Entertainment is known for many things, from posturing wannabes to hyped product, from the overcooked to the overrated. But that doesn’t mean maybe, just maybe, if we’re attentive, savvy and fully appreciative, we can’t come across the occasional gem which isn’t just entertainment, but is art.
Such was the case last night on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, a show which stretches the limits of what constitutes dancing artistry far more than the higher-rated and more celeb-slavish Dancing With the Stars, apart from the latter’s free-style nights. In this case, it was So You Think’s best dance of the season, and perhaps its best dance ever. And it was hip hop.
Now, I’m no hip hop fan. I’m a rocker. That’s it. I believe in rock. I trust rock. I know what rock can do at its finest, and I know there’s damn near half a century of incredible nuggets in rock’s goldmine. But this dance by Chelsie and Mark — this “lyrical” hip-hop interpretation of a moving song (Leona Lewis’ Bleeding Love) and a stirring theme (choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha’s tale of a desperately in love woman being spurned by her work-obsessed man) — was one of the finest moments of pure dance, pure artistry and pure heart I’ve seen in many a moon.
Everything about it was right, and best of all, it had an emotional depth that’s always lacking — always — in the kind of fluff that passes most often as mass-market entertainment, and which we slurp up either because we buy it, which we shouldn’t, or because there are so few worthy alternatives.
If you missed it, thankfully, you can still check it out. No need for me to say any more and risk sounding hype-driven myself. Just consider this your good tip for the day — and enjoy.