My timeline kept tweeting about P!nk as Lady Gaga commenced the airborne, acrobatic beginning of her Super Bowl Halftime performance, but I was imagining something else, perhaps a bit darker: the flight of Spider-Man on Broadway, notoriously ill-fated but uniquely imagined by director Julie Taymor.

Which is to say, Gaga’s antics were less about P!nk’s signature pilates-trapeze, and far more like a superhero leaping in a feline pounce, her body prone and limbs angulated, as though she were expecting to thwart a mugging in progress on the stage. Gaga’s dancing always takes quite a bit of effort, the choreography never coming as naturally to her her vocals. But her all-in bravery on the suspension lines was effortless and pointed, determined ten-story leaps and football spikes that really celebrated the magnitude of the occasion. Lit up by a proscenium of glam rock neon and sparkling sequined costumes, it was Gaga’s moment to finally transmogrify into an Avenger.


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