The Colombian pop singer Shakira announced in November she was postponing her world tour after injuring her vocal cords -- bad news, to be sure, but it could have been worse: She could have injured her hips.
As she reminded a near-capacity crowd at American Airlines Center Tuesday night, her convulsing coxa is her main electrical source onstage, her true El Dorado, to borrow the title of her latest album. As "Hips Don't Lie" goes, Shakira's dancing radiates so much heat it makes "a man want to speak Spanish."
Performing a rescheduled show on her first tour through Dallas since 2010, Shakira put on a Technicolor spectacle packed with fireworks, fog, flamethrowers and glitter bombs. Yet the extravagant staging rarely detracted from Shakira's non-stop dance parade.
Technically, her foot-work was two-dimensional: lots of skipping and prancing and shaking her moneymaker halfway to Barranquilla as she whipped her golden locks through the air like a cross between David Coverdale and Alanis Morissette. It wasn't Twyla Tharp by any means, but her simple moves worked just fine with the peppy, tropical beats that dominated the show.
Vocally, the 41-year-old singer was almost back to full strength. Every now and then, Shakira struggled to be heard above the blare of her five-piece band. But for most of the show, her trademark breathy exclamations and trills cut through the din.
She relied on little or no backing vocal tapes -- a common crutch for arena-level singer-dancers -- but strangely enough, her band used plenty of pre-recorded tracks. At times, the musicians seemed to wield their instrument as mere props: An accordionist accompanied Shakira at center stage, but the squeeze box was inaudible.
True, nobody comes to a Shakira show for instrumental brilliance. Yet the concert succeeded as a carefree global melting pot, as snippets of dub reggae and R&B blended easily into a rainbow of joyous Afro-Latin grooves.
The mood did darken from time to time as Shakira slipped into melancholy singalongs like "Underneath Your Clothes," a ballad that borrows none-too-subtly from the Bangles' 1988 hit "Eternal Flame."
But the show was mostly one big carnival brimming with sparkly costumes and fizzy dance-club anthems like "Whenever, Wherever," "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)" and her new reggaeton hit "Chantaje." After years spent raising her two children with Spanish soccer player Gerard Piqué, Shakira seemed ready to cut loose on this tour -- dancing and spinning and sprinting up to the drum kit, where she pounded on the skins and thrust her arms toward the heavens like a giddy kid in School of Rock.