Review Of All U Can Dance



Updated 04/09/2004

All U Can Dance (CLOSED)

By Chuck Rounds

"All U Can Dance" is playing in the afternoons at the Ovation Theatre inside the Desert Passage Mall at the Aladdin. On the one hand, it is a powerful dance show with enthusiastic performers that are performing in a variety of very cleaver concepts with an interesting mix of music and styles. On the other hand, it is a badly directed show that never achieves its potential and sloppily cuts and pastes meaningless acts and bits into, what could be, a tremendous show.

It is frustrating when one sees a good concept that has gone badly. "All U Can Dance" has put together a tremendous cast of dancers that perform in a large variety of styles from hip-hop to tap and do it to all types of music and mixes. Inserted into this mix is a silent performer that does nothing but take up time and ruin the pace of the show, an uninspired singer that serves to only cover costume changes, and a mediocre magician that does standard fare tricks that we’ve all seen a dozen times before.

Many of the dance sequences are choreographed to different musical mixes. There is the James Bond mix, the "I Love Lucy" mix, and several other surprising sequences that are really unique and have tremendous prospective ability to achieve greatness. Most of these sequences, however, usually fall short due to sloppy direction. The idea is there, but the execution and completion of the idea is left incompletely developed.

The best example of this is a dance to the Country music classic, "The Devil went Down to Georgia" ---one of the best models of a competition song. Now of course, the dancers set up the competition, but then they don’t do anything with it. There is no competition, and therefore the set up is flawed and the number falls flat.

In the "I Love Lucy" sequence, where’s Lucy? The person that plays Lucy shows up at the end, but why wasn’t she part of the whole piece? It didn’t make sense.

A better use of the cast would have better served the transitions in this show. Instead, there are filler performers that simply seem to take up time and serve no greater purpose to the show.

The Ovation theatre may not be the best space for this production, but this is the one they currently have, so they better start using it. There have been excuses about the stage being too small and the props being too big, etc.; but there are no problems that I can detect that couldn’t be solved with a bit more creativity. If a dance production is going to rely on the props to make it a good show, then there is something wrong. Instead of worrying about the props and the stage, they should think about fully developing their concepts.

This show wants to move into a bigger space, and I truly wish them luck. This show does have a lot of potential and could be a surprising addition to the productions in Vegas. I fear, though, that without finishing their ideas, or cleaning up the pacing and transitions; that this show could wind up being a short-term four-wall agreement.