July 2, 2020

Winnipeg
19° C, Clear

Full Forecast

WEATHER ALERT

Help us deliver reliable news during this pandemic.

We are working tirelessly to bring you trusted information about COVID-19. Support our efforts by subscribing today.

No Thanks Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Dancers bring own magic to show

Dancing With The Stars alumni Tristan MacManus and Anna Trebunskaya kick up their heels with the WSO Friday.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Dancing With The Stars alumni Tristan MacManus and Anna Trebunskaya kick up their heels with the WSO Friday.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/5/2015 (1867 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Anyone who's ever glued themselves each week to such wildly popular reality television shows as So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars can attest the worldwide ballroom dance craze has never been hotter.

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra's final Pops show of the season titled Ballroom with a Twist -- no chaser -- featured a 15-member cast headlined by DWTS' Anna Trebunskaya and Tristan MacManus.

Also appearing were four dance finalists from So You Think You Can Dance: a male dancer simply known as Legacy, Jonathan Platero, Jordan Casanova and Nick Garcia.

The WSO's tireless resident conductor Julian Pellicano led the orchestra through two full sets of sambas, jives, salsa, among others, as well as several vocal numbers sung by guest vocalists Gina Glocksen-Ruzicka and Von Smith, both finalists from the hit series American Idol.

Originally conceived and choreographed by DWTS's Emmy-nominated Louis van Amstel, BWAT as a touring production has grown to become its own entity. Its current 11-city summer tour kicked off May 7 and runs through Aug. 16. Winnipeg is notably its only Canadian stop.

After a subdued orchestral introduction, the corps of five males came onstage to slink their way through The Look of Love. In fact, these testosterone-fuelled dancers were one of the show's highlights (no bias here), as they performed the Bob Fosse-inspired choreography with swaggering ease.

Then Trebunskaya and MacManus took the stage for two dances: Gershwin's I Got Rhythm -- a stylized mosh pit of waltz, quickstep and Charleston -- that earned the evening's first loud cheers. This, in turn, morphed into Singin' in the Rain that also provided one of the show's true-blue ballroom dances.

The two then ostensibly became hosts, with the Irish-born MacManus introducing the famously red-haired Trebunskaya as "Little Red Riding Hood."

Despite their, at times, awkward stage banter, they were nevertheless able to whip the already rowdy, younger crowd of 1,691 into a frenzy, cheekily promising "the hotter you get, the less clothes we wear." The Russian-born Trebunskaya also showed her renowned, adorable wit during a Q & A session, with one audience member even shouting out a marriage proposal to the lithe artist.

The high-octane show is mostly well-paced, with ballads such as Smith's blistering interpretation of Michael Bublé hit Feeling Good showing off his powerhouse vocals. Glocksen-Ruzicka also treated us to a soulful Gravity that also allowed the dancers to catch their breath -- or change into their next, eye-popping, sequin-encrusted costume.

Another highlight proved to be seeing a jaw-dropping breakdance performed by the top-knotted Legacy. His gravity-defying head spins, flips, twists and body isolations have to be seen to be believed, with his Act II solo worth the price of admission alone.

Several contemporary dances with the performers barefoot (isn't this what modern dance is in essence?) did not always allow for the emotional expression that dance is capable of. And there could easily have been less glitter, and more glamour with relatively scant actual ballroom dances -- waltz, foxtrot, and the like -- offered on the bill.

Still, the bedazzled crowd leapt to their feet at the end, clearly entertained by these polished and very slick performers.

holly.harris@shaw.ca

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

History

Updated on Saturday, May 23, 2015 at 8:04 AM CDT: Formats fact box; adds photo.

The Free Press would like to thank our readers for their patience while comments were not available on our site. We're continuing to work with our commenting software provider on issues with the platform. In the meantime, if you're not able to see comments after logging in to our site, please try refreshing the page.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us