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Darren Boyd’s ballroom-themed Little Cracker

Posted on December 13, 2012

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web-little_cracker_576-594Look out for a ballroom-themed Little Cracker this Christmas on Sky1, with choreography by Kele Baker.

Darren Boyd’s Little Cracker, one of the 12 episodes of the series, which began on December 10, is a 12-minute, silent comedy film set in the world of 1980s ballroom dancing.

LD, an unusually clumsy and introverted child, has been chosen to sing at his school’s Christmas concert. But his parents are too preoccupied with their forthcoming dancing competition, “Mr & Mrs Ballroom 1984 Championship”, to notice.

When his father finally gives LD his attention, and discovers his son’s concert is on the same night as the ballroom finals, Dad is caught between his son, his wife and her determination to win the competition.

Kele says: “Because Darren Boyd’s episode of Little Crackers is a silent film, the dance routines needed simultaneously to convey character, story and comedy.”

web-little_cracker_494_493She rehearsed with actors Darren Boyd (Dad), Doon Mackichan (Mum; pictured), Tom Meeten and Barunka O’Shaughnessy (a rival ballroom couple) – none of whom had ever danced ballroom before.

“We then rehearsed with the supporting dancers and camera team before filming all the dance sequences in one day,” says Kele. “Giving attention to all the elements that would go into the final dance scenes made the creative choreographic process very pleasurable.

“I worked in close collaboration with the director, considering the content of each shot; the entire film had been storyboarded and planned meticulously in advance.

“I also had to consider the needs and abilities of the actors – creating a competition-style choreography that was easy for them to perform, so they could focus on their performances rather than worrying about the steps.”

Darren Boyd’s Little Crackers is due to be broadcast on Sky1, Sky1 HD and Sky1 +1 on December 20, 21 and 22.

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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