A night of mind-blowing moves, with scorching footwork and live musical accompaniment, is just some of what is on offer in 2017’s showing of famed Burn The Floor.
Touring worldwide since the 1990s, this is their annual visit, attracting loyal fans. For 10 shows only, you get a powderkeg of energetic dynamism in costume, sound, and body.
This company really know how to put on a show, having been in the business for over two decades and hiring the highest quality dancers and choreographers. You are in the professional league here — set, lighting, sound, and costume are top notch. Audience enjoyment is their forte, and they include humorous audience interaction amongst the moves.
It’s not just dance at Burn the Floor. On offer here is a rock show/dance competition combo, with an educational journey told through sung soundbites. With a live female drummer and accompaniment by two highly-skilled singers, the music wraps the dance up and takes us to another level. Highlights are the duets ‘Kissing You’ and ‘Halo’. ‘Ballroom Blitz’ is an extended sequence that gets us up on our feet clapping.
The costumes and scene-sequencing are stellar. The theatrical landscapes brought to life are a cornucopia of delights. Travel from Strauss waltzes to French aristocracy, detour to Havana, Cuba. Find yourself on an iconic Hollywood film set or a school corridor. Go from be-bop and swing, to neoclassical and flamenco, jive, Charleston, rock ‘n roll, riot jams, to 1950s Southern Blues and more.
This show shines in the costume department, which seems to have no budget ceiling. You get: see-through black lace petticoats, spats, hats, and braces. Gold buckles, bolero jackets, and capes. Ribbons, flounces, velvet and lycra. Leather studs, denim and taffeta. Tall feathered headdresses wow as sculpture. Are you salivating yet? This is adornment at the extreme end.
See also: flesh worn as costume. With dance seen as the ultimate workout, the cast wear sexuality and sensuality as a part of it. These movers descend, like heavenly creatures out of our dreams, and take us direct to places of the soul. The characters include lovers, gangs, solo singers, and community. A mix of nationalities, the tight ensemble show perfect posture, execution and finish throughout. The women make aerial splits a lesson in locomotion. Marvel as they execute backwards running in stilettos so high, they need a height-pass.
By the end of the Burn The Floor, we were all standing, clapping with the music, singing along and encouraging further feats of athletic marvel from the dancers. Remain seated for one of the best encores ever — they come up close and personal in the aisles.
You will feel your pulse race the entire show. Come down and feel the beat of rhythm and movement at Burn The Floor.
Sarah W. is a dance-trained theatre lover with a flair for the bold, and non-traditional performance platforms. On the street or in the box seat, she is always looking for quality works that push the envelope.
‘Burn The Floor’ runs 6-15 January 2017 at Arts Centre Melbourne, 7pm Tuesday, 7:30pm Wed- Sat, matinees 2pm Sat, Sun 3pm (110 minutes with interval). Book tickets now.
Venue is wheelchair accessible on request.