Friday, April 30, 2010
façade: praising pam
My wife and I wandered back to ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" this year, after having consciously avoided it for a couple of years, and we rediscovered why we liked the show in the first place. Much like the annual Golden Globes telecast, DWTS is a party. You sit back, sip a highball - or two - and enjoy the fizzy fun without having to dress up or leave the house.
Every year that we watched, there was a revelation and, this year, the pleasant surprise was Pamela Anderson, a personality who, frankly, had only existed on the periphery of my life. I never paid much attention to her. But, on this show, dancing with Aussie pro Damian Whitewood, she's been indeed a revelation. Hands-down. Anderson doesn't just dance - which she does extremely well, by the way - but rather inhabits each routine with a specific movie-driven character. Marilyn one week, Loren the next.
She was especially a knock-out Dolly Parton in the hugely clever "9 to 5" bit that Whitewood choreographed for her. One week, judge Carrie Ann Inaba declared, "I'd love to see you on Broadway!" Hey, me, too.
Bruno Tonioli, meanwhile, has enthusiastically noted and admired Anderson's deep, concentrated focus with each little character piece she danced. And she received well-deserved high praise from dance critic Gia Kourlas in her most astute New York Times assessment of DWTS:
"As a dancer, Ms. Anderson isn’t like other people, either: apart from being an actual celebrity, which is increasingly rare on “Dancing With the Stars,” she’s the only imaginative dancer in the bunch.
"Buxom, blond and full of saucy insouciance, Ms. Anderson has said that she had never had a dance lesson in her life. Even so, she is a natural performer, with rhythm, an understanding of when to be subtle or fierce and a sense of how movements connect to create a story. And that’s all accomplished with a tongue-in-cheek self-awareness.
"She’s flexible, has great legs and even in high heels could probably run the length of a football field. For a ballroom dancer, that’s key; just as a point shoe creates an extension of the foot, Ms. Anderson’s stilettos achieve the same sensation on the dance floor.
"In her mesmerizing rumba last week she floated along so smoothly, lingering in each pose a millisecond too long — this was genius — that her partner, Damian Whitewood, eyes flashing like a desperate Broadway dancer, was the one trying too hard to please. Ms. Anderson may be sexual, but that doesn’t mean that she is cheap. She doesn’t flaunt her sexuality; it’s simply a part of her. Bob Fosse would have loved that."
Where have you been all these years, Pamela Anderson?
Or perhaps I should ask, where have I been? More to the point, where is the management to push you in the right direction? You are so much more than an animated pin-up. You're a real movie star. Or could be.
Get this woman a good real! And quick.