CURTAIN CALL: 'Burn the floor, Ballroom reinvented'
The dancers of the hit Broadway production Burn the Floor, Ballroom Reinvented look like normal people. I know this. I stayed at the same hotel with them in Cape Town last week.
But when I saw them in the opening night of their show in Johannesburg, I realised that in the world of dance, these people are gods. Twirling and jiving, side-stepping and leaping their way into my heart, the cast had such exuberance and energy on stage that they lifted my spirit.
Burn the Floor makes tangible the chemistry between men and women. It is full of sexuality and flirtation. It is hot. As the producers say, ''This ain't your grandma's ballroom."
New in the cast is South African Latin-American champion dancer Keoikantse Motsepe, who elicited standing ovations. Janette Manrara was a finalist in the fifth season of So You Think You Can Dance in the US. She stood out among the excellent cast. - Andrea Nagel
Tickets for 'Burn the Floor' are available from R190 at www.joburgtheatre.com or call 0861-670-670. It is on at the Joburg Theatre until August 19 and in Durban at The Playhouse Opera Theatre until September 2.
NEVER mind the age-old question: "What is art?"
The question explored in American John Logan's play, Red, is how to understand the artist Mark Rothko (1903 to 1970).
Played by Michael Richard, Rothko is an angry, intellectual painter, vigorously engaging with his work and its academic influences. At the time in which this play is set he is working on murals, a commission for the new Four Seasons restaurant in New York. His young studio assistant, Ken, played by Richard's son, Jeremy, is the fall guy for the younger generation of artists, like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, whom Rothko dislikes and doesn't think are serious enough for the art world.
He reminds Ken he is not his parent, and he is not there to teach him. But he tells Ken: "You cannot be an artist until you are civilised. You cannot be civilised until you learn. To be civilised is to know where you belong in the continuum of your art and your world."
The 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play in the UK, Red is a thought-provoking two-character drama that cleverly explores the universal dilemma of creating art while making a living.
- 'Red' is on at Old Mutual Theatre on the Square until August 12. See www.kickstart-theatre.co.za