Friday, June 12, 2009

Burning Broadway's Boards

Burning Broadway's Boards

Yes, it's still illegal to shout "Fire" in a crowded theatre.

But that won't stop producer Harley Medcalf from mounting his Burn The Floor Ballroom dance spectacular at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre next month for a twelve week limited engagement. Burn The Floor comes hot on the heels of the sudden departure of reasons to be pretty, which posted its closing notice for this Sunday after going home empty-handed from the Tony Awards.

If you're a fan of the popular ABC television program "Dancing With The Stars," chances are you'll enjoy this show, which mixes Ballroom and Latin dancing. The promotion for the show labels it "Ballroom dance with a sexy 21st Century edge."

Choreographed by Anthony van Laast of Mamma Mia! fame, the show has toured around the world, including here in the United States at Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Florida's Busch Gardens.

Medcalf provides the history of Burn The Floor:
The original idea of Burn the Floor came in a burst of color and energy. I was witness to a scintillating display of Ballroom and Latin dancing at Sir Elton John’s 50th birthday celebration at the Hammersmith Palais Ballroom, London in 1997. In the midst of a glamorous costumed evening, Sir Elton, the ultimate host, the party in full swing, 16 young energetic dancers mesmerized the packed room in a 10 minute dance display. For me it was just the spark of an idea then.

I was soon to meet and discover the Ballroom dance world, its people with their intensity, commitment, discipline and work ethic. These ideas would become my inspiration. It was the dancers themselves that provided the real motivation, their good nature, openness and sheer talent combined with a burning passion and love of dance.

Whether or not this burst of energy is enough to light Broadway on fire this summer remains to be seen, but as a fellow theatre blogger quipped to me, "at least it's a tenant for the underused Longacre."

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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