Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Burn The Floor: Theatre Review

Burn the Floor was originally conceived after a special performance for Elton John’s 50th Birthday in 1997 and two years later the show made its world premiere in the UK in Bournemouth. Since then it has played in over 300 cities. The show played the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2010 between the closing of Hairspray and the opening of Flashdance and has now returned thirteen years after it originally opened in the UK to fill the theatre before ‘From Here to Eternity’ opens in October. 
The show is made up of a selection of all different dances, from Rumba to Jive and The Waltz to the Tango. This sassy production provides a range of beautifully executed dances that will make you want to join them up there. The energy that was oozing off that stage was tremendous. Although the show doesn’t have any sort of narrative as a whole it still is a fabulous showcase of the astounding dancing skills that were on that stage. 
Jason Gilkison directs and choreographs this production and he has put everything you could ever want from a dance show into this. The routines are slick and sculptured like a work of art but with the perfect edge to make them something immensely unique. Its takes someone very special to be able to mould  routines around the performers and take their characteristics as a person and use them to full advantage. 
The set was very simple, band at the back on a raised platform with some curtains appearing at one point, it may sound awful but the most important aspect of the design of this show is the lighting buy Scott Rogers. This is one thing that will blow your mind, the show wouldn’t have been near as spectacular as it was without his design. He is able to work with the performers and light them in a way that sets the mood for each section but whilst also highlighting the fantastic dancing that was going on, very precise design that worked exquisitely within the production. Bret Hooper designs the costumes and it’s very clear that he understands how the dancers move in the show because the costumes add a whole new layer onto the performance. I was expecting cheap looking outfits with tacky patterns and cheap material but it was the complete opposite. 
A mention must be made to Charlie Hull (Music Consultant), Joseph Malone (Musical Director), Derek Wilson (Sound Design and Engineer) and Musical Co-Ordination Services LTD. I have no idea what any of those titles mean and I certainly don’t know what they contributed towards the Orchestration. But it was superb! A fantastic soundtrack that filled the theatre with exhilarating beats that you could really feel in your body which made you feel connected to the performers on stage. The only dodgy bit about the music side of things was that ‘Gotta Get Thru This’ was featured in the second act. Made me giggle as it seemed a little ridiculous! 
What I was surprised to find out was that this show features live vocals, Peter Saul Blewden and Vonzell Solomon sang these. Peter had a great voice, beautiful tone and incredibly controlled. However I didn’t feel he portrayed any personality what so ever, one thing that I loved about the dancers was that they all portrayed their personalities through their performance and it made you really warm to them but Peter didn’t seem to have this. Vonzell’s voice was insane! Elements of Beyoncé in there and again, very controlled and her ‘Sway’ was one of the best versions I’ve ever heard. 
The dancers, wow! This ensemble are incredible. They work together so well and you almost felt a bit of fun competitiveness on stage which was thrilling to watch. Karen Hauer (who resembles Nicole Scherzinger hugely!) was beautiful; she had a softness about her that was gorgeous which worked amazingly well with her partner Kevin Clifton who had the same feel about him but with a manly touch. My favourite couple has to be Janette Manrara and Robbie Kmetoni, stunning! Janette had such a sassy element to her performance that whenever she was on stage I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Robbie also had a really cheeky feel to him but with a really strong edge, what a dream couple! A mention also has so to go to Giselle Peacock, her foot work was ridiculous! She originally trained in Latin dance and this really shows, she has an attitude about her which is really stimulating to watch. 
The show features Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor as the special guests, as a couple they had this fire about them which was electric on stage. But they didn’t do much! They came on stage a few times and did a short dance now and then but other than that they didn’t add anything to the show. To be perfectly honest, they didn’t impress me much, I was far more amazed by the other dancers rather than them. For me they looked too relaxed and like it was their show when In fact they were probably my least favourite thing about it. 
If I had to describe this production in one word it would be stunning. It’s such a good show to watch and flows so well, I get bored quite easily but there was not one point in this show that I would think ‘ok next dance’. Remarkable production with marvellous routines. It’s not something I’d really be interested in as dancing shows aren’t necessarily my thing but after this I certainly will be a lot more open to this genre of theatre. 
If you like dance shows then go and see this! It will blow your mind, if dance isn’t something you’ve really be interested in but you’re prepared to give it a try then see this production! Even if you walk out never wanting to see a dance show again I will guarantee you’ll be incredibly impressed by the talent that is on that stage.   

Rating: ****

Burn the Floor runs at the Shaftesbury Theatre until the 1st September 2013

Cast Includes: kristina Rihanoff, Robin Windsor, Karen Hauer, Jemma Armstrong, Jack Chambers, Kevin Clifton, Santo Costa, Natasha Dejong, Giulia Dotta, Patrick Helm, Faye Huddleston, Ash-Leigh Hunter, Shem Jacobs, Robbie Kmetoni, Janette Manrara, Keoikantse Motsepe, Giselle Peacock, Aljaž Skorjanec, Peter Saul Blewden and Vonzell Solomon. 

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