Culture Street

Theatre

Kirby Burgess on starring in Dirty Dancing

On December 9, 2014

By Sophia Whitfield

Kirby Burgess is the true definition of a triple threat. A recipient of the prestigious ASCAP Broadway Musical Theatre Scholarship (New York) and a graduate of the Urban Dance Centre full time Performing Arts course, Kirby has trained and performed with some of the industry’s best talent.

Burgess is currently in Sydney performing as Baby in Dirty Dancing, a role made for her. When not on stage she is busy trying to catch up with family between performances.

Often cast as the bad girl, Burgess was performing the part of Rizzo in Grease when she flew from Perth to Sydney to audition for the role of Baby. Having danced her way through a number of roles including a spot on the big screen in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, Burgess has secured a reputation for herself as an outstanding dancer.

Her dramatic ability recently shined when she took on the leading role in LOVEBiTES at the Hayes Theatre. Barely drawing breath she headed straight into rehearsals for Dirty Dancing. She admits she is keen to make the most of her recent success and will be touring with Dirty Dancing next year.

Burgess confides that there is nothing quite like theatre, it gives instant satisfaction and reward in the applause. She admits she does love the intimacy of film and TV but could never leave behind the theatre, her first love.

Taking on the role of Baby presented a challenge for Burgess. Baby’s naivety and innocence is a change for her. Every night she has to get inside the head of a 17-year-old in the 60s, not quite the same as a 17-year-old today. Dirty Dancing features hit songs including Hungry Eyes, Hey! Baby, Do You Love Me? and the iconic (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life. It remains one of the most popular musicals of all time.

Burgess seems thrilled with her new role and is looking forward to going on tour next year.

Dirty Dancing is currently playing at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.

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