Arts & Entertainment

Review: Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks

Todd McKenney and Nancy Hayes. Photo by Clare Hawley.

Well, what can I say?… Great comic script by award-winning playwright Richard Alfieri, terrific direction from seasoned Ensemble professional Sandra Bates, excellent portrayal of the eccentric characters from Nancye Hayes and Todd McKenney, and precision-perfect dancing thanks to choreographer John O’Connell.

Hayes plays Lili Harrison, a well-to-do Florida retiree who hires dance instructor Michael Minetti (McKenney) to give her private lessons at home.

Their relationship over six weeks falters as they tear strips off one another to finally arrive at the secrets each reveals to the other – he is gay, not married, and has returned to Florida from New York to look after his mother who had Alzheimers; Lily’s husband is not, in fact, alive, but has been dead for six years, and she is older than she claims.

Although their banter verges on the cruel, this take on rom-com must inevitably result in a reconciliation as the two dance their way through the tango, waltz, cha-cha and so on to reach a point of mutual compassion, understanding – and yes, love.

The Ensemble won the 2007 Helpmann Award for Best Regional Touring Production after the production appeared at the Sydney Opera House in 2006 and then toured nationally, breaking their previous box office records.

All the elements come together in this perfectly reprised two-hander. The sassy one-liners kept the audience in stiches, the pace was effortlessly maintained, the set was just the thing for Lili’s apartment with a view, and the dancing was breathtakingly good.

You must see it before it ends! (ID)

Until Mar 13, various show times. The Concourse Theatre, cnr Victoria Avenue and Anderson Street, Chatswood. $66-$73. Tickets & info: ensemble.com.au or 02 9929 0644 or theconcourse.com.au 

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