Baz Luhrmann's "Strictly Ballroom" Coming to Musical Stage

News   Baz Luhrmann's "Strictly Ballroom" Coming to Musical Stage
The 1992 film "Strictly Ballroom" is being adapted into a stage musical by partners Global Creatures and Bazmark, the multi-media company founded and owned by director Baz Luhrmann and designer Catherine Martin.

Baz Luhrmann
Baz Luhrmann

Luhrmann, who will direct, "will commence a creative workshop of the book, text, and music in December 2010 in Sydney, Australia," according to a Sept. 23 announcement. "The full production schedule and location of the premiere will be announced at a later date."

Strictly Ballroom will be produced for Global Creatures by Carmen Pavlovic and Rob Brookman. Luhrmann, who in recent years had mentioned a hope for a stage version of his glossy, sexy, dance-heavy first film, previously told that he would like the show to be presented in an unconventional venue — like a genuine ballroom. No details about this master plan were announced.

The film was co-written and directed by Luhrmann, based on a stage play he originally conceived, co-wrote and directed as a student at Sydney's National Institute of Dramatic Art.

The picture became a hit of the 1992 Cannes Film Festival, winning the Prix de le Jeunesse. Produced for less than $5 million, the film spent many weeks in the number one spot in the U.K. and Australia and earned more than $80 million.

It was nominated for a Golden Globe in the Best Picture, Comedy or Musical category and won three BAFTA awards. Luhrmann (Broadway's La Boheme) said in statement, "After years of talk about bringing Strictly Ballroom to the musical stage, I'm energized by the partnership we have made with Global Creatures, an Australian company that has made a giant impression on the world's stages over the last three years.

"'Strictly Ballroom' has always been very personal to me, the genesis drawn from my childhood experience in the world of ballroom dancing. The creative and life ideals of the story, that being that a life lived in fear is a life half lived; and creativity triumphing over creative oppression, the belief there's always more than just one way (to cha cha cha), are ideals I live and create by to this day."

Luhrmann is widely known for his films "Moulin Rouge" and "William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet."

La Boheme's Tony Award-winning designer Catherine Martin will be designing Strictly Ballroom for the stage.

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