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Burn the Floor: Rebels of Ballroom review at Underbelly, Edinburgh – ‘fancy footwork and frivolity’

Burn the Floor: Rebels of Ballroom at Underbelly, McEwan Hall, Edinburgh

Cha-cha heels and cheese abound in Burn the Floor: Rebels of Ballroom, a cheerful hour-long exhibition of glitzy costumes, snappy technique and hair pomade.

Despite the name, there’s nothing particularly rebellious about the show’s various scenarios, all of which revolve around heterosexual seduction, whether that happens to be of the sexily strutting, erotically snarling or sweet and tender variety.

An example of the latter involves an earnest Spanish-language rendition of Robbie Williams’ Angels and a woman dancing in gauzy cloth amid pink-tinged lighting. In one particularly baffling sequence, a pair of viciously libidinous female dancers seem to lure a bare-chested bloke in a pleather frock coat away from his lady-love, who swoons sadly in the corner to a turbo-tempo version of Carmina Burana.

Bewilderment aside, there’s plenty to enjoy here: a bouncy bossa nova, smiley jives and an intensely silly and slick Michael Jackson routine. The dancers exude high-octane energy and commitment throughout, often flinging themselves into complicated lifts at breakneck speed, waggling their arses with precise rhythmic timing and complete enthusiasm during pert salsa routines. Don’t expect nuance, just lots of fun, fancy footwork and frivolity topped off with dry ice and the occasionally exhausting bout of strobe lighting.


Enjoyably frivolous hour of fancy footwork, big smiles and well-known tunes


Burn the Floor: Rebels of Ballroom
Underbelly, McEwan Hall
August 1, 2018
August 27, 2018
Peta Roby
Peta Roby
Cast includes
Arduino  Bertoncello,  Megan  Wragg,  Gustavo  Viglio, Victoria  Martin, Giorgio  Iori,  Iaroslava  Sokolova, Marco  Di  Angelis,  Nancy  Xu,  Ben  Hardwick,  Jemma  Armstrong,  Alberto  Faccio,  Lauren  Oakley
Underbelly, Harley  Medcalf,  Peta  Roby,  Nic  Notley
Running time