Lyric Theatre – 7th April 2014
It is beginning!
As our regular followers will acknowledge, Dincwear has been arguing for a while that “Dance” is about to see a phenomenal rise in its popularity, with the very top dancers gaining the sort of recognition that we presently associate with footballers and pop stars etc. Last week we reviewed the performance of one such example, Savion Glover, perhaps the first modern superstar of tap dancing. This week we are reviewing the success that is “Strictly Come Dancing”. Pasha and Katya, two of the show’s professionals, plus four other top professional dancers associated with the Show (either in the UK or another Country), brought us an “Evening of Strictly” at the Lyric Theatre in London.
As it is designed to be a touring show, visiting 72 different places in the UK, the “set” was very minimal. But the Show brought the amazing “Strictly” costumes, the announcer (the excellent Mike Newman) and of course the dance routines that we expect from “Strictly”. It also added a few new features: there was a Question and Answer session with the stars, a couple of very entertaining routines by the young ladies of the local “Finch Stage School” and even a bit of audience participation, with 3 ladies being invited to dance onstage with Pasha and then ‘judged’ by the applause of the audience.
And of course, it was all performed in a first-class manner. Even though I am a devoted follower of “Strictly”, I still get my Pasadobles mixed up with my Tangos, etc., but all the routines were executed as you would expect, with precision, flair and passion. The four professional dancers who joined Pasha and Katya, (Marcella Solimeo, Ryan Hammond, James Wilson and Jasmine Takacs) were fantastic and allowed for more complex “group” routines. In fact, Dincwear has worked with the wonderful Jasmine Takacs when we launched at the “Clothes Show” in 2011. (View Jasmine with the Dincwear Dance Corps at the “Clothes Show” 2011).
I have two reflections to make on the evening. First, it was so good that I think the audience would have appreciated a couple of extra dance numbers (the performance finished at 9:45 p.m.). Maybe this is slightly unfair, but 2 nights prior to this I had watched Savion Glover tap dance frenetically for 90 minutes with only two brief pauses. And I know that the dancers are capable of this. (Jasmine Takacs danced 5/6 shows a day for 6 straight days at the “Clothes Show”, and every evening she would also go and workout for 2 hours at the Arden Hotel Gym with “Trojan” from the Gladiators!) But of course with 72 shows to perform, I guess that they are pacing themselves…..
My second and related observation is that the stars are dancing well “within themselves”. They are capable of even more complex routines. This was illustrated with Pasha’s 10 second burst of solo brilliance to Ricky Martin’s “Vida Loco” that almost caused the huge number of Pasha fans (boys and girls!) to pass out! (And throughout the whole show he doesn’t even sweat?!). Again, I appreciate the demands of such a long tour, but the fans would have loved a bit more ….
My only outright criticism is that they didn’t select to answer my question in the Q&A: If Pasha and Rachel Riley had been given just one more week, was Rachel improving so quickly that she could have won “Strictly” this year?! But it was just a wonderful evening’s entertainment and I sense, that Pasha in particular, maybe one of the first “Superstars of Dance” that we have been predicting in our regular Dincwear blogs. We will leave you with a picture of Pasha, Ryan and James relaxing in their Dincwear muscle back tops.
Pasha, Ryan and James relaxing in their Dincwear
7th April 2014 The Dincwear Team.