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Southern Florida by John Lariviere


Burn the Floor

Also see John's review of Vices: A Love Story

Burn the FloorBroadway Across America - Ft. Lauderdale presents the dance sensation Burn The Floor at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. This production features "So You Think You Can Dance" dancers Anya Garnis, Pasha Kovalev, Ashleigh Di Lello, Ryan Di Lello, Robbie Kmetoni, Janette Manrara and Karen Hauer, and "American Idol" vocalist Vonzell Solomon.

Directed and choreographed by Jason Gilkison, Burn The Floor takes the audience on a non-stop tour of dance styles. The twenty-one dancers are paired with two live vocalists (Solomon and Peter Saul) and two live percussionists (Joseph Malone and Henry Soriano) accompanying the singers and pre-recorded tracks.

The two-act show is divided into four sections. The first, "Inspirations," start with a group cha cha that then moves into the Viennese waltz, foxtrot, swing, Lindy, jive, samba, rumba and waltz. This section has the most diversity of styles in the shortest period. The second section, "Things That Swing," has cha cha, wwing, quick step, jive, and Lindy. A sensuous rendition of "Sway" and an energetic "It Don't Mean A Thing" are stand outs. The third section, "The Latin Quarter," features the cha cha, rumba, salsa, tango and a paso doble that does indeed burn the floor with passion. "Matador" is especially well danced. The last section, "CODA - The Last Part," has the rumba, cha cha, waltz, tango, paso doble, and jive, closing with the song "Turn the Beat Around".

One of the most creative and beautiful moments in the show is the rumba "Weather Storm." The languid music is well chosen to match the mood of this piece that features a single, blindfolded female dancing with a group of males. The strength and control of both the male and female dancers in the paso doble is picturesque. The only possible dance disappointment in the show is the waltz couple moments that seem uninspired except for a second act scene where two couples mirror each other on opposite sides of a scrim. Singer Vonzell Solomon is smashing in all her vocals and is wonderful addition to this production. Unfortunately, the same can not be said of male singer, Peter Saul, who is underwhelming.

Television shows such as "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dancing With The Stars" have awakened an appreciation and thirst for the world of dance across America. Dance purists may balk at the commercialization of the world of competitive, but must surely embrace the support these shows have brought to the dance world. With enormously talented dancers, and enough commercialism to appeal to the masses, Burn The Floor more than delivers in quenching that thirst.

Burn The Floor will be appearing at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts through November 28, 2010. The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is located in the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District at 201 SW Fifth Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Presentations at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Support is also contributed by the Broward Performing Arts Foundation, Inc. The Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment Consortium is a cultural partnership between the Performing Arts Center Authority, Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, Florida Grand Opera., Fort Lauderdale Historical Society and The Historic Stranahan House Museum. It is supported by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Visitors Bureau. Evening performances are Tuesday - Saturday at 8:00pm and Sundays at 7:30pm. Matinee performances are Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm. For any of the offerings of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts you may contact them by phone at 954-462-0222 or online at www.browardcenter.org.

This Broadway Across America - Ft. Lauderdale production of Burn The Floor is presented by Harley Medcalf, Joe Watson, Richard Levi, Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, Marc Routh, Raise The Roof One, Toppall/Stevens/Mills, Benigno/Klein, Caldwell/Allen, Carrpailet/Danzansky, Bud Martin, The Production Studio, Schaffert/Schnuck by special arrangement with Dance Partners, Inc.. Broadway Across America is dedicated to creating memorable and accessible theatrical experiences for all guests, selling over 5 million tickets to first rate Broadway shows, family productions and other live theatrical events in over 40 North American cities each year. For more information or to purchase tickets through an authorized agent, please visit www.broadwayacrossamerica.com. For more information on this tour please visit www.burnthefloor.com.

Cast:
Vocalists: Vonzell Solomon and Peter Saul
Dancers: Sharna Burgess, Santo Costa, Ashleigh Di Lello, Ryan Di Lello, Igor Dogoter, Sasha Farber, Jeremy Garner, Anya Garnis, Natalia Gorshkova, Karen Hauer, Sarah Hives, Faye Huddlestone, Ash Leigh Hunter, Robbie Kmetoni, Pasha Kovalev, Tristan Macmanus, Janette Manrara, Damien Samuel, Emma Slater, Sarah Soriano, Gary Wright
Percussion: Joseph Malone and Henry Soriano

Crew:
Direction/Choreographer: Jason Gilkison
Music Consultant: Charlie Hull
Scenic Design: Ray Klausen
Lighting Design: Rick Belzer
Sound Design: Peter J. Fitxgerald
Costume Design: Janet Hine
Production Stage Manager: Bruce Fossey Bolton


See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere



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