Tribute to dance movies has rhythm, but no pulse

Tribute to dance movies has rhythm, but no pulse

SHOW: What A Feeling
DIRECTOR: Cedric Vandenschrik
VENUE: GrandWest Roxy Revue Bar until August 18

The last production I saw at the Roxy Revue Bar, ‘Elvis Rock n Roll Tribute’, has become perhaps my all time favourite tribute show. For all its flaws, and there were quite a few, it ultimately did what a tribute show is supposed to do, namely to present the material it was celebrating in triumphant fashion, better than anything else I have seen in my time as a critic. It pulsated with life and an almost off the cuff, spontaneous charm. In short, it breathed.

Now, if you are a seasoned reader of reviews, you know it’s usually not a good thing when you start out namedropping a different show to the one you are actually critiquing. ‘What A Feeling’, the latest Roxy Revue Bar show from seasoned hand Cedric Vandenschrik, couldn’t be more different to the show that preceded it in the same venue. This tribute to the music of dance movies like ‘Dirty Dancing’ and‘Flash Dance’ is kind of bland and metronomic.

Despite paying tribute to a genre known for its super highs and super lows, it has no peaks, no crescendos. It is all very even keel and it makes for a rather uninspiring evening.

Vandenschrik’s decision to go with six dancers and only two singers might have appeared sound on paper; after all, you want as many bodies moving about on stage as possible to simulate the excitement of the opulent dance numbers that were the big attraction with these pictures during those years. Unfortunately, the plan flops rather spectacularly. The singers are fine, but seeing as how they have to carry the entire show between them, they end up having to manage their vocals throughout the evening. This robs the show of any pizzazz it might have had.

The staging is also very uninspiring. Simply using three screens onto which scenes from the various movies are projected hardly qualifies as artistic expression. At least the dancing is exhilarating and dazzlingly executed and manages to raise the pulse on occasion.

Vandenschrik has delivered some wonderful shows in the past, specifically the ones in which he himself starred, but ‘What A Feeling’ is his most uninspiring effort to date.

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