For two years now my five year old daughter Vi and I share a “guilty” pleasure (except, of course, she does not know that it is “guilty”): every Monday during the “season” we follow every move of the contesters on ABC’s show “Dancing with the Stars. Vi can still name the dancing couples from three seasons ago.
So, it is only natural that we followed the show’s dancers on one of the the local stops of their post-season tour. This is how we found ourselves in Mohegan Sun Arena last Friday.
Casinos are not my usual place to celebrate the weekend but I could not help noting rather beatiful surroundings (perhaps, for another celebration?) as we were making our way to the arena. I do believe that the tour’s followers at the upcoming (sold out) Boston shows on January 16 will be luckier –an intimate Wilbur Theater is a more suitable stage for the dancing stars to connect with their local audience. After all, there are only 7 of the Pro(s) on the Tour (including two of our favorites- Mark (Ballas) and Val (Chmerkovskiy), and one celebrity- Alfonso Ribeiro. Being up (very) high and away from the dancers in the Mohegan Sun arena, Vi and I needed some time to get into the groove, but when we finally “connected” with the dancers we were completely taken by the mastery and passion that the dancers delivered in the surroundings far from their usual “no prop spared” set of the prime time TV production. Speaking of the props- there were still some (much smaller versions of the real show of course). The dancers were lifted to the stage in the capsules from the underground, and Marc and Whitney danced a beautiful modern number in the hollow cube- to name just a few. In between the dances, there were “behind the scenes” talks with the Pros and a powerful guitar-violin music number with Marc and Val. Marc is probably more serious about his music career, but Val was a sweetheart as he thanked the audience for his American dream came true.
So all in all we felt like we were a part of a vibrant dance celebration and could not possibly have asked for more (well, except a picture with Val would have made us completely whole -but that privilege only came with a hefty price tag of $250 for a VIP package- a test of ultimate fan craziness love we did not pass). There is always a next time, though.
(I do apologize for the quality of the pictures- due to the arena’s policies I was reduced to my phone).