Over the past couple of weeks, I had the pleasure of watching two intriguing performances on Dancing with the Stars. The first was Chelsea Hightower and Derek Hough dancing the Paso Doble accompanied by Mark Ballas during week two of the competition. The second was New York City Ballet soloist Tiler Peck dancing a hip-hop/ballet routine accompanied by hip-hop violin duo Nuttin’ But Stringz.
Hightower and Hough danced the Paso Doble to Jose Feliciano‘s “Malaguena,” accompanied by Mark Ballas on acoustic guitar. A well-known Latin artist, Feliciano is blind and self-taught. Here’s some background info from his website:
Jose Feliciano is recognized as the first Latin Artist to cross over into the English music market, opening the doors to others who now play an important part in the American music industry…He’s been awarded over forty-five Gold and Platinum records; has won sixteen Grammy nominations, earning him eight Grammy Awards and is in receipt of countless prestigious awards the world over.
Here is Feliciano playing the “Malaguena”:
Interestingly, the Malaguena is a form of flamenco music which is not normally used for dance. You can check out the Dancing with the Stars performance below:
The principle ballerina from the New York City Ballet, Tiler Peck, danced in a routine created by choreographer Travis Wall, to the song “Thunder” played by hip-hop violin duo Nuttin’ But Stringz. Peck, a native of Bakersfield, California, began dance training at the age of seven. She studied with several former New York City Ballet dancers before entering the School of American Ballet in 2003. She joined the New York City Ballet in 2005, and was appointed a soloist in 2006. There is a great interview by the New York Times with Ms. Peck about her Dancing with the Stars performance which you can read here.
The New York City violin duo Nuttin’ But Stringz consists of brothers Damien and Tourie Escobar. Damien began playing the violin at the age of eight, and Tourie quickly followed suit. They continued their studies at Bloomingdale school of music and Juilliard. The brothers won a talent competition in 2005 at the Apollo Theater in New York City. Their big break came in 2006 on the TV show America’s Got Talent. They released their album, Nuttin’ But Stringz –Struggle from the Subway to the Charts, in 2006. Here’s a music video of their song “Thunder”:
Here’s the dynamic Dancing with the Stars performance: