Review: Broadway goes Latin

Cultural Dance Explosion

5 stars

Cultural Explosion, Broadway goes Latin, Pike Performing Arts Center, Feb. 26.

Exuding energy, glitz, elegance, humor and 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”


Presented by IntoSalsa Dance Company

with Cultural Explosion [and Chicago Latin Street Dance Company

dancers. 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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