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Burn the Floor

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Burn the Floor – the 25th anniversary reunion – was simply ‘off the scale’ outstanding as we all felt the passion and energy of electrifying dance at Ipswich Regent Theatre on Saturday night.

Who would have thought that the entertainment at a fiftieth party celebration for Sir Elton John back in 1997 would be the ignition of what has since become one of the hottest tickets in town … and shows absolutely no signs of turning down the heat!

Ipswich Regent was an exuberant full house as we took our seats to watch some of the most exquisite footwork, artistry, story-telling and athleticism I have seen for a long time – all delivered by some very famous Strictly Come Dancing favourites and some magnificent newer talent that are sure to rise to the same dizzy heights of our already beloved TV stars.

The mere fact that there were no less than three glitterball winners on the stage (Joanne Clifton, her brother Kevin, and the ever-popular Alijaz Skorjanec) already meant that we were in for a spectacular show, and we were not disappointed.

The evening began with a surprise for us all, as the show’s choreographer and director – Jason Gilkison – appeared on stage to chat to us and give us all a little more background on how the show had evolved and grown over the years. Jason is also the key choreographer on the ever popular Strictly Come Dancing TV show, and as a ballroom and Latin champion himself (with long term dance partner, Peta Roby) it was great to listen to him and feel closer than ever to the theatrical extravaganza we were about to watch.

An even bigger surprise however came as our stars began the evening dancing among the audience and down the aisles to reach the stage, to then launch into a two hour festival of some of the fleetest flicks, kicks, twists, turns and acrobatics I have ever seen. The stage was so ‘alight’ at so many points during the show, that it was difficult (in a good way!) to know where to watch!

As with all dance shows, the music is an intrinsic and highly essential element of what we get to experience as a whole – and Burn the Floor had cleverly chosen an electrifying backing track which was elevated beyond the norm by two hugely talented drummers/percussionists.

These incredible guys worked tirelessly throughout the evening – along with singers Rietta Austin and Patrick Smyth – to create an atmosphere of passion, intensity, and sheer energy that seemed to lift higher with each change of costume, dance and song.

As to be expected with performers of such calibre, we were treated to the slickest and most beguiling moves from all of the cast – with a heady cocktail of rumba, salsa, samba, cha cha, paso doble, Viennese waltz and tango – many danced with a contemporary twist and some breath-taking lifts and spins that perfectly demonstrated the strength, trust and sheer dedication of these wonderful entertainers on the stage.

A special mention must go to Kevin Clifton – he joined the celebration that is Burn the Floor back in 2008 – and simply must be the most dynamic and indefatigable man on the stage!

As always, all the performers gave their absolute all, but Kevin still seemed to have the vitality of an eighteen year old, right to the very last floor-burning finale which was The Sweet’s 1970’s chart-topper, Ballroom Blitz. What a way to end a show…..

In summary, this has to be the most electrifying, fierce, stunning and totally hot show of the year – and I can only pray that these incredible performers come back to set Ipswich ablaze again, very, very soon!