My work as a writer and dance/theatre reviewer

NEWS: English National Ballet to return to Milton Keynes Theatre with ‘Strictly Gershwin’ – November 2011

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English National Ballet’s dance show is guaranteed to get your toes tapping and your spirits soaring!

Billed as a dazzling homage to American composer George Gershwin, the big band era and the glamour of musical motion pictures, Strictly Gershwin is coming to Milton Keynes Theatre.

The piece was premiered in 2008 at the Royal Albert Hall as part of English National Ballet’s hugely popular and successful series of in-the-round ballet presentations.

Now, this month, the full company of 67 dancers and a live jazz orchestra are bringing a proscenium arch version of the show to the new city.



Gershwin’s timeless classics – which have featured in numerous films and on television – are combined with Derek Deane’s choreography and Roberta Guidi di Bagno’s designs to conjure up pure Hollywood magic. The glitz, glamour and razzmatazz of Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers is channelled as the company takes the audience on a dance journey from ballet to tap, ballroom to jazz, before a breathtaking finale.

Act I culminates in a re-creation of the Hollywood classic An American in Paris and Act II opens with Rhapsody in Blue, a spectacular ballet with the full company dressed in glittering, Swarovski crystal encrusted midnight blue costumes.

The show boasts an impressive selection of Gershwin favourites, including ‘Summertime’, ‘Fascinatin’ Rhythm’, ‘The Man I Love’, ‘Lady be Good’, ‘S Wonderful’ and ‘Strike up the Band’.

The music is arranged for the 50-piece jazz orchestra by accomplished musical director Gareth Valentine. Gareth’s previous work includes West End shows such as ‘Porgy and Bess’ (a Gershwin opera), ‘Sinatra’ and ‘Wicked’.

English National Ballet’s star dancers – including the much-celebrated Daria Klimentová and Vadim Muntagirov – perform sparkling choreography fit for the silver screen in this glittering production.

Promising much more than just ballet, Strictly Gershwin will see the dancers tap, twirl, jeté and glide their way through a host of big band classics. This show is sure to be an evening of sparkling entertainment.


> English National Ballet will perform Strictly Gershwin at Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday 15th to Saturday 19th November. Tickets are £10-£43. Visit to book.*





Written by Georgina Butler

November 4, 2011 at 6:00 pm

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