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'Dancing With The Stars' cast in 'Sway' coming to Long Island

Maksim Chmerkovskiy puts the dancers through their steps

Maksim Chmerkovskiy puts the dancers through their steps in "Sway -- A Dance Trilogy" which comes to The Space at Westbury. Photo Credit: Dance with Me Dance Studios

The last time they took the floor together, all eyes trained on them, was for a fox-trot cha-cha fusion on live television in May. Maksim Chmerkovskiy and his celebrity partner Meryl Davis sailed around the "Dancing With the Stars" stage with an ease and energy that earned them their third perfect score that week and the season 18 title.

The winning couple takes a different kind of stage Wednesday. Davis, an Olympic champion ice dancer, makes a special appearance for the first two shows of "Sway -- A Dance Trilogy," which runs through Sunday at The Space at Westbury.

"It was so much fun getting back on the dance floor," says Davis, 27, who recently spent a few days in New York City rehearsing with Chmerkovskiy. "Getting a chance to practice and jump back in and do some of our routines was so much fun. I really have a passion for it now."

"Sway," first performed in July, was born out of the Dance With Me studios, which are part-owned by Chmerkovskiy; his younger brother, Val; their father, Aleksandr; dance pro Tony Dovolani and two other partners. One of their studios is located in Glen Head.

 

A three-part show

 

The trilogy begins with an elegant New York scene, like a black-and-white film. "Imagine yourself in a '40s nightclub and the feeling is very Fred Astaire-like," says Val. Headlined by Dovolani, the scene transforms the stage into a bar with round tables framing a dance floor against a backdrop of city lights.

"From that, it goes into Val's section," says Maks, 34. It's "very hip-hop driven and urban- influenced." This second scene intertwines movement with spoken word and video for a more contemporary twist.

Maks rounds out the trilogy with a scene that draws on Latin ballroom: mambos, salsas, Argentine tangos. His job is to conjure up a Miami nightclub before the entire cast comes together for a finale.

"They all left wanting more," says Val, 28, "wanting to see it again, wanting it to go on the road, wanting a DVD." So what began as a singular experiment the brothers now say they can envision as a future national tour or Broadway show.

The show's choreographers, Joao Tiago Fernandes and David Thomas Moore, have updated "Sway" since the summer. New cast members -- who include Peta Murgatroyd, Artem Chigvintsev, Sharna Burgess and Henry Byalikov, along with "So You Think You Can Dance" alum Jenna Johnson and Sunday's special guest Zendaya -- inspired "Sway's" creators to reimagine portions of the show.

"The first one was brilliant," says Maks. "Now the challenge is to make something brilliant even better."


WHAT "Sway -- A Dance Trilogy"

WHEN | WHERE 1 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Dec. 20 and 21, 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Dec. 19, The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave.

INFO $80-$150; 516-656-9500, dancewithmeusa.com/sway

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