Maybe I am the only one, but I love Belbin & Agosto's new "That's Entertainment" free-dance and I don't really understand the criticism of it.
I think it's a classic Fred and Ginger style dance that Belbin & Agosto present with a lot of charm and sophistication. They both sell the dance really well. I like the relationship between them...subtle romance and comedy. I like the way that they look at each other and relate to each other throughout the dance (contrast that to Delobel and Schoenfelder, who never ever look at each other - ever; it's really distracting to see a social dance with both partners looking away from or past each other).
"That's Entertaiment" is not a difficult dance to understand, which does not take away from the dance's sophistication and difficulty. It's classic ballroom dancing performed with a lot of flair and skill. I greatly prefer the classic theme of "That's Entertainment" to the exaggerated histrionics and arcane themes that other couples have chosen this season.
I see a lot of tough dance holds and difficult footwork in "That's Entertainment." Neither Tanith nor Ben is ever just gliding on two feet (as we see from Domnina and Shabalin; their arm flailing does not disguise this fact).
I love the beautiful posture that Tanith and Ben maintain throughout the dance (again contrast that to Domnina & Shabalin; their poor posture and arm flailing give their dance a messy look).
I love how close together that Tanith and Ben skate with each other. It makes their dance look elegant and coordinated. It creates a mood of intimacy and romance and it's tougher skating close together than skating far apart from each other (contrast the tight dance holds in "That's Entertainment" to the separations and lack of connection in "Polovtsian Dances;" again something that gives the dance a messy look).
I love the difficult and intricate connecting steps in "That's Entertainment," steps that smoothly mesh with the theme of the dance rather than stand out as "elements with musical background."
Belbin & Agosto remain true to the theme of the dance from beginning to end. All the elements (footwork passes, twizzles, lifts) are there but don't stand out as elements that are separate from the rest of the dance (as is so often the case). I think "That's Entertainment" has a lot of integrity as a work of art.
I don't understand the criticism of the music choice because it seems totally appropriate to the choice of a Fred & Ginger-type dance. A choice of rap music, african drums or Hadyn's "Nelson Mass" would have been avant-garde but not in keeping with the style of dance (Fred & Ginger) and not in keeping with Belbin & Agosto's own style (I would expect such an avant-garde musical choice from Denkova & Staviski rather than Tanith and Ben).
Anyway, I am sold on the dance. It's charming, sophistacated and difficult. I think it shows a new level of maturity in Belbin & Agosto's skating. They make the difficulty look easy and effortless (the mark of truly great artists). I don't have to struggle to understand "That's Entertainment." Compared to some of the rather weird themes that we have seen this season (Adam & Eve, Bonnie & Clyde...), I think it's nice to have a traditional theme in the mix. I think "That's Entertainment" is pure ballroom dancing rather than Opera on Ice, Histrionics on Ice or Hollywood on Ice. I appreciate "That's Entertainment" and I hope the judge's warm to it as the season progresses.