An influx of touring dance performances has recently come to the Cairo Opera House, enlarging the pool of attendees to include non-opera goers and fans of classics and musicals. The most recent of these phenomena is Show Dance, an exciting two-act performance at the Opera House from Monday, January 3rd until Sunday, January 9th.

Show Dance is an energetic, fast-paced dance performance choreographed by former French dance champions Marc Barbieri and his wife Agnes Morin, who lead the dance troupe with a charismatic stage presence.

Although Show Dance includes a number of former dance champions, the show itself lacks an overall conceptual cohesion. The program includes songs by Michael Jackson, Edit Piaf and Gotan Project as well as Celine Dion, Nina Simone and Tina Turner, in addition to the soundtracks of Moulin Rouge and the Matrix.

Highlights of the show include the couple performance of ‘Your Song’ from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, which was delivered with figure skater grace and agility, and the group jazz performance of ‘Sing, Sing, Sing,’ which was one of the few times that both the theatre and dancers came to life.

Transitions between performances were seamless and costume changes were intelligently worked into the choreography at times. A projector screen acted as the set of the performance, allowing for quick shifts of locale and atmospheres: whereas some of these experiments enhanced the mood, others detracted from the dancers and their performances.

While some of the musical selections were adventurous, the quick transitions revealed the dancers’ varying levels of mastery and the heavy reliance on Latin dance styles. Couple performances allowed the dancers to display their skills more than group performances due to their lack of synchronisation as a group.

Sound and light – essential components in creating the spectacular in the world of music and dance – could have been better utilised for this type of show. With few exceptions, the light design was very basic and would have benefited from a more intricate approach. All-around sound would have created an atmospheric mood and perhaps help the audience move more in their seats.

Nonetheless, this is a performance worth checking out, even if only for the few memorable highlights.