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BURN THE FLOOR feature on TabletMagazine.com



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BURN THE FLOOR dancers Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Henry Byalikov and Sasha Farber are featured in this week’s TABLETMAGAZINE.COM. 

BURN THE FLOOR ends its Broadway run this Sun Jan 10.

“Competitive ballroom dance, the high-testosterone, low-art pastime fittingly referred to as “dancesport” by enthusiasts and regulated by a global body recognized by the International Olympic Committee, is pursued and followed in much of the world—generally, the parts with discotheques and good soccer teams. It remains relatively obscure in the United States, but that’s begun to change in the past few years thanks to dance-competition television shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. For the past several months, the bespangled cast of a live show from Australia called Burn the Floor has even been foxtrotting across a Broadway stage.

Given the international nature of dancesport, it should come as no surprise that the 20 hoofers in Burn the Floor come from nine different countries, from Sweden to the Philippines. What might be somewhat less intuitive is that three of the dancers—all young men—are the children of Jewish émigrés from the Soviet Union. But in fact, this may be less an anomaly than an illustration of a larger trend. As The New York Times reported in 2003, the nascent popularity of ballroom dance in the United States is largely due to an influx of professionally trained dancers from the former USSR who run and attend a significant percentage of the ballroom dance studios here in America. Carrying over a practice from the old country, many Russian-born parents send their children to ballroom dance classes from a young age. This, the Times noted, is especially true among Soviet Jews, for whom ballroom dance was, back in Russia, a common strategy of acquiring ‘culturedness.’”
Read the entire article here: http://www.tabletmag.com/arts-and-culture/theater-and-dance/23250/dancing-with-the-tsars/

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