"The Floor Show" takes place Wednesday, March 11 and Thursday, March 12, 2015 at El Rey Theatre. (Floor Productions)
Acclaimed actor Owen Wilson has seen it, and so has Eva Longoria. On top of that, legendary Mexican singer, songwriter, and producer Marco Antonio Solís and the one-and-only Sting have also been present as part of the audience.
Yes, that’s the kind of buzz “The Floor Show” is managing of late for its peculiar improvisation and distinctive style of entertaining the public. Over the years, the show’s grown substantially.
“It’s the nature of life…in any field and any aspect as a musician, producer, or dancer,” co-founder Carolina Cerisola says. “This will be the 7th year we’re doing this, and every year we’ve learned new things, discovered new artists, met new people…so it’s as though the more we do this the more artists we can expect to reach. Also after so many years, we’ve learned from our mistakes as well. There are always issues that come up and we do our best to learn from them moving forward.”
In past times, the King King in Hollywood hosted Floor Productions‘ performances and now this vivid production, “The Floor Show,” is coming to the El Rey Theatre for 2 shows: Wednesday, March 11th and Thursday, March 12th. Tickets are available.
“Tickets range from $46 for general admission to $106 for more exclusive access,” co-founder Sascha Escandon says. “We also have $81 tickets for tables around the stage. A dollar from every admission will go to our non-profit organization called The Open Floor Society.”
But this time around, the ever-trendy Goldenvoice is involved in promoting the event. This is the first time Floor Productions and Goldenvoice work together, but the idea started some time ago when Goldenvoice’s Director of Latin Talent, Hans Schafer, first saw the show.
“We’ve been friends with Hans for many years, and he was there when we started out with ‘The Floor Improv Night.’ He’s been around and seen how the show has grown over time. He really got to know our brand and the type of show we do, and he recognized that there really isn’t another show like it in L.A.,” Escandon says. “He always believed in what we were doing, and the mission behind what we have been creating. He was a witness to everything from the beginning. When he got together with Goldenvoice, he had an idea to bring the show to the El Rey, and talks began about 2 years ago to do this. Now, here we are.”
“The Floor Improv Night” is a monthly show.
Schafer says, “It’s magic in its own way, and I just felt that it was time for them to take the next step and with Goldenvoice, we could make that dream a reality. It was as much for Carolina and Sascha as for the musicians and dancers.”
This time around, “The Floor Show” (an annual production) is again slated to group the best of L.A.’s musicians and dancers in an original piece – good for just anyone. It’ll feature 45 performers, 19 genres and 8 musicians.
“The show is always different every year. Sometimes artists change or are not available. Also the show itself is very fluid. The cast and sets aren’t always the same. This year we have a contemporary dance troupe available, so they’ll be included in the show. Sometimes we make new partners who have ideas we like and incorporate those as well,” Cerisola says. “This year, we’ll be bringing back artists from years past, as well as presenting new ones. For us, it is a great benefit that the show is not the same year after year. We don’t have the show depend on performers. If anyone we want isn’t available for whatever reason, we just see that as an opportunity to involve other artists and add a different dynamic.”
To the surprise of no one, Schafer’s been a true fan of Floor Productions.
“I’ve always been a big supporter of Carolina and Sascha,” he acknowledges. “I would go watch them dance before any of this took real form. From there, they structured it a bit more, and the energy and performance really blew me away. I went to a couple of shows the same year, and they weren’t even alike. It changes, and there was a certain level of creative freedom within the sets. Sometimes mistakes would happen, but those mistakes would just create more energy. But yes, I did start out as a really big fan of this concept that they put together.”
Cerisola and Escandon, both avid professional dancers, are not only the founders, but also serve as producers and directors. That’s quite the task; nonetheless, these fine ladies carry lots of experience.
The Argentina-born Cerisola, whom sports a charming accent when speaking Spanish, toured with Venezuelan singer José Luis Rodríguez “El Puma” at one point and then as an International Salsa Dancer. She’s worked with Sting, Daniel Lanois, Justin Timberlake, Prince, and Heath Ledger, among others.
Escandon, a native of L.A., trained with the Joffrey Ballet and her solid work led to her collaborating with Marguerite Derricks, amongst other prolific choreographers. She holds a B.S. in Animation from Woodbury University.
When asked if he would describe the show as eclectic, Schafer didn’t shy away from answering.
“I don’t know if I could do it in one word,” he quickly remarks. “For me, it really embodies a form of entertainment in its own class. It’s equally provoking as it is pleasing, and the dynamic between the performers and the audience is more than a cabaret. Eclectic would not suffice.”
Believe it or not, Schafer’s envisioning the show becoming a hit outside of L.A.
“This is something I can see eventually going to [Las] Vegas,” he confesses. “That’s the kind of vision I have for this because it really is different from any other show in L.A. It’s not one show. You see 12-13 different styles just mixing together. In what form, I’m not sure, but I’m sure the girls will share the vision and want it to grow. Eventually this can become a touring concept.”