The theatricality of this production, and I choose that word on purpose, was second to none! Think about it, this is “just” a two-minute dance, but we’re taken into a fully established world. The concept was so all-embracing and full-on, it made you feel like you’re in the middle or at the climax of an evening-length show. Even though there was no obvious narrative, I felt like I knew exactly what was going on and was part of the story immediately.
The grandeur of Blackpool
I have never been to Blackpool, but being a Strictly fan, the Tower Ballroom has assumed a mythically heightened status for me and I think this routine – this piece of theatre – totally measured up with my expectations of the grandeur of Blackpool.
The choreography was powerful, enthralling and hypnotising. It was fast-paced, clipped and staccato, but Faye didn’t lose the broad width and regal composure of her upper body. Every dance is hard, every dance has complicated footwork and technique, and for every dance you need to master a specific posture in order to tell its story authentically. For me, the carriage of the upper body and arms is what makes a Paso Doble a Paso Doble more than anything.
What I loved and what gave me goosebumps is how totally in the zone Faye was. You can even see her scream while she’s dancing! You can’t imitate such a thing. It has to come from your guts and it did.
You can’t put on a face. Your face expresses what’s within.
People sometimes talk about “putting on a Paso Doble face”. I get what they mean, but really you can’t put on a face. The way your face expresses itself is a result of what the dance makes you feel. In a truly accomplished performance such as this one, you don’t need to put on a stern face. Your face reflects the power and passion of the dance perfectly.
Let’s watch it again, and see if you can spot where Faye screams!
Faye and Giovanni’s Paso Doble in Week 9 of Strictly Come Dancing 2018