MarInspired aren’t known for their clean lines, flexibility, or high-flying acrobatics. The contemporary dance duo on “World of Dance” have a style that’s athletic, but more abstract. In the first round, what really captured the judges’ attention was their unique chemistry (they qualified with a same-sex romantic routine) and their knack for emotional storytelling.
They were emotional again during the Duels round, performing a dance inspired by the death of one student in the Parkland school shooting earlier this year, a 14-year-old dancer who was a student of their choreographer. But the judges seemed a little less MarInspired than they were in round one. What did you think? Watch their performance above, and read the judges’ comments about their routine below.
Derek Hough: “Well done, guys. You guys are beautiful storytellers. when I watch you dance there’s this movement that gives it this narrative that’s very compelling. I would say there were a few moments in your lifts and in your partner work that felt a little anticlimactic. For instance that little acro-yoga moment. I almost kind of wanted something else to happen to bring me into the performance. But overall, great routine, well done.”
Ne-Yo: “I’m going to be very honest with you guys. This is a difficult style for me because it’s so abstract. It’s not supposed to be as sharp as the things we’ve been seeing on this stage. The part that really got me was the one time in the choreography when you guys were actually in sync. And when this moment happened with the music, that moment hit me. There were a lot of big builds, but the rest of it was a little too pedestrian for my personal liking.”
Jennifer Lopez: “I like the pedestrian. I love that. I think that’s what makes contemporary so amazing to watch is that you almost feel like it’s just a regular person and all of a sudden they start moving amazingly like that. It’s different than other types of dancing where we come out here with our sparkly suits. It really lends itself to great storytelling, and you guys are using that to your strength.”
Despite the judges’ somewhat mixed reactions, MarInspired won their Duel against hip-hop trio Dragon House, but just barely. MarInspired scored 85 from Ne-Yo, 87 from Lopez and 88 from Hough, for an average of 86.7. That was just one-third of a point higher than Dragon House scored. It was almost five points lower than their Qualifiers performance, and it was the lowest scoring routine to win its Duel on Wednesday night, so they’ll need to step up their game as they head into the Cut round.