Theater Review: BURN THE FLOOR (L.A. – Hollywood)

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by Tony Frankel on April 29, 2011

in Theater-Los Angeles,Tours


There are three reasons to attend Burn the Floor – the heart-pounding Ballroom Dance Sextravaganza now throbbing and thumping on the boards at the Pantages: one, the sexiest bodies this side of Mount Olympus; two, the astounding choreography of Jason Gilkison; and, three, the sexy bodies. Plus, an added benefit would be the sexy bodies. If the producers wish to increase their revenue, they would be wise to rent binoculars to patrons who wish to focus on the dancer’s fetching facial features – and the sexy bodies.

Eighteen dancers from around the world – all steamy, slinky, spicy, snazzy, sinewy, sweaty, sensuous, seductive, suave, salacious, spirited, scandalous, scorching, stirring, swerving, spinning, Burn the Floor - Worldwide Tour at the Pantages Theatreshimmying, and stimulating – gyrate, jump, jive, and jiggle in ribald, risqué, racy and raunchy ballroom dances.

Forget about the competitive world of Ballroom Dancing (from which Burn the Floor originated), where individual couples show off their prowess in International Style dances, such as Salsa, Cha-Cha and Rumba. Mr. Gilkison, who also directs, is not invested in elegance and sophistication, even though the Viennese Waltz makes an appearance. Burn the Floorcelebrates the athleticism of the dancers more than the styles of the dances. There is nothing that is groundbreaking here: it’s Dancing With The Stars cubed, and Australian Mr. Gilkison is no threat to the memory of Busby Berkeley, Bob Fosse, Hermes Pan or Jerome Robbins – which is not to say that the night isn’t thrilling, exciting and hot.

Burn the Floor - Worldwide Tour at the Pantages TheatreMind-boggling percussionists Joseph Malone and Henry Soriano more than compensate for the taped music. The design team was an afterthought: there’s only so much one can do with a mirror ball, strip lights, follow spots and an under-utilized stairway, which is mostly used by vocalists Peter Saul and Vonzell Solomon.

Ultimately, it seems as if a giant had stepped on an ant hill of sexy Ballroom Dancers: there is often so much activity – and the dance styles blend with such Burn the Floor - Worldwide Tour at the Pantages Theatrerapidity – that focusing on one particular body – I mean dance – and one particular muscle – I mean, dancer – is a waste of time. It’s a dizzying, satisfying explosion of bodies: the pulchritudinous gals have gorgeous gams while the men show off their exquisitely toned 24-pack abs.

Burn the Floor may not inspire you to join a dance class or a gym, but you may save money on Viagra. If you think that this reviewer is overreacting, check out the T-shirts in the lobby advertising another Burn the Floor show: FloorPlay.

tonyfrankel @

photos by Joan Marcus

Burn the Floor
scheduled to close  in  Los Angeles May 8 at time of publication
for tickets, visit
then tours internationally through November 11
for tickets, visit

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