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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Burn The Floor Gets A Standing Ovation...Twice {Review}

I went to see the opening night of Burn The Floor in Detroit Tuesday night and brought my mom along with me. We both have a great love for the performing arts and this show seemed like the perfect chance to enjoy a girl's night out. Excited, we got dolled up and headed out to the Fisher Theater.

I was impressed with the list of 20 dancers {10 couples} and 2 vocalists in the cast and I couldn't wait to see what could be done with that great a number. At the curtain's raise and the beginning of "Ballroom Beat", though, I knew we were in for a night of captivating entertainment. There was just no way I could sit and not tap my feet as the song played. And when the dancers began showing up in the aisles, all making their way to the stage, I felt as if I was being welcomed to the show. I was drawn in and spell bound as I waited to see what would happen next.

The cast moved through quite an impressive range of dances. Some were performed by solo couples and others were performed by groups of dancers and even a few featuring the entire cast at once. In ACT I alone, there were 14 songs and 29 {that I counted} dances. Some of the styles danced were Cha Cha, Viennese Waltz, Rumba, Samba, Jive, and Swing. Each dance was performed perfectly and each transition happened seamlessly flowing from one dance to the next.

Credit: Joan Marcus
I saw faces I recognized as Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnin took to the stage to dance together. They, among a handful of other dancers, were once on So You Think You Can Dance. In fact, these two danced my favorite dance of the evening together. They danced a Rumba to a song called "Burn for You" while telling a love story that was both beautiful and tragic.

Burn The Floor is a production that began in 1999 and has only gained momentum and an ever-growing audience as it's toured around the globe. The idea behind the show is to reintroduce ballroom dance to a generation who thinks it's "old fashioned" and keep the art of it alive. And would you believe it was Sir Elton John's 50th Birthday Party that sparked the idea of the show for producer Harley Medcalf? There was a group of 16 young dancers who performed at his party and "brought the house down" with their 10 minute show. The rest is history and I'm fortunate enough to have enjoyed the flame made from that spark.

Really, whether you have no interest in dance or your a lifelong fan of it, I encourage you to see Burn The Floor while it's in Detroit. {Feb. 22 - March 6} It's an amazing production and I'm sure you'll enjoy may even be tempted to join in the dancing. As for the crowd I sat with, we were brought to our feet in applause twice that evening. And those two ovations were well deserved for all the dancing and floor burning we witnessed. I'm still reveling in the fun of that evening, wishing I could dance like they did.

I'll leave you with some fun, fast facts about Burn The Floor {taken from my press kit}.

  • Burn The Floor has sold in excess of 4 million tickets in more than 30 Countries and 160 cities
  • Dancers range in age from 18-30
  • 90 Liters of water are consumed backstage at every performance
  • 194 pairs of shoes are worn in each performance
  • 367 costumes and costume accessories travel with the show
  • The dancers rehearse and warm up for 2 hours before every performance
  • Burn The Floor occupies 7,800 hotel rooms per year
  • In an average year, a Burn The Floor dancer performs 640 hours on stage

**Thanks to the PR firm who provided complimentary tickets to view the show in exchange for me sharing a press release and my review following the show. I received no other compensation. The thoughts and opinions shared are mine and mine alone. Others may disagree.**



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