Ballroom With a Twist
One of Dancing With the Stars' professional dancers, Louis Van Amstel, stages his own show after an illustrious 20-year career as a performer and competitive dancer. His fluidly staged, marvelously high-caliber entertainment (with a couple of also-ran American Idol singers, Gina Glocksen and David Hernandez, thrown into the mix), moves seamlessly from fast numbers to slow ballads, from dance to song and back again. Athletic bodies draped with Randall Designs' gorgeous costumes cavort through Van Amstel's well-orchestrated spectacle, which also celebrates diversity with its casting of various races and body shapes. Van Amstel hosts the evening, assisted by hilarious comedian Niecy Nash (his partner from the most recent season of DWTS). She brings welcome humor when not tearing up the dance floor. The costumes are figure-hugging sexy, flowing and dazzling (with rhinestones) as well as casual and relaxed for some of the modern dance numbers. Van Amstel's exceptional choreography feels liberated from the constraints and repetition of competitive ballroom regulations. Salsa, paso doble, jitterbug, quick-step, waltz and Argentine tango Van Amstel name-checks every dance style while employing everything from slow ballad duets to clubby dance mixes of classic and contemporary tunes something for everyone. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; perfs Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Feb. 13. (818) 508-0281 or elportaltheatre.com.
Wednesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 3 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Jan. 20. Continues through Feb. 13, 2011
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