Home-grown talent shinesPeter Feldman
Peter Feldman: The sight of South African champion dancer Keoikantse Motsepe strutting his stuff in “Burn the Floor” is enough to warm the cockles of your heart on a cold winter’s night.
Motsepe, who only joined the Burn the Floor company in January this year, shone brightly on opening night and received an appreciative reception from the audience who applauded his every move.
The lithe dancer more than held his own against some outstanding dance talent in a show that has been brought back to South Africa by public demand.
“Burn the Floor The Temperature Rises Tour,” directed and choreographed by Jason Gilkison, boasts new choreographed numbers, five new songs and new costumes, and for those who haven’t seen the show before will appreciate the swirl of movement and colour, and the expertise of the various performers.
Having seen them on their last tour, when they figuratively ‘burnt the floor,’ I knew what to expect from this seasoned troupe.
Unfortunately, the opening salvo was too mechanical and repetitive for me and somehow lacked soul. While I appreciate the timing and the exact movements executed by these dancers, I was certainly not inspired.
The routines included a mix of Cha Cha, the Viennese Waltz, and a lot of fast-paced Latin numbers such as the Samba and Rumba.
Two live percussionists, Henry Soriana and Pat Madden, added some distinctive beats to the canned music, while the two vocalists, Jessica Lingotti and Peter Saul, were in fine voice.
On the lighting side, the intricate patterns were often overwhelming and failed to highlight the dancers. It became distracting after a while.
The second half, however, in which Keoikantse Motsepe featured in a number of routines, caught alight. More energy was pumped into the routines and, as John Miles’ music dovetailed into the sound of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s classic “Proud Mary,” the visual appeal was heightened. Highlights here were the Paso Doble and a stunning Tango.
The crew, who come from different parts of the world, certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves and this spirit was happily maintained to the end.
The Joburg Theatre: Thursday 02 to Sunday 19 August 2012.
Feldman has been a journalist and arts critic for over 45 years and served on The Star in various capacities for 35 years, ending up as a specialist writer on films, music and theatre. During that time he travelled extensively on assignments and interviewed many international film and pop stars, both in South Africa and overseas. He also covered some of South Africa's biggest film and musical events. He is active in the freelance field and his work over the past 12 years has appeared in a variety of South African newspapers and magazines. He writes regularly for Artslink.co.za, The Citizen, South African Jewish Report, The Sunday Independent and is a contributor to "Eat Out" Magazine. He also contributes movie reviews on Mondays to The Gordon Hoffman Easy Morning Show on 1485 Radio Today (www.1485.org.za) and has worked on TV in his specialist capacity. Over the years Feldman has been the recipient of several awards for his contribution to music journalism and the SA record industry. He wrote lyrics for some top artists, including Sipho Mabuse, and had a hit disco single, "Video Games," which was released in 1988. After retiring from The Star in April, 1999, Feldman joined the PR and events management company, Dlamini Weil Communications, where he currently works as an entertainment and media consultant.
Web site: http://www.joburgtheatre.com
Joburg Theatre Complex, Loveday Street Braamfontein Johannesburg Gauteng South Africa