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Medcalf to bring ‘Burn The Floor’ to Newcastle

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His little black book once included big names like Barry Humphries, Steve Waugh, and Meatloaf. 

His resume boasts a 50-year career that includes job titles like ‘entertainment and concert promoter’, ‘theatre producer’ and ‘manager’. 

His love of the industry can be traced back to local town halls throughout Australia where in the early 70s he worked with the likes of Billy Thorpe, Max Merrtt, Sherbet and Hush. 

Harley Medcalf went on to be trusted as a concert producer for names like Elton John, Billy Connolly, Queen, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Michael Crawford, Rod Stewart, New Kids on the Block, and Boyz to Men. 

Yet his most revered job title was as manager and lead producer for the late Barry Humphries, a role he held for more than 20 years. 

Newcastle Civic Theatre
Burn the Floor is celebrating 25 years in 2023.

After decades producing shows on Broadway, the West End and more than 30 countries, Medcalf has since created a dance company called ‘Burn the Floor’, and it’s coming to Newcastle.

The Ballroom and Latin dance company, which has performed in more than 180 cities around the world, will soon celebrate its 25th year with a tour of Australia – including Newcastle’s Civic Theatre. 

The show will be produced in collaboration with First Nations performer and star Mitch Tambo.  

It is expected to be an inspirational dance journey embracing First Nations Culture and Music, fuelled with Australian rock classics, from INXS to Midnight Oil, and driven with the energy and passion of 20 dancers, vocalists, and musicians. 

While rising star Mitch Tambo iinfuses contemporary beats and Gamilaraay language, with storytelling, Burn The Floor will bring a melting pot of dance styles to the performance. 

It comes off the back of the success of Burn The Floor over the past 25 years, including a seven-month season on Broadway, two seasons on the West End, tours through 30 counties and more than 150 cities, cruise-ships, Japan, Korea and London’s Royal Albert Hall. 

Newcastle Civic Theatre
Burn the Floor is coming to Newcastle’s Civic Theatre August 6.

Five minutes with Harley Medcalf:

What are your memories of Newcastle?

I first worked in Newcastle in 1972 so I have watched the city grow and blossom. In fact the first show I ever did in Newcastle was Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs at the University Hall in that year.   I have always loved working at the Civic Theatre, it has so much history.   However, I must say, the first really major change I saw in entertainment in Newcastle was the opening of the Newcastle Entertainment Centre in 1992.  It put the city on the map for major artists, bringing the capacity to attract large audiences.  

What makes Burn The Floor so unique?

Burn the Floor has become a strong family of 100 dancers, musicians, vocalists and crew.  Not one day goes by without at least three Burn the Floor performances happening somewhere in the world.  The company has developed a unique culture of hard work, commitment, with a passion for dance that is unrivalled,  and every show is derived with 100% precision. The fact that we have crossed so many boundaries and been accepted and successful in so many different cities and cultures,  in Beijing, Tokyo, London to New York, Johannesburg to Helsinki or Dubai is simply quite extra-ordinary.

You must have a passion for dance – what is your favourite style of dance and why?

It is quite funny that I own a dance company yet I have two left feet.  I love the Rhumba most of all, for its sensuality, the romantic connection between the Dancers and its rhythm.

You have worked with so many big names over the years! Who was your favourite and why?

It’s impossible to choose one artist!  I love Billy Connolly as he is, simply the most beautiful man.  I loved Meat Loaf as his energy and passion for life and “hugs” that changed the world.  And I can’t go past Suzi Quatro for her work ethic, talent and devotion to her audience.  In saying this I cannot separate Freddy Mercury and Queen.

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