“Burn The Floor”- (Review Inside)

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By: Ninah Snipes

There is no better title for the touring show, Burn the Floor.  By the end of this adrenaline packed ride, the audience will feel that this ensemble of twenty professional ballroom dancers , two vocalists and two percussionists have done just that, Burned the Floor!  These international ballroom dancers had the energy, leant into every jive, were smooth with the foot work for each Samba. Whether it was Cha Cha, Rumba, Paso Doble, Waltz or Swing, this impressive and endearing ensemble of captivating dancers electrified the stage. They represent the best of the athletic artistry that is required to enchant an audience through this journey of dance. Burn the Floor is not trying to be something that it is not. It is not a musical, nor does the production feel the need to dress the show in elaborate sets. The set facilitates the movement. The costumes are great, the lighting is fun and the music is terrific, but nothing detracts from the dancing.

Director/Choreographer, Jason Gilkison, keeps the two acts moving at a thrilling pace. Each number is exceptionally choreographed and executed with dazzling and seemingly effortless skills and grace. The cast consisted of Sharna Burgess, Santo Costa, Ashleigh Di Lello, Ryan De Lello, Igor Dogoter, Sasha Farber, Anya Garnis, Natalia Gorshkova, Karen Hauer, Faye Huddleston, Ash Leigh Hunter, Robbie Kmetoni, Pasha Kovalev, Tristan MacManus, Janette Manrara, Damien Samuel, Aljaz Skorjanec, Emma Slater, Sarah Soriano and Gary Wright. Fantastic moments were delivered by all, and the full cast dance numbers are as good as it gets. Singers Peter Saul and Vonzell Solomon, and percussionists Joseph Malone and Henry Soriano compliment the dancers beautifully.

There were many beautiful moments through-out the production, but most notably was “Burn for You,” a lush duet between Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev, two of the show’s veterans of TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” Garnis displays both vulnerability and passion, while Kovalev shows plenty of strength through a series of difficult lifts and dips. Part of what makes this number stand out is how stripped down it feels.  Another notable cast member is Vonzell Solomon of TV’s “American Idol.” She joined the touring company of Burn the Floor on October 12, 2010 in San Diego, Calif., as the show’s female vocalist.  Vonzell, better known as “Baby V,” is an international singer, songwriter, producer, recording artist, model and actress. She was the second runner-up of the 4th season of the FOX Television series “American Idol.”  Following her amazing performances on “Idol,” she launched her own record label, Melodic Records. Vonzell is presently putting the finishing touches on her highly anticipated sophomore CD release.

In Chicago we’re all looking for something hot to temper this sub-zero arctic deep freeze and Burn the Floor certainly steams things up.


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