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Dance/Theatre Review (LA): Burn The Floor at the Pantages Theatre

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Run, don’t walk, to the Pantages Theatre to see Burn the Floor, the sexiest, dancing-est show to hit Los Angeles in years. Ballroom dancing has been steadily gaining international interest, and here in the United States, because of So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars, it has become a spectator sport worthy of our attention. The national tour of Burn the Floor, direct from Broadway (where I saw it first), has scored a touchdown, goal, gold medal, whatever you want to call it, but it is only here for two weeks. This incredibly talented and gorgeous company of 20 dancers give us a show that lives up to the title. It’s around two hours of the hottest dancing you can find around, even on TV.

This isn’t your everyday ballroom. Let’s be very clear. I have watched ballroom in the past and ballroom competitions, but have never been moved to jump to my feet in excitement. This is ballroom reinvented. Yes, they do the expected dances—Rumba, Cha-Cha, Viennese Waltz, Jive, Paso Robles, Tango, Samba, Quickstep, and Swing. But these are champion dancers culled from around the world, put together in an unsurpassed dancing sensation. I am not surprised, as Jason Gilkison of So You Think You Can Dance put the show together.

This is not a new show; it has been touring the world in countries that had already embraced ballroom dance. It only reached Broadway last year where it was extended numerous times and is now on a national tour in the U.S., thrilling audiences coast to coast.

It is nearly impossible to single out performers in this non-stop express train. The titular leads are Pasha and Anya from So You Think You can Dance. The dancers come from all over the globe; besides the United States there are dancers from Russia, Australia, and Great Britain to name a few. Many of the dancers have been with the show for years. This is because ballroom dancers usually come in pairs in order for the dancers to master all those complicated steps.

The music ranges from “Proud Mary,” “Let’s Face The Music and Dance,” “Malagueña,” and “Matador” to “Turn the Beat Around” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.” The vocalists are equally impressive including Vonzell Soloman who was a finalist on American Idol. The colorful costumes are by Jane Hine and the beautiful lighting design (dance always has the best lighting) is by Rick Belzer. There is enough fast-paced action on stage and enough gorgeous flesh to please the most discerning. Burn The Floor plays at the Pantages until May 8. See it!

About Robert Machray