Burn the Floor

It’s a Broadway show on tour with no lines — as in, no lines spoken onstage. Two percussionists and two vocalists add a bit here and there, but otherwise it’s just 20 dancers pounding the boards for two hours at a time. It’s Burn the Floor, the Gexa Energy/Broadway Across America presentation running at the Hobby Center.

The show features everything from jive to salsa to the Viennese waltz to the quick step, and Mark Ballas will be among the stars onstage. Born in Houston, the Dancing with the Stars professional dancer who just finished up his seventh season by coming in third with partner Bristol Palin, is joining up with the Burn the Floor national tour. “People should come to see Burn the Floor because it is badass from start to finish,” says Ballas. “High energy, in your face, awesome dancers, awesome choreography, and it’s a spectacle of our sport. People will love it. This is like Dancing with the Stars on steroids.”

Also onstage will be Janette Manrara, part of the company and a soloist. The choreographers got to know her work during her stint on So You Think You Can Dance in Season 4 (she got cut before the top 20) and Season 5 (that time she made it to the top 10 and went on tour). She’s also danced with Jennifer Lopez, the Glee live-on-tour crew, on Glee itself and at the Oscars.

Dancers sometimes have to fill in for each other, so everyone has to know and practice a little bit of everything all the time, Manrara says. So You Think You Can Dance was perfect training for the Burn the Floor tour, Manrara says, with its emphasis not only on the variety in dancing but on the speed with which they were expected to pick it up. Each week they had only five hours total to learn an entirely new routine and appear before millions of TV viewers.

Burn the Floor is high-energy and sexy — the epitome of a roller coaster in a show,” Manrara says. “With all these different styles, you forget that two hours have gone by. You will want to get up and dance your way out of the theater.” 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. 800 Bagby. For information, call 800-982-2787 or visit www.thehobbycenter.org. $32.75 to $79.05.
Dec. 14-19, 2010

 
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