Press night at Burn the Floor last night was more akin to a Strictly Come Dancing reunion as previous contestants, dancers and judges all came along to support Kristina Rihanoff, Robin Windsor and Karen Hauer.
Let me declare straight up I love Strictly Come Dancing. So the chance to see some of the action live wasn’t to be missed.
I must say though, Burn the Floor didn’t singe me or remove the bitter cold that we’re experiencing in the UK at present. It’s more a warm glow of a show with the odd spark and crackle.
The show has been going 14 years and so the casting of three Strictly dancers is a canny way to breath new life into this show. The biggest disappointment is how little Kristina and Robin dance and in fact they’re upstaged by the other dancers repeatedly, especially Karen Hauer who shines.
This is very much Karen’s show, she has the best dances including what is an astoundingly beautiful rumba set to Burn for You. It’s the stand out dance of the night for me and worth going to the show to see that, it’s emotive, dazzling and incredible.
The dances segue nicely into each other, the pace is fast, perhaps a little too fast as I’d like have seen some of the dances extended and developed rather than this machine gun approach. They’re accompanied by a great band and an amazing singer in Vonzell Solomon, Peter Saul Blewden was not in the same league as her though.
Act 2 certainly has more panache and power to it. Overall though this show was a pleasant diversion for a couple of hours but nothing more. The dancers give their all, but as I said for a show that bills Kristina and Robin they really should be doing more. The show gives no scope for their personalities to transcend to the audience, they’re lost in the crowd too many times.
A few times I was annoyed with the low-level lighting, it’s a dance show so I’d like to be able to see the dancers feet. The use of synthesisers on a few of the pieces, especially the Paso Doble gave a cheesy element which was a shame, this is a West End show and these elements exposed the shows provincial roots.
The ballroom dances for me were my favourite part including a gorgeous dance where two couples mirrored each other effortlessly. It’s a shame there were not more moments like this.
If you’re a Strictly fan you’ll enjoy this, Karen’s performances are definitely a must see. For me though it lacked the wow factor I was expecting. If I was a Strictly judge Robin and Kristina would get a “seven” (said in style of Len Goodman). Whereas Karen gets the ten.
STARS : ★ ★ ★
Tickets can be bought from Shows in London