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Get ready: Maks & Val (now with Peta) back on tour, at Cobb March 25

Posted Wednesday, February 7, 2018 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

"Dancing With the Stars" tries to focus on the "stars" in the title but after 13 years, it's clear many fans watch more for the real stars: the professional dancers.

Two of the most popular ones are the charmingly sexy Ukranian brothers Maksim and Val Chmerkovskiy, who have been able to leverage their TV exposure in multiple ways. That includes a successful autobiographical dance tour that came to Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in 2016 and has engendered a new one this year, stopping at Cobb again March 25.

And this time, Maks is bringing his wife and fellow "Dancing With the Stars" pro Peta Murgatroyd.

"We had no choice because we're married now," Maks said in an interview, half jokingly. "What's yours is mine." More seriously, he felt this was "a natural progression in the tour. The feeling was so positive the first tour and it stayed with us. We can't wait to get out on the road again."

The three dancers have won the mirror-ball trophy on the sturdy reality show a combined five times. (They are skipping the truncated athletes-only edition this spring.) And their combined pro dancing experience exceeds 50 years.

The tour cast includes many former students of Val and Maks. "There are no stars," Maks said, doing a humble brag. "On the stage, everyone is equal. Everyone is putting in the work. You'll be entertained. You'll be inspired."

While the original show focused on their childhood and pursuit of success, this one will be more about where they are now. Val noted that Maks has found love with a baby in tow: "I'm still in pursuit of that. My brother has set an example for me."

Maks: "We will portray real things that have happened to us. We don't need to embellish a story to make it look pretty. We'll make it look beautiful because of the dancers expressing it."

He said there will be remixes of classic songs, a lot of Latin sounds. "It's a good mix of young and old," Val said.

Maks said the show will have multi-generational appeal, with call-backs to "Fred and Ginger all the way to Michael Jackson and what's happening today."

"There's enough content that will motivate a young person," Val added. "At the same time, it will entertain the older ones. There's a little bit of sexy and plenty of wholesome."

The brothers believe the show shouldn't just be overwhelmed by flashy costumes and laser shows. "We try to bank on artistry and movement and physicality," Maks said.

Val also has a biopic book "I'll Never Change My Name" coming up next month when the tour starts. And yes, you'll be able to buy it in the lobby.

"My dad just finished it," Val said. "He texted me to say how incredibly proud he is of me and how even he didn't know how I felt about many things that happened to me. And he added that if I really meant the things I wrote about my brother, he is really proud as a father."

Maks has yet to read it but given how close they are, he isn't expecting any real surprises. "I'm humbly waiting for a signed copy," he joked.

More seriously, he said, "we literally chose the hardest way every step of the way that it got to the point difficult things are not difficult for us."

Maks said he was recently focusing on how grateful he is for what he has with his year-old son Shai and Peta. "I was looking in my garage. Two cars, three bikes, two scooters. He has already experienced so much. We are taking him on tour. I cannot wait for him to be with us. We know how to handle him. We have a good set up."


Maks, Val & Peta Live On Tour: Confidential

7:30 p.m. Thursday

$48-$81 plus fees

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta

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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.