LONG PARTNERSHIP PAYS OFF
PERTH choreographers Peta Roby and Jason Gilkison both reach the milestone birthday of half a century this year; the same point in Elton John’s life that changed theirs forever.
It was at John’s 50th birthday party when producer Harley Medcalf was inspired to tour a commercial ballroom and latin production, and the vision for Burn the Floor was conceived.
For the last 17 years, Burn the Floor has toured the world under the direction of Roby and choreography of Gilkison, a dance partnership stretching almost a lifetime.
“We’ve known each other since we were babies and have a long family history from grandparents to parents to us,” Roby said.
“We started dancing together at the age of seven and it’s quite rare that we had the good fortune to dance our whole 35-year career together.
“It’s so nice to share the journey with that one person.”
Roby – who grew up in Morley, moved to Salter Point once married and now has a house in Italy – said the upcoming Perth season of Burn the Floor – Fire in the Ballroom at Regal Theatre was the third show in the production’s history and catered to a wider audience through its fusion of dance, vocals and live band.
“It’s a brand new show for us, so even if you’ve seen it, you haven’t seen this one; it’s a very different approach,” she said.
“This time around we’ve brought in more rock and roll.
“We have a natural following of female audiences but we’re trying to this time tap in to the male au- diences and have done a lot of that through music.
“There’s songs like Stairway to Heaven, which is an iconic piece of music pairing rock and flamenco guitar into it. We’ve taken an edge to enhance our dance side but kept the masculinity.”
Roby said the risk paid off after opening night on Queensland’s Gold Coast when many male audience members commented on how much they loved the music.
“It has energy and a flair of the- atricality with an edge of rock, sexiness and the unexpected.
“It’s a feast for the senses; whether it’s the music, the dancing or perhaps the eye candy, there’s something that everybody can take on whatever level.”
Community Newspaper Group has 10 double passes to give away to Burn the Floor – Fire in the Ballroom on March 23. Enter at www.communitynews.com.au by March 11.