REVIEW: ‘Dance Dance Danseur,’ Episode 6 – “Why Am I Doing Ballet?”

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Dance Dance Danseur Episode 6

Dance Dance Danseur is a seinen anime produced by MAPPA. Murao danced with his whole heart on the stage and won the crowd’s applause last episode. But when the final result of the dance competition comes in, he finds his heartfelt performance is not in line with the judge’s esteemed opinion of what ballet really is. Murao and Luou are off to a special ballet summer class to win their harshest critic’s approval in Dance Dance Danseur Episode 6.

Looking back on this week’s episode has me a bit unsure of how I feel about the newest entry in this series’ narrative. Where the episode leaves its protagonist regarding his reasons for doing ballet and how he will approach it going forward has me worried that he is taking the wrong lessons from his current experiences where art is concerned.

As Dance Dance Danseur Episode 6 sees him and Luou join a new class, Murao comes to realize just how far behind he is from the other students his age. He learns about timing and many other useful tricks the others have known for years. But his biggest struggle comes from his tendency to get lost in the music. He repeatedly gets scolded by his instructor for not moving with the music, even though he thinks he is. But what it comes down to is a subtle but important distinction. Murao wants to move with the music, while his teacher wants him to move to the music.

Murao’s vision of ballet is joyful, freeform, and rewarding in and of itself. Reaching a specific timing or particular skill level isn’t the point to him. The point is simply the act of doing it. He wants the emotional experience of the music combined with the dancer’s movements in a way that simply evokes emotion. This is at stark odds with his instructor, who is only concerned with the mechanical precision of his students’ movements.

Don’t get me wrong, a teacher’s job is to teach the hows of a given discipline. So it only makes sense that the instructor would be far more concerned with Murao’s technical levels than his passion. But there is an utter coldness in everything to do with this new class that makes me worry that Murao will lose what makes ballet worth doing to him, simply to garner the approval of the supposed “experts.” And in my experience, nothing kills artistic passion like conforming to others’ expectations.

While I remain on the fence about where Dance Dance Danseur Episode 6 leaves its main narrative thread, I do love how it grows Murao and Luou’s relationship. For most of the episode, Murao deals with Luou in much the same way he always has. But at the end of the show, the character comes to some significant realizations that I hope will carry through as the two young men continue to learn how to deal with each other.

Despite lacking the numerous opportunities for flair-filled dramatic moments, this episode’s visuals still manage to deliver wonderfully on the story told. Both the emotion and effort of the various dancers in this episode are brought to life skillfully through the animation.

When all is said and done, Dance Dance Danseur Episode 6 delivers a solid story. While I worry about what Murao’s ultimate conclusion will be to the question of why he does ballet, this story does a strong job of delivering this newest step in the young artist’s journey.

Dance Dance Danseur Episode 6 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.


Dance Dance Danseur Episode 6
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Dance Dance Danseur Episode 6 delivers a solid story. While I worry about what Murao’s ultimate conclusion will be to the question of why he does ballet, this story does a strong job of delivering this newest step in the young artist’s journey.

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