We don’t often see a performance on “World of Dance” — or any other dance competition show on TV — like the one we got from marInspired during “The Qualifiers 7” on July 17. They were an Upper Division duo of contemporary dancers, which in itself isn’t unusual. But in this case they happened to both be men, and their routine was full of detailed storytelling about a push-and-pull romance.
Their movements were more jagged and abstract than we often see from contemporary performers, but the judges loved their choreography and interpretation. Jennifer Lopez even gave them a standing ovation. But was it enough for them to advance to the next round? Read what the judges had to say about their performance below.
Jennifer Lopez: “Beautiful work, wow! We don’t get to see that much: two guys dancing together, so strong with you throwing him — it was awesome. I don’t think we’ve had two guys dancing on the show in that way, portraying that type of relationship. This is the first time.”
Derek Hough: “How about those turns? I counted them: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. It wasn’t necessarily beautiful movement. It was abstract, but on purpose. Great storytelling, great job.”
Ne-Yo: “The beauty of it is how clean it’s not. One of our criteria here is ‘cleanliness,’ but in the realm of this we almost don’t need this because it’s the lack of clean that makes it what it is. The lack of order is what makes it beautiful. And I’ve got to say, great job.”
When the scores came in marInspired had a 90 from Hough, an 88 from Ne-Yo, and a whopping 96 from Lopez — the highest score she gave out all night. That gave them an average of 91.3, well over the threshold of 80 points they needed to move on to “The Duels,” which start next week on July 25. Maybe they’ll make a little more history for same-sex love on the dance floor by winning the $1 million grand prize.