The Spotlight: 'The Look of Love' in 'Fascinating Rhythms' at Rubicon Theatre Company
Composer Burt Bacharach wrote “The Look of Love” while watching the Swiss bombshell Ursula Andress in an early cut of the 1967 James Bond satire “Casino Royale.” Diana Krall’s silky rendition of the song inspires a mesmerizing bolero by Anya and Willem de Vries in “Fascinating Rhythms,” a dance celebration at the Rubicon Theatre Company featuring guest vocalist Melissa Manchester.
Willem: Anya and I had never danced together before this number.
Anya: Usually, ballroom dancing is about standing out among other competing couples. But here we’re alone, sharing a private moment. It’s like an affair we’re letting everyone watch.
Q: Your dress matches the style of the dance and song -- it looks almost liquid.
Anya: Typically, ballroom costumes cost a few thousand bucks -- this one cost about $10. My partner really knows how to design. One day he had me put on just underwear, then wrapped this black sparkling fabric around me and put a few stitches in. Done.
Q: The dress looks like it’s threatening to fall off at any moment.
Willem: Anya is known for her wardrobe malfunctions. If there’s a button or earring on the floor, people are like, “Anya!”
Anya: It’s true. But this dress never fails me.
Q: There’s so much emotion onstage during this song.
Anya: A dance is a conversation. What’s beautiful about Willem is that when he speaks, he’s very powerful. But he has the confidence and openness to really listen. That to me is why I’m attracted to partner dancing: to be so spontaneously present to another person.
Willem: I was in a car accident in December 2004 and was told I’d never dance again. But I’m back. And so grateful every time I’m out on the dance floor.
At the Rubicon Theatre Company through Sunday.
Photo: Anya and Willem de Vries in "Fascinating Rhythms." Credit: Jeanne Tanner.