There aren’t any seatbelts on the chairs at the Joburg Theatre Complex, but for Burn the Floor there should be. The show will blow you away.
SIZZLING temperatures have hit Joburg in the heart of its winter with the arrival of the international dance show Burn the Floor, which is on at the Joburg Theatre Complex in Braamfontein until 14 August.
StyleA show not to be missedWith very little warning about what to expect in the tag line “Ballroom. Reinvented”, the show whips spectators in a frenzy of movement, energy and unadulterated passion. Combining ballroom and Latin dance, the production gives a twist to these traditional forms of dance.
Competitive ballroom dancing, also known as dancesport, is the format of the dance recognised globally today. This is not the style used in Burn the Floor; instead, it uses the international style which has been danced in competition since 1920.
It comprises 10 dances, five of which are Latin and five of which are ballroom, or otherwise known as standard.
The standard or ballroom dances consist of the waltz, Viennese waltz, foxtrot, tango and quickstep. The waltz has a strong accent on the first beat with a basic pattern of step-step-close; the Viennese waltz is the oldest of the ballroom dances. It originated as a peasant dance in Provence, France in 1559 but took its name when it became wildly popular in Viennese dance halls in the 1800s.
The tango travelled from Argentina to Paris in 1910, but the international format of the dance was only born in the 1930s. The foxtrot employs a slow/slow – quick/quick count and uses “trotting steps”; it was renamed the slow foxtrot in 1927 and came to be known for its smooth, gliding motion.
passionBe intriguedThe quickstep is similar to a fast foxtrot and evolved from the influence of popular ragtime music from the 1920s.
Dancing novices need not worry about the technicalities of each dance, however, as the precision and enthusiasm of the dancers will sweep you into a world of intrigue, jealousy, lovers’ quarrels and glimpses of glistening skin, all without ever missing a beat or their footing.
By the time the interval rolls around, your head will be spinning and your feet will be tapping; plans to take ballroom dancing lessons may be sprouting in the recesses of your mind. And this all before you’ve even seen the second act, which incorporates the Latin dances.
Paso doble, the cha cha, the samba, rumba and jive comprise the Latin dances. The cha cha came to life in Cuba and is an offshoot of the triple mamba; it became popular in the 1950s and is widely known as the flirty “afternoon dance”. The samba, or “ladies dance”, is well known for its Brazilian roots and is accompanied by fast music.
Paso doble was developed in France, but is of Spanish origin and is based on the Spanish bull fights. In this dance, the man represents the matador while the woman is the cape. The rumba is the slowest of the Latin dances and is renowned for its sexual tension; it is called the dance of lust.
Dancers hail from all over the globeDancers hail from all over the globeThe jive is a fast-paced dance based on jazz as well as improvisation; it originated in the United States in the 1940s but was transported across the Atlantic to Europe when American soldiers danced the jitterbug or Lindy hop during World War II.
Seatbelts should be attached to the red velvet chairs of the Joburg Theatre for this show, as there is little doubt that it will blow you away. Each dancer has been trained to compete, with many winning or qualifying as runners-up in their countries’ versions of So You Think You Can Dance?, the reality television show.
The dancers hail from all over the world, including countries like England, Ireland, Italy and Australia. It is the first time the show has touched down on South African soil in its 12-year history, and audiences are lapping it up like water in a desert.
It is on the Mandela Stage in the Joburg Theatre Complex until 14 August; tickets range from R195 to R365 and can be booked through the theatre’s website or by phoning the call centre on 0861 670 670.
The Joburg Theatre Complex is on Loveday Street in Braamfontein.
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