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BURN THIS.

Speaking of which, the less said about "Burn the Floor" the better, unless you're the sort who enjoys being trapped inside what could just as well be an Oscar-telecast dance routine at its most pumped-up and ludicrous.

The impulse, presumably, was to tap the same dance-arena market that has made an international smash of "Lord of the Dance" and "Riverdance," except that Irish dance is here replaced by a potpourri embracing ballroom dancing, disco, Busby Berkeley and Chippendales, among others. (The "Carmen" pastiche is beneath comment.)

Global allure

Uniting 22 world champion dance couples from 16 countries, the company brings with it a built-in global allure that deserves better than director-choreographer Anthony Van Laast's joyless, sexless kitsch. (Van Laast's concurrent London credits include choreographing "Mamma Mia!" and "Whistle Down the Wind.")

On the other hand, one can hardly blame Van Laast for an evening -- seen Nov. 2 during a brief London stopover at the Royal Albert Hall-- seemingly conceived by machine, with little to offer beyond a highly drilled and utterly synthetic efficiency and a clamorous appeal to the crowd. ("Scream the roof down," we're told more than once.)

"Burn the Floor" launches an eight-city American tour March 29 at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles. By contrast, "King Lear" and "Remember This" don't look so bad.

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Title Annotation:Review
Publication:Variety
Article Type:Theater Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 8, 1999
Words:217
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