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Britney's back... Yay?

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Brit_lAfter a three-year absence from performing, Britney Spears is back — looking and lip-synching better than ever. Over the last two days, she’s popped up on stages in San Diego (pictured) and Anaheim, Calif., shimmying her way through old hits with the help of a few backup dancers. (They’re expected to hit the House of Blues in L.A. tonight before heading to Vegas on Sunday.) Clearly, the gigs are successful as a publicity stunt — warranting “COMPLETE COVERAGE” on one entertainment website and a commentary questioning the sanity of her fans, who spent $125 to see a 15-minute set, on another — but have they made anyone think Spears is relevant in today’s pop world, which casually replaced her with the Pussycat Dolls while she was away?

This isn’t meant as a bash-Britney post. I own her greatest hits; I saw her at the MGM Grand in Vegas years ago (for a male friend’s 30th birthday, but at least O-Town opened). I just think there’s got to be a better way to make a comeback — and that we need to help her think of it. My plan: If you insist on making these shock-and-awe club appearances, give people a 15-minute Britney-ized ballet. No lip-synching — just dancing. Doesn’t even have to be your own songs. Find a choreographer that uses your body to tell a story that actually says something (other than “Where’s my pole?”). When choreography is as uninspired as this “Toxic” routine, people mind if you’re lip-synching. But when you give them a production and a storyline, they remember that no one comes to hear Britney sing, they come to see her move.

Do what you do best, Britney. Get us to remember that you’re creative on the dance floor, and we might be eager to hear what dance tracks you’ve whipped up in the studio.