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Burn the Floor – A review

August 17, 2011

After too many years of missing the show, I finally made it out to see Burn the Floor. All I have to say is wow! That was a tour-de-force of ballroom dance, in a show that really made the most of a stage setting. The show definitely had broad appeal – it was a delightful change to see a theater filled with families, the elderly, children, and every age in between. And every one of them was smiling.

Ballroom dance has too often been confined to the realms of the competition floor and Dancing with the Stars. The opportunity to see choreographed show-style dancing in person is mostly limited to the showcases at the tail-end of a competition day or found at your local studio. Burn the Floor is exactly what ballroom has needed and fills the perfect niche of giving better access to watching amazing ballroom dance live. Unlike the previous ballroom stage show I viewed, this one got it mostly right. The costumes and choreography were designed and fitted to a stage setting, with scenes flowing at the right pace, with plenty of excitement and without the excessively gaudy “ballroom bling” that often creeps into all things ballroom.

The dancers were phenomenal, both in talent and raw energy. In my opinion, Giselle Peacock and Kevin Clifton absolutely stole the show. They looked completely in their element and made the stars, Anya and Pasha, seem dull in comparison. I was pleased to see more ballroom styles (waltz, tango, etc.) highlighted, although in general it still suffered from latin overload. I particularly enjoyed a rumba performed barefoot and in modest street clothes, a look that I felt allowed the dancers’ emotion to shine through instead of the focus being on skimpy outfits and heels. Overall, a very enjoyable experience and evening out – for all ages. If you get the opportunity, do not miss out on this show.

In the future, I hope shows like this will grow in numbers and that ballroom will continue to develop artistically. This show, judging by its persistent popularity, proves that there is a future for ballroom on stage and room for it to develop in new directions.

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