a star, if you want to watch a real dancer, and an incredibly interesting personality study, I might suggest checking out Egor and trying to find an airing of PBS's Dance For Me. The documentary, I caught this past summer, looks at Professional ballroom dancing in Denmark with a focus on Egor and his partner Mie.
Mie lives with her family in Denmark and has struggled in her dancing career to find a partner she can mesh with. Egor is from Russian, and Mie, her manager mother and their family in Denmark as Mie's partner for a season. Although rooted in the world of professional dancing, the films most interesting aspect to me was Egor. His dance career and future totally in the hands of Mie and her mother, the cultural, and social difference between the two created both conflict and success.
Egor was passionate, talented and often unlikable. As much of himself as he gave on the dance floor, in his relationships, he seemed to fight giving up any more of himself than he had to. Ultimately it didn't stop he and Mie from obtaining some success, but it also led brick walls. I really enjoyed wrapping myself in Egor's world for a couple of hours, yet was glad, unlike Egor, I could leave the pressure's of his life when the film was done.
Getting to know Egor and Mie makes it much more difficult to care which celebrity takes the mirror ball trophy. I know DWTS is meant to be entertainment, just a couple of hours of music, dance and fun. But the true commitment required, and the many things one has to give up to truly make it in the world of professional dancing, makes any minor weight loss from some former sit-com star, or a change of life experience from a former reality contestant, pretty inconsequential.