From Broadway to Ballroom is a marvellous melding of ballroom dancing, beautiful songs and gorgeous costumes, all on one stage!
The cast consists of opera performers Liza Beamish and Lachlan Baker, and 2015 World Dance Council Champions Rhett and Emma Salmon, who’ll sing and dance to numbers from Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables and My Fair Lady – and many more! Rhett and Emma spare a few minutes to explain why this is one show we shouldn’t miss!
When/how did you become interested in dancing, and where was the majority of your training completed?
Rhett: I grew up in a dancing family, so it was natural for me to start quite early. I think I was eight when I decided to join the kids’ ballroom dance class.
The majority of my early dance years were completed there in my family’s dance studio in Tweed Heads, but I also lived, competed and trained in London for two years.
Emma: I was 12 when I joined my first dance class; it was at a Jazz, Ballet and Tap school, and I fell in love with dance. It led me to study dance full-time in Brisbane at the Australian Dance Performance Institute. I also spent 18 months living and dancing at the Moulin Rouge in Paris.
How did you become involved with the production From Broadway to Ballroom?
Rhett: Liza Beamish and Lachlan Baker are amazing singers. I was fortunate to have danced at one of their shows early in my dance career, and the glamour of ballroom dancing just worked so well with their beautiful songs, that we have been working together ever since.
The repertoire for the show is quite broad. What are some of the standout pieces you most like to dance to and why?
Rhett: For me it is the very dramatic Paso Doble number I am I, Don Quixote, where I open with a red cape and matador’s jacket.
Emma: My favourite moment would have to be dancing our slow Waltz to a mesmerising tune in full ball gown and tails.
What has been the most rewarding – and conversely – the most challenging part for you being involved with this production?
Emma: The most rewarding part is the whole process of creating these show-piece dances to beautiful songs and then feeling them come to life as we perform them on stage.
Rhett: The challenge for us is always the costume changes. Emma has a different ball gown for every number and for myself, getting in and out of a full tail suit (cufflinks, cummerbund, tie, braces dance shoes and all) before the next number begins!
The wardrobe choices for the show are gorgeous! What can you tell us about the various costumes you wear?
Emma: How lucky am I! It’s a little girl’s dream to be wearing all of these stunning ball gowns. We are so fortunate to have Rhett’s father as our dressmaker! The hours of work he puts in and the amount of diamontes and fabric that goes into these dresses are unbelievable.
Rhett: I’m, puttin’ on my top hat, tying up my white tie, dancing in my tails!
Why would you encourage readers to come along and see the show?
Rhett: This is the feel good trip down memory lane with classic sing-a-long songs – a night to remember.
Emma: When Liza and Lachlan sing together, it’s captivating. No matter how many times we do the show, Rhett and I still find ourselves standing side of stage mesmerised by their songs, when we should be getting ready for our next dance number! It’s a show not to miss!
What familiarity do you have with the Mid North Coast of NSW and Port Macquarie in particular?
Emma: It will be our first time to Port Macquarie, and we are very excited! We are bringing our girls, Scarlett (2) and Violet (3 months old) along with us, so we can enjoy Port Macquarie together as a family after the show.
Thanks Rhett and Emma.
Interview: Jo Robinson.
See From Broadway to Ballroom at the Glasshouse on November 17 at 7:30pm.
Tickets: adult $59.90, Conc./Group 6+ $54.90, under 25 $34.90.
Visit glasshouse.org.au for tickets and details.