MONDO EXTRAS

Superstars of Dance Premiere

by Angel Cohn January 5, 2009
Winter Pilot Season: Superstars of Dance

Russia's second offering of the night is a solo performance from Julia Bantner. She's doing a contemporary style. She's got bright red hair and adorable bangs. She's wearing a sweet lacy dress with black undergarments underneath it. Including a pair of what are either cheerleader spanky pants or granny panties. Like most contemporary, to me it looks pretty and I admire their ability to flip and twist, but it doesn't rock my world. Guess they found time for more lame jokes because Michael makes a crack about the Russian judge being part Irish because his last name is Smirnov. And then Mr. Smirnov comes back with a zinger about Julia having to go to work in Siberia if she doesn't work well. At least he's trying? Which is more than I can say for most of the judges. She gets mostly sevens and the crowd boos. Her total is a 50 and she's at the bottom of the solo dancers.

India's solo dancer, Amrapali Ambegaokar (or as Flatley likes to call her, "Sweet Amy," for some reason... which could be because he can't say her name, or because it's actually her nickname) is up next. She was in Cirque du Soleil for a while, which is cool. She's got on a vivid red costume and tons of bells strapped around her ankles. I don't proclaim to be a Bollywood expert, but I enjoyed it. She's very expressive and I found her more entertaining than Irish dancer boy. For some reason Flatley decides to talk to "Sweet Amy" while she's all out of breath about her dance style and asks if it is traditional or modern. It's traditional. This is weird, he didn't bug any of the other dancers post performance. That's Susie's job. I'm so confused about who is supposed to be doing what here. She handles it well, and then Susie talks to India's coach again and he gushes about her 15 spins a row. I'm guessing they've got time to fill. Now they are talking to the Indian judge, who is also gushing. Which is fine and she did a great job, but really, the padding is out of control. She earns a 62, which puts her at the top of the solo scores.

Tonight's final dance comes from Team China, and it is danced by a group of Shaolin Monks. Sight unseen, I think they saved the best for last. They lay down on the ground and leap over each other, and they've got fans instead of swords, but it is awesome. Then two little boys start fighting and flipping. Whoa! Now the grownups have big sticks. There's screaming and kicking and fists and feet are flying and it is all kinds of awesome. Then there're swords too! And some guy gets lifted and basically impaled on four sharp pointed sticks. This better get perfect 10s. Nope. Some of the judges are stingy and give 9s. The group gets 66 points and puts them in the lead of the groups that have performed.

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