AUSTRALIAN dance champion Peta Roby describes it as “ballroom dancing infused with rock’n’roll.”
“The cast are the rebels of the industry and they produce this irresistible energy on stage,” she explains.
The show is Burn The Floor, the dance production that has won critical acclaim Australia and aborad – including a stint on Broadway - since its debut in 1999.
It has toured the world constantly since, and returns to Australia for the company’s first national tour since 2009 with a new show, Fire In The Ballroom.
Created over two years, the show features the choreography expertise of Roby and fellow WA-born dancer Jason Gilkison, who she first danced with in Perth at the age of seven and went on to become Australia’s most successful dance couple as undefeated Australian Latin champions from 1981 to 1997.
The pair retired from competition in 1997 – right at the time when Burn The Floor producer Harley Medcalf developed the concept for the show after seeing it performed at Sir Elton John’s 50th birthday celebrations.
Since Roby and Gilkison came on board as the show’s choreographers and directors, they have not looked back.
“We had a theatrical upbringing and it was our passion to bring ballroom dancing to the world in the form of theatre,” Roby says.
“It was perfect timing for us. It was a bit of an impossible dream for us to create a show but when this opportunity arose we thought ‘You know what? We just need to be part of it’ and thank goodness we made that decision.”
Burn The Floor returns to Newcastle’s Civic Theatre on February 23 with 15 dancers in the cast alongside a band of live musicians and vocalists.
“It’s based on ballroom and Latin but really it’s infused with everything from contemporary to Lindy [Hop] to Spanish,” Roby says.
“The music is a huge influence on this – we’ve got crazy things like Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven and then you’ve got Flamenco guitar in it, as well as the rock guitar and drums.
“The music has been a very important part of bringing the show together.”
* Burn The Floor appears at Civic Theatre Newcastle on February 23. Bookings online at ticketek.com.au or by phoning 4929 1977.
The cast are the rebels of the industry and they produce this irresistible energy on stagePeta Roby