The Burn The Floor reunion show was pure ‘leave your brain at the door’ escapism. Incredible dancing, big production and plenty of familiar hits to get the Blackpool crowd going.
Tonight was a recreation of a 2008 Broadway production. It’s the busiest I’ve ever seen the Opera House and the atmosphere was explosive.
Ferocious latin heat ripped across the stage with colourful costumes and bold movement, and tribal beats.
Then there was the wildly entertaining scene set in a dusty old saloon, with beer-fuelled brawls and good times danced out to a medley of swing hits, ending with ‘Ding Dong Daddy’. It was slick yet gritty, and full of Broadway charm. There was a real sense of storytelling through some of the dances, and a heap of drama.
From explosive paso dobles to sensual rumbas, each dance was packed with energy, complexity and pizzazz.
A highlight was a gorgeous waltz to REM’s ‘Everybody Hurts’.
It was sung beautifully. Vocalist Rietta Austin seemed unassuming until she belted out Shirley Bassey’s ‘History Repeating’ and just came to life. She strutted out of the shadows and mingled with shirtless male dancers, with power poses and vocals that channelled the diva herself.
This was a star-studded line-up that included nine of the Strictly dancers. Most of them are used to competing with each other, and it was great to see these incredible performers work together to make magic.
Aljaž Škorjanec, Janette Manrara, Karen Hauer, Dianne Buswell, Kevin Clifton, Joanne Clifton, Luba Mushtuk, Kai Widdrington and Robin Windsor, were all in the show.
But several of their fellow Strictly dancers, including Graziano Di Prima and Nikita Kuzmin, were also cheering them on from the crowd.
And they mingled with fans and signed autographs during the interval. It really created a feel-good atmosphere in the theatre, with so many people excited to meet the stars.
Ballroom Blitz was a fitting finale that had everyone on their feet.
This reunion show marked 25 years since the first Burn The Floor production, at Sir Elton John’s birthday party in 1997.
It promised to be spectacular. It was.