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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 17, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 38
Burn the Floor blazing hot
Arts & Entertainment
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Burn the Floor blazing hot

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN Contributing Writer

Burn the Floor
Paramount Theatre
Through
September 19


The great American dancer/choreographer Martha Graham once said, "Dancers are the messengers of the gods." Anyone who has seen the latest production at the Paramount Theatre, Burn the Floor, will agree. While the show focuses on the world of ballroom dancing, this is not your grandfather's ballroom; this is hot. The sensual bodies are all primed and move like well-oiled machines as their feet tear up the stage, causing the crowd to explode with applause.

The staging is simple, as one would expect for a dance show: a bare stage with an extensive percussion set placed upstage for two individual players. There are two vocalists (male and female) that sing live (both in solo and duet), and then there is the dance troupe, consisting of 20 dancers, split into couples. The props may be simple, but that is all they need. The program is divided into four different sections and two separate acts, which exemplify the sensuality, sexuality, and passion of dance.

The dancers made their first appearance in the theatre aisles, immediately bringing the audience into the show and giving us the first glance with a close-up look of these extremely taut bodies. Women clad in formal dance gowns were partnered with men in tight pants with open shirts, to make sure the audience knew what the evening was about. The program's listing of dance numbers ranged from the elegant Viennese waltz to swing, Latin American tango, and pasodoble. The latter dances were so incredibly sensual and hot that sweat flew off the dancers as they performed each step with distinctive sharpness. Alternating between the passionate Latin-based dances (samba and salsa) and the classical styles (foxtrot and waltz) were peppered with a hip edge (Lindy hop and dirty boogie) to allow a visual variety of pure voyeuristic pleasures.

Burn the Floor currently stars several teams from the So You Think You Can Dance television show, including Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev (season 7, top-10 finalists and all-stars), Ashleigh and Ryan Di Lello (top-10 finalists), Robbie Kmetoni, Janette Manrara, and Karen Hauer. But, let it be said that each cast member is given the chance to shine before the audience. And shine they do. Burn The Floor started off as a 10-minute presentation at Elton John's 50th birthday bash, and received a response so enthusiastic that producer Harley Medcalf decided to flesh it out to a full-fledged show. With rehearsals only begun in May 1999, the show made its world premier less than three months later, and within a year's time, sold out their two shows at New York's Radio City Music Hall. After a Japanese tour - that did better than Britney Spears - the show continued to travel the world, finally landing triumphantly as a "special engagement, limited run" on Broadway.

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