Flamboyant from the off, Burn the Floor is a hugely dynamic, fast-paced Latin and ballroom dance show. Jason Gilkison's choreography is incredibly slickly performed by renowned couples from around the world, sometimes within their pairs, sometimes within a large ensemble. Also featuring live music and vocals, this is a tremendously energetic show - managing to be simultaneously sexy and funny.
While this is arguably a fairly mannered form, the odd moment of simple beauty struck through; the Viennese Waltz section was lovely, though too brief. What really set this show apart, though, were the kookily choreographed ensemble pieces, like the swing sequence, which really allowed some of the impressive stage presences to shine through. Particularly endearing and expressive were Cuba's Janette Manrara and Robbie Kmetoni, who politely commanded the audience's attention whenever they were onstage.
Some extremely impressive vocals came from Peter Saul Blewden, who sang in a range of styles, always with a bright, clear tone. Vonzell Solomon also shone, with an appropriately glamorous demeanour throughout and a stunning contemporary voice. Her opening of the swing sequence with Sway was a real high point.
Lighting was used fantastically throughout - hats off to Scott Rogers, who really sent up the atmosphere in every sequence.
Sometimes, with its cape-flouncing and very high-heeled shoes, Latin dance can seem a bit affected - if only they'd done more of that beautiful, old-fashioned waltz. However, Burn the Floor clearly demonstrates everything that is brilliant about Latin and ballroom - almost enough to make you forgive it the tiny jackets worn for the paso doble.
Burn the Floor runs at the Shaftesbury Theatre until September 1 2013.