Is there anything better than a Latin dance party? If you think the answer to that is yes, let the brilliant dancers of Havana Street Party convince you otherwise - it won’t take long. These magnificent performers burst onto the stage like a blazing firework, but unlike those brief sparks, these flames stay lit for the full 50-minute show.
The energy in the room is unparalleled; within moments the audience is grooving, clapping, tapping along. We are invited to stand up, join in the dancing, even get onstage at one point, and no one holds back - this is a chance to let loose, feel a rhythm, enjoy life. The dancers throw themselves into every dance with all the exuberance they could possibly summon; every beat is hit, every emotion is felt. Salsa, rumba, street dance and ballet have equal footing here, and the transitions between genres are so slick it is barely noticeable. Forget genres and styles: this is dance.
I longed for six pairs of eyes so I could watch multiple dancers simultaneously; every one of them has such a unique and distinctive personality that the same choreography looks completely different on each of them. Stars of brilliant Cuban dance groups Los Datway, Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, Ballet Rakatan and Ballet Revolucion, these performers are all mesmerising, not just because of their unparalleled talent, but because they are all having so much fun. I cannot emphasise enough how much fun everyone had - the standing ovation was utterly unsurprising, and thoroughly deserved. If any show deserves a full house, it’s this one.
My only complaint is that it didn’t last long enough - what felt like five minutes was, in fact, almost an hour, and the show was over long before I was finished gawking at the incomparable skill and joy before me. Equal parts gritty, sexy, rough, beautiful, sensual, delicate and grimy, this is not a show you want to miss.
Havana Street Party is on at 17:30 at Underbelly, Bristo Square until August 27th. For more information, or to book tickets, visit the EdFringe website