Cloudland memories come to Ballina

Paul Hayman’s Not Strictly Ballroom: The Story of Cloudland comes to Ballina next month. Photo Contributed
Paul Hayman’s Not Strictly Ballroom: The Story of Cloudland comes to Ballina next month. Photo Contributed

IT WAS the greatest ballroom in the southern hemisphere, and housed everything from major ballroom competitions to music legends like Buddy Holly and The Ramones.

It was, of course, Cloudland in Brisbane, and Paul Hayman's music and dance show, Not Strictly Ballroom: The Story of Cloudland, tells the stories from the inside of the venue's walls.

Not Strictly Ballroom comes to Ballina RSL next month, and Paul Hayman said he can't wait to have a ball with the locals.

In the age when shows have been formulated around the stories of music icons such as Johnny O'Keefe and Buddy Holly, he said it's been nice to create a show about a venue that "actually housed that talent."

"It's got more stories than all of those put together," Hayman said.

"(The name) Not Strictly Ballroom is basically saying that the venue wasn't just ballroom. It's a bit of a play on words."

With Not Strictly Ballroom, they've put together a show that puts together all the music from the time Cloudland opened until it was, to the protest of many people in Queensland and beyond, demolished in 1982.

The dancers, choreographed by champion dancer Kylie Wall, take the audience on a journey through musical styles from the big band era to rock and punk, Hayman said.

"It's really fascinating,

"Because the music sort of varies and everything, I find there's usually something for everyone."

The show travels with a set designed like the interior of the Cloudland Ballroom, to transport the audience back in time.

It's not just a simple take-a-seat-and-watch show, Hayman said - the audience are welcomed, if not encouraged, to get up and dance too.

"The whole idea is to experience what it was like," he said.

Experience it, they do - most of the time the dance floor becomes packed, he said.

"I think we haven't had a show yet (where people haven't danced).

"It's pretty amazing."

Not Strictly Ballroom: The Story of Cloudland comes to the Ballina RSL on September 6. Tickets

Topics:  ballina rsl

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