Reviewed by Tony Peters
The latest incarnation of international dance phenomenon Burn the Floor blasts its way into the West End for a limited season with a stunning two hours of ballroom and latin that at times takes the breath away.
First conceived as long ago as 1997 by producer Harley Medcalf, Burn the Floor has wowed audiences with tours across the world and if this production is anything to go by, it’s easy to see why.
This time around, the show is fronted by Kristina Rihanoff, Robin Windsor and Karen Hauer from television’s Strictly Come Dancing, and freed of the burden of having to prop up a non-dancing soap star or sports personality, they’re able to give an electrifying demonstration of their skills across a range of dance disciplines.
But while it’s these three who have their names above the title in an understandable effort to maximise bums on seats, they are only part of an 18-strong company of dancers, every one of whom is a master of their craft. From the grace of the waltz to the smouldering of the rumba, no-one puts a foot wrong in a production that is pure quality from start to finish.
There is no narrative as such, more a series of scenarios on which to hang Jason Gilikson’s outstanding choreography. But the transitions between dances are seamless and the pace of the show quite stunning — never at the expense of precision or discipline.
Music is provided by an excellent band under the directorship of Joe Malone, with Will Fry’s pulsating percussion a notable feature.
In so many dance shows, vocalists can often feel little more than a device to facilitate a costume or scene change, but Vonzell Solomon and Peter Saul Blewden are an integral part of this production and their excellent singing perfectly complements the dance action.
The standing ovation has become a little overused of late, but when the audience rose to its feet after the blistering finale, you knew that every cheer was richly deserved. I simply didn’t want it to end.
Directed and choreographed by Jason Gilikson
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