Ballroom with a Twist ups the “cool factor” for performing arts

Backed by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO), music and dance lovers gathered at the Jack Singer Concert Hall on Jan. 11 and 12 for the sold out “Ballroom with a Twist” production, featuring So You Think You Can DanceDancing with the Stars, and American Idol performers.

The production is choreographed by ABC TV’s Emmy Nominated Louis van Amstel, and is part of the CPO’s POPS Series.

Heather Slater, artistic director of the CPO, says these types of reality shows have upped the ante for the performing arts.

“It became cool,” said Slater. “And I think it all goes back to the vocal talent shows – suddenly it became a mass market idea to get up and sing in front of people, and the dance shows followed.”

Attracting a younger audience to see live orchestra is another bonus.

“Now, there’s a very loyal audience for this kind of concert. It’ really done wonders for the performing arts.”

Slater said those who haven’t experienced a live orchestra will likely be surprised by what it adds to the experience.

“There’s nothing like live music,” said Slater. “We see these shows, and we hear dancers perform on recorded backing tracks all the time. You really have to experience it with live music to get the full impact.”

In the Calgary production, fans reunited with Anna Trebunskaya and Jonathan Roberts from Dancing With The Stars, Gina Glocksen and David Hernandez from American Idol, and “Legacy”and Randi Lynn Strong from So You Think You Can Dance.

Watch a preview for Ballroom with a Twist 2012 to learn more about the production.

About Casey Knoll 8 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Casey Knoll worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2012-2013 academic year.