Passionate and breathtaking

2012-08-28 00:00


Burn the Floor

Playhouse Opera Theatre, Durban


PASSION and precision meet when the dancers from Burn The Floor hit the stage at the Playhouse Opera Theatre. The result is a show of breathtaking quality and one which more than lives up to its reputation.

Accompanied by a pulsating percussion soundtrack — courtesy of drummers Patrick Madden and Giorgio Rojas, and the vocal talent of Jessica Lingotti and Peter Saul — the dancers, who hold more than 100 championship dance titles between them, deliver a spellbinding performance of Latin American and ballroom dancing.

They move effortlessly from cheeky cha-chas to elegant waltzes and high-energy lindy hop, jive and samba moves, with energy levels which never seem to flag.

I also loved the storytelling in the dances, with the highlights being: a waltz set to music Pastorale, written by Rolf Lovland, which is romantic, moving and utterly absorbing to watch; the technically complex Viennese waltz in which two couples mirror each other’s moves; and the beautiful rumba, performed by South African Latin champion Keoikantse Motsepe with his Burn The Floor partner, Kallyanne Brown.

The latter is reminiscent of West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet, as the two dancers tell the story of two lovers who are being kept apart by their respective gangs or families.

I also loved the partnerships between sassy dancers Santo Costa and Jemma Grainger, who seem determined to get the audience up on their feet and dancing, and the cast’s two contemporary dancers — Robbie Kmetoni, winner of So You Think You Can Dance Australia (SYTYCD), and Janette Manrara (a finalist in the American version of SYTYCD). They have a delightful chemistry on stage and provide many of the comedic elements in the show.

Watching Burn The Floor, it’s hard to believe that it was once a 10-minute dance cabaret filler at sir Elton John’s 50th birthday celebration in 1997. Producer Harley Medcalf and choreographer-director Jason Gilikson have created something truly special — ballroom dance combined with rock and roll.

So, if you love shows like Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing With The Stars and SYTYCD, get yourself down to the Playhouse this week. I guarantee you’ll be blown away by this show.


• Burn The Floor is at the Playhouse Opera Theatre in Durban until September 2. Tickets, starting at R200, can be bought at Computicket.

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