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English National Ballet’s Strictly Gershwin tours the UK

Posted on February 15, 2011

vogel and klimentova

vogel and klimentovaEnglish National Ballet’s song and dance hit Strictly Gershwin will tour the UK this autumn, following a summer season at the Royal Albert Hall.

Created by Derek Deane in 2008 as an in-the-round spectacular, Strictly Gershwin pays homage to George Gershwin, the big band era and the glamour of movie musicals. On tour, it has been specially reworked for conventional proscenium arch theatres.

Gareth Valentine, whose conducting was a highlight in 2008, returns as musical director, arranging a host of Gershwin classics for a 50-piece jazz orchestra. Songs will include “Summertime”, “Fascinatin’ Rhythm”, “The Man I Love”, “Lady Be Good” and “’S Wonderful”. The first act ends with a tribute to the Hollywood classic An American in Paris. The second features Rhapsody in Blue, a ballet for the full company dressed in midnight blue costumes, glittering with Swarovski crystals.

The Royal Albert Hall summer season will also have guest stars, with singer Maria Friedman, ballet dancers Tamara Rojo, Friedemann Vogel and Guillaume Côté and tap dancers Douglas Mills and Paul Robinson. For details, see

Picture: Friedemann Vogel and English National Ballet’s Daria Klimentová. Photograph by Patrick Baldwin

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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