This Friday and Saturday, Mark Siano and the Freedom Dancers return to the Triple Door with another dose of soft-rockin', jazz-handed mayhem. In advance of the shows, I asked the mastermind behind the Soft Rock Explosion some questions. Answers—including discussion of Jazzercise, dance belts, and "sparkletards"—after the jump.
How did the Soft Rock Explosion come to be?
MARK SIANO: I was working in a medical clinic and, per company policy, we could only listen to soft rock stations. I loved watching people break into song. I would start singing along, cracking some jokes, and looking for a dance
partner. I called up some friends and we put together a dance for Annex Theater's late night cabaret, Spin the Bottle. This was in February 2007. The Freedom Dancers became an act a few months later when I started producing full-length, soft rock shows.
What's the driving aesthetic of the SRE?
The visual aesthetic is '70s and '80s—Miami Vice, Xanadu, Fame. And the choreography is a blend of backgrounds. Some of the Freedom Dancers have theater backgrounds and arsenals of showy moves. One was in her high school pep squad, another studied classical Indian dance.
Who is responsible for the SRE's choreography?
We've watched a lot of Jazzercise. The Freedom Dancers and I collaborate on moves. Each piece usually has a lead choreographer, and then we all pitch in at rehearsals.
Does this show involve dance belts?
Joey and I are the only dudes dancing, and Joey is more of a thong kinda guy. In this show I'll be wearing a leotard, a unitard, and a sparkletard, so for me it's dance belt all the way.
What should newcomers expect from BACK TO THE SOFT ROCK?
A high energy entertainment juggernaut that doesn't take itself too seriously (except the moves, which are fucking tight!). We're the kind of show you can invite your co-workers to; our fan base is 50/50 men and women, all ages and all backgrounds. You can take your mom and her friends and they'll freak out.