Pulled into the arena by gladiators, clad in the gleaming gold headdress of an ancient Egyptian-Greco-Roman empress, 53-year-old Madonna strutted, kicked, squat-thrusted and yogilates-cized her way through an epic halftime performance at the Super Bowl last night. Her Madgesty was mostly covered up — from ankle to knee, knuckle to elbow — and she wasn't always singing live (anyone who's seen her on tour knows that's par for the course) — but she was impressively kinetic, dominating the stage even as the dancers in togas morphed into dancers in Adidas track suits. The over-produced spectacle managed to blend lyres, hieroglyphs, cheerleaders, Vogue, voguing, a marching band and a choir. After a guest appearance by LMFAO (wearing gaudy animal print and Chuck Taylors rigged to look like gladiator sandals), Madonna was joined by Nicki Minaj and MIA, and later, Cee-Lo. One could take issue with the fact that the people of color were side-accessories to the white woman in the middle, but then again, perhaps that was just a mirror of football itself, in which most of the players are black but about 95% of quarterbacks are white. Still, if the whole point was to present a ridiculous, elaborate, eye-popping entertainment experience for football fans — and lure in curious non-football-watching folks (like yours truly), then MDNA's endeavor was a success. World peace.

Madonna Rocks Super Bowl Halftime Show With Old Hits, New Friends [Billboard]