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Thomas Michael Voss

Review: BURN THE FLOOR at The Peacock Theatre

Brun the Floor The Peacock is well known for presenting world dance, such as Flamenco, Argentine Tango, and Cirque Du Soleil type shows. Now, in its third main reincarnation and running till 5th November 2016, BURN THE FLOOR (FIRE IN THE BALLROOM) is a worthy addition to that repertoire.

The evening is filled with almost all the favourite Ballroom and Latin American Dances and more, from Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Samba, Paso Doble, Jive to Quickstep, Tango, and Viennese Waltz with post-modern twists.

Describing the show is easy - think dance which reflects the seven deadly sins, heaven and hell, a hint of Cirque Du Soleil, drastic time travel and a pinch of PVC/ fetish, naughty-school-girl-Britney, mixed with some camp frou-frou! It is an immaculate firecracker of an experience. The dancers, singers and musicians whisk through the first act like a whirlwind with gyrating topless lads and the ladies spinning, dropping and flying through the air. If you bring your grandma you better have her strapped into her seat!

The cast come on wanting to impress and really set the stage on fire, blowing the roof off the venue. They hit every step, every line and every button with speed, utter precision and quality, displaying real team spirit. There was only one minute little mishap on a semi lift and too ridiculous to even mention, but because the show was executed so perfectly I almost carry a sense of pride that I even spotted it.

Right from the start Lauren Oakley really caught my eye and she really got her chance to shine throughout. Nancy Xu and Johannes Radebe stood out for me as well. Great dramatic performers, stunning dancers. It is beautiful to see such a diverse cast.

Compliments to the costume designers Bret Hooper and Sharon Brown who really used their imagination, left tackiness outside and brought classy sexiness in. The lighting design by Scott Rogers was vibrant and bound all the elements of the show together.

Equally praiseworthy are the singers Jessica Lingotti and Mikee Introna who conveyed emotions as rich and vibrant as the lighting and it was fabulous having live musicians; guitarists Marc Aliana and Miki Santamaria delivered a great guitar play off joined by percussionist Pat Madden. The music and singing was as top notch as the dancing, with stunners like ‘Halo’, ‘Show me How’, ‘Habanera’ and ‘Kissing You’.

After two hours of Ballroom Dance dynamite and fireworks the show just didn't want to stop, earning several standing ovations from a very noisy audience before the company finally left the stage with a crash, boom and bang.

With Vincent and Flavia’s show just around the corner, the BBC's STRICTLY COME DANCING, last week’s International Ballroom Championships at the Royal Albert Hall and now BURN THE FLOOR, Ballroom dance fans really were spoilt this month and rightly so as this reflects the enduring popularity and appeal of ballroom dancing.

Having seen all three versions of BURN THE FLOOR this latest package is my favourite. It’s sophisticated, energetic and exciting.

Having seen all three versions of BURN THE FLOOR this latest package is my favourite. It’s sophisticated, energetic and exciting. From a craftsmanship point of view this show is neat, with clean, seamless transitions, a contrasting flow and stimulating visuals added by the flamboyant and colourful lighting and costumes, carried by the hungry and proud cast.

A big bravo to choreographers Peta Roby and Jason Gilkison too, it seems like they fine tuned and went back to the purity of the dances with a post-modern look and feel and it is proving a winner with no fakery in sight. I loved the authentic and witty choreography with zillions of stunning shapes, the contrast of tempi and the Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly reference from Singin’ in the Rain. The Salsa/ Mambo number took me right back to the streets of La Habana, truly encapsulating the spirit and essence of Cuba and Latin America.

BURN THE FLOOR absolutely lives up to its title. If you want tulle and feathers, forget it! This show really is on fire. "Too darn hot" and with only two weeks in town, if you don’t hurry you will miss a treat unless you are heading for Cuba and the real thing of course.

They say there is no smoke without fire. Well, I give it an explosive 5 stars.

Burn The Floor tickets