Pops unites song, dance, sisters

TSO 'Ballroom' show to twist things up with modern moves
2013-01-24T00:00:00Z Pops unites song, dance, sistersCathalena E. Burch Cburch@azstarnet.com Arizona Daily Star
January 24, 2013 12:00 am  • 

When sisters Pia and Kimberly Toscano get together this weekend, it will be like a goofy teen girls' slumber party.

They'll eat "healthy" junk food, tell corny jokes and laugh - a lot.

They'll spend some quiet catching-up moments sitting around the backyard fire pit.

They'll also share the Tucson Music Hall stage.

Kimberly is the Tucson Symphony Orchestra's principal timpanist.

Her baby sister is a former "American Idol" finalist who will join other "Idol" alumni and "Dancing With the Stars" cast members for "Ballroom With a Twist," a show that marries song and dance.

"It's really cool because even though it's called 'Ballroom With a Twist' … it's not just ballroom dancing. You have some hip-hop and contemporary, some break-dancing and some great singing, too. It's really like a variety show," said longtime "Dancing With the Stars" dancer Anna Trebunskaya, 32, who has been doing the "Ballroom" show for three years.

"The energy of the singers, energy of the musicians and the energy of the dancers - all together we are able to create something really special," she said.

For the Toscano sisters, the chance to perform together has been a lifetime in the making.

"I'm so excited. It's something that Kim and I have always talked about," said Pia, who came in ninth in the 2011 "Idol" season. "That was the one disappointment of me not making it further on 'American Idol' because had I been on the show longer we would have definitely gotten Kim to perform with me. I think that would have been great. But now we have the opportunity to do it."

"The last time we collaborated I think she was about 7 years old and we were in my room and I was playing guitar and I was teaching her to harmonize to 'Eleanor Rigby'," recalled Kimberly, who is eight years older than her 24-year-old sister. "I was yelling at her that she was singing the harmonies wrong at 7 years old. That was the only memorable collaboration."

There also was Kimberly's "five seconds of glory" playing Latin percussion during an impromptu guest appearance with Pia's former wedding band a few summers ago, she added.

"We've never really been in the same place at the same time for quite a while," said Kimberly, who has lived in Tucson since joining the TSO in the 2007-08 season.

"I'm so excited. It's something that Kim and I have always talked about. I've been dying to perform with the (TSO). I think they are phenomenal and I think the world of my sister," added Pia, who said she is working on a record label deal and her debut album.

"I will finally have an opportunity to perform with my sister. She has been my role model growing up. Everyone says 'Who's your musical inspiration?' and I always say my sister. She taught me incredible work ethic."

Kimberly said the sisters, originally from New York City, will likely hit Maynards Market & Kitchen over the weekend - "It's her favorite (Tucson) restaurant," she said - and drive around looking at the desert.

"(Tucson) is so beautiful. I would love to move there but it would have to be when everything in my career is set," added Pia, who lives in Los Angeles.

Pia admitted she's a little nervous performing on her big sister's turf.

"I'm definitely very nervous, but with Kimmy I'm just more excited about it. I guess there's a little bit more pressure because I'm her sister, so I want to be perfect for her because I know she would have to hear about it," she said with a laugh. "But I can't wait. It's going to be a great moment. I wish our parents could come out and see it."

"It's going to be a really percussive concert," added Kimberly. "I'm playing percussion and timpani, which is going to be exciting for me. We (TSO) have never done anything like this in my memory and I think it's going to be a really terrific high-energy, non-stop, groove-oriented show."

If you go

• What: Tucson Symphony Orchestra's "Ballroom With a Twist," which features former "American Idol" finalists Gina Glocksen, David Hernandez, Von Smith and Pia Toscano. Also, "Dancing With the Stars" dancers Anna Trebunskaya and Jonathan Roberts.

• When: 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

• Where: Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave.

• Tickets: $26 to $69 at tucsonsymphony.org or by calling 882-8585.

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