Fasten your seat belts, it’s a whirlwind tour of the world where the only luggage you need is your imagination. Checking in at the Factory Theatre in Sydney last month was an all-star cast behind Worlds in Motion, a song-and-dance extravaganza that promised to take the audience around-the-world through dance – and did leave me feeling like my passport was stamped several times!
If I list all the dance genres they showcased – Polynesian, Indian, French, African, Caribbean and Latin American – it would be understating what co-producers Tamara Vahn and Sashya Jayawardena (and the entire crew) pulled off in one night – two hours, to be exact. From the feet stomping in a Bollywood routine, to skirts rustling in the African dance, and to the juk and wine during the Soca and Reggaeton sets – the audience were in for a night of high-energy.
What was also great about the show was that it was consistent. The Bollywood dance segment was just as fierce as the Brazilian dance routine. The dancers were just as relentless one minute as they are in the next. And all the costumes were fabulous: from the Cabaret wear (tight bustiers, lace stockings) to the Brazilian Carnaval (see picture), the show was an explosion of colours.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the heart palpitations caused by said sexy outfits. The Moulin Rouge segment alone must have sent pulses running wild among the male audience. Not that the female audience was short-changed. There were certainly no complaints when some of the male dancers – not gratuitously, mind – performed in tight and topless costumes.
From the boom, boom, boom of Mory Traore’s West African-influenced routine, to the shake, shake, shake of Leo Successo’s Brazilian Samba-Axe, each and everyone of the dancers were on top of their game, delighting the crowd with their pow, pow, pow hip (read: booty) shaking and leg kicking.
The audience participated too, wiggling their wiggly bits, including a little girl (Sashya’s niece) who stole everyone’s hearts when she copied Leo’s dance steps to a tee. That’s if those same hearts weren’t smitten by one gorgeous guy plucked from the crowd to dance alongside 20 others on stage.
As a surprise treat, there was a free mini-flag for all to wave as they would at a Caribbean Carnival and the song “Show your Heritage” crackled through the speakers.
It was a night of dance, live percussion (impressive!) and a night of song. Co-host Miriam Waks wowed the audience with a set list that reflected the dance styles on stage. She comfortably switched from French chanteuse to dancehall artist on cue. Her co-host Daniel Doody was the event’s promised “dash of humour”. His on-stage antics and attempt at being multi-lingual had the crowd laughing out loud.
For a dance fanatic like me, two hours passed as if they were two seconds. The night was a celebration of diversity and spirituality expressed through body movement. Different beats, different rhythms and different sounds. An eye-opening journey without the hassle of delayed flights, lost baggage and a snoring passenger next to you.
Dancers from Worlds in Motion will be performing at the Sydney World Masters Games next month.
Review by Michelle Baltazar