Hollywood director Baz Luhrmann launched his Strictly Ballroom musical by staging a huge dance event in Sydney, Australia on Sunday (23Feb14).

The moviemaker has turned his dance film into a stage show in his native Australia and he marked the project's launch by overseeing a specially choreographed event in front of the Sydney Opera House.

Hundreds of professional dancers and members of the public joined together to learn a routine, with Luhrmann shouting instructions using a megaphone.

The total number of dancers numbered 1,200 and reports suggest the event broke a record for the highest number of people dancing the samba.

Luhrmann says of the event, "Most people know Strictly Ballroom as a movie but it began as a piece of theatre and now it is an all-singing, all-dancing, live, stage musical. But it is more than that. As a show it reaches out not only to the audience but also to the community to become involved. That's what dancing does. It allows everybody to participate so it seemed like a fun and a fitting idea for us all to meet on the forecourt of the Opera House and create a scene together from Strictly Ballroom."

Strictly Ballroom The Musical opens in Sydney on 25 March (14).