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Rita Kohn
Performance Reviews
Pike Performing Arts Center
United States
Indianapolis, IN

Broadway Goes Latin

by Rita Kohn
February 26, 2011
Pike Performing Arts Center
6701 Zionsville Road
Indianapolis, IN 46268
(317) 216-5455
5 stars
Presented by IntoSalsa Dance Company with Cultural Explosion [and Chicago Latin Street Dance Company dancers], Pike Performing Arts Center, Feb. 26

This review was originally published in NUVO Newsweekly, Indianapolis, IN.

Rita Kohn is a member of the Board of the Dance Critics Association.
Exuding energy, glitz, elegance, humor, pure pleasure, this is the kind of program to bring non-believers to embrace dance. Choreographers/dancers /teachers Juan Calderon and Christina Piedra founded New Jersey-based Cultural Explosion 15 years ago to teach salsa. Five years ago they started a touring company to show what selected Hollywood and Broadway musicals would be like if they incorporated Latin dancing including salsa, mambo, flamenco, merengue, bolero, Latin hustle, Latin jazz, cha-cha-cha and rueda. The standout was the modern and contemporary bolero choreography and dancing by Bellasmin Aquine and Ivan Taylor set on "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" as a tribute to Lion King. Smart choreography, electrifying footwork, on-the mark lighting and costumes, and a merger of three Latin dance companies filled the stage with production number "tributes" to West Side Story, Lion King, Saturday Night Fever, Sound of Music (yes, "My Favorite Things" to a Mambo beat), Sweet Charity, Singing in the Rain (softshoe up scaled to salsa footwork and Afro-Cuban), Chicago (upping the sizzle for "All That Jazz") and Grease [7-man cha-cha-cha footwork and macho exuberance brought a roar from the already "into it" audience). Bravo to IntoSalsa's Erin Lamb and Yang Xiao for bringing Cultural Explosion to Indianapolis and reaching out to other Midwest salsa companies.
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