Today’s cruise passengers are spoilt for choice when it comes to entertainment on board ships.
There was a time when a comedian, a pianist, and a singer – who could belt out the blues as well as the latest hits – were the sole entertainers on a cruise ship.
Such a dearth of performers would not make the cut these days when Broadway style productions are the nightly fare in cruise ship theatres.
The productions have eye-popping sets and visual effects, as well as a large cast of singers, dancers and special entertainers filling the stage.
Versions of popular musicals such as Cats, Mama Mia, and Priscilla Queen of the Desert, have all found their way on to cruise ships where they are a free part of the onboard entertainment.
One cruise line with a big reputation for entertainment at sea is Norwegian Cruise Line that recently added the high voltage ballroom extravaganza Burn the Floor to its repertoire. The show, which sets the stage on fire with swivelling hips and steamy embraces, is already on Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway, and Norwegian Epic, and will be the star turn when Norwegian Jewel sails into Australian waters in November.
A new version of Burn the Floor with a distinctive Aussie flavour is being created for the Australian market by choreographers, Jason Gilkison and Peta Roby, who both hail from Perth in Western Australia.
This duo started out as junior ballroom dancing partners and went on to win World Ballroom Championship titles before joining the first cast of Burn the Floor two decades ago.
Since then the company has travelled the world, performing in more than 300 cities in over 29 countries, including seasons on New York’s Broadway and London’s West End.
More recently Burn the Floor has been to China, and to Japan where the dancers were given the sort of reception normally reserved for rock stars.
By coincidence, choreographer Peta Roby met her husband Nic Notley more than 30 years ago on a cruise, and he is now Burn the Floor’s executive producer.