BURN THE FLOOR, Artscape, Joburg Theatre, Playhouse, Robbie Kmetoni, Jason Gilkison
Past Articles by This Author:
2012 South African Theatre Retrospective: Dance and Physical TheatreBWW Reviews: Mesmerising Dance in BIKO'S QUEST at Artscape TheatreBWW Reviews: Partly First Class, Partly Frustrating RAYMONDA at the Artscape Opera HouseBWW Reviews: Moving QUEEN AT THE BALLET Revival Needs Something MoreBWW Reviews: South African BURN THE FLOOR Tour Sizzles, July-Sept 2012
"This ain’t your grandma's ballroom," the posters say. And although BURN THE FLOOR might not be the kind of ballroom dancing my grandmother grew up seeing (or dancing, for that matter), I would hazard a guess that she would enjoy the show just as much as I did.
An exhilarating ballroom extravaganza, BURN THE FLOOR takes the art of ballroom dancing and packages it in a sexy show for audiences used to popular dances shows on television like STRICTLY COME DANCING and SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, although BURN THE FLOOR has been around for half a decade or so longer than either of those hit shows. That is not to say that BURN THE FLOOR abandons technique or showmanship, nor does it rely on the energy of competition to entertain. In fact, one of the most admirable things about the production is the sense of ensemble that characterises the evening’s entertainment.
BURN THE FLOOR alternates between high energy numbers featuring, amongst others, cha cha, jive and swing and quieter and, almost introspective sequences that showcase styles like the waltz and the rumba. The show is divided into four sections: "Inspiration", "Things That Swing", "The Latin Quarter" and "Coda – the Last Part".
Two of the highlights, for me, came early on in the evening, the back-to-back waltz numbers that round out "Inspirations". Some might view this as ironic in a show where the flashy numbers are engineered to be the crowd-pleasers, but I found these two pieces ('Everybody Hurts' and 'Pastorale') beautiful in the purest sense of the word. They complimented each other beautifully and I found myself close to tears, reminded how expressive and cathartic dance can be.
Born and bred in South Africa, David has loved theatre since the day he set foot on stage in his preschool nativity play. He graduated with a Master of Arts (Theatre and Performance) degree from the University of Cape Town in 2005, having previously graduated from the same university with a First Class Honours in Drama in 2002. An ardent essayist, David won the Keswick Prize for Lucidity for his paper "Homosexual Representation in the Broadway Musical: the development of homosexual identities and relationships from PATIENCE to RENT". Currently, he teaches Dramatic Arts at a high school in Cape Town and also freelances as a theatremaker and performer. |