LOS ANGELES — There was no shortage of memorable moments during Sunday night's 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, thanks to a lineup loaded with big-name stars. But it was a relative unknown who turned in one of the night's biggest triumphs. Florence and the Machine (or, more specifically, Florence and a host of hyperactive dancers) practically stole the show with a performance that was, as promised, both ethereal and downright joyous.
Part kaleidoscopic revue, part hippified freakout, Flo's VMA version of "Dog Days Are Over" wowed the star-packed audience inside the Nokia Theatre, and, in the process, may have sent her on the way to Stateside success.
Though Florence and her dancers made their routine look effortless during the show, rehearsals were a different matter. Under the watchful eye of "So You Think You Can Dance" contestant-turned-choreographer Travis Wall, they ran through a full-dress version of the performance on Friday. Wall was clearly enthused by what he saw, but Florence was struggling.
Seems she was having trouble standing up, a move that, in a routine filled with complex twists and turns, would appear to be quite simple. But when you consider she had to do it atop a rotating platform, in a flowing gown, while maintaining eye contact with an overhead camera and holding a note, you can sort of understand why she was having issues.
After enough practice, Florence nailed it, and as Wall observed from the side of the stage, the entire performance jelled. After that successful run-through, Florence walked off the stage with a delirious smile on her face; then, surrounded by producers, she stood in the aisles of the Nokia Theatre and watched a playback of the routine on a nearby monitor. Her dancers — and Wall — crowded together too, and cheered wildly with each successive cut of the camera. It looked great, and they knew it.
Florence ran down to the dancers, thanked them loudly for their work, and embraced Wall. Confident and enthused, Wall could finally bask in the moment.
"Rehearsal was amazing, Florence is a fairy, she's a creature and this entire thing is ethereal. It's perfect," he said. "This is something so special. ... I don't think anything's really been done like this at the VMAs before. It's very personal, it's just a huge celebration."
After watching Florence's VMA performance, we can't help but agree. As her video won an award off-camera for Best Art Direction, millions of viewers at home watched this girl arrive.
The Moonmen have all been handed out and the stars have gone home, but there's plenty of 2010 MTV Video Music Awards news, interviews, behind-the-scenes scoop, party reports and more still to come, so keep it locked on MTVNews.com.