English National Ballet’s Strictly Gershwin will be visiting the Liverpool Empire this autumn after an acclaimed run at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The show premiered in 2008 and continues a successful series of in-the-round ballet presentations. This year, the company is creating a proscenium arch version to tour to audiences outside London.
Strictly Gershwin is described as “a dazzling homage” to George Gershwin, the big band era and the glamour of musical motion pictures. The composer’s timeless classics are combined with Derek Deane’s choreography and Roberta Guidi di Bagno’s designs to conjure up the Hollywood glamour of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The show is a dance journey through ballet, tap, and ballroom. Act I ends with a re-creation of the Hollywood classic An American in Paris, and Act II opens with Rhapsody in Blue, with the full company dressed in glittering Swarovski encrusted midnight blue costumes.
Unsurprisingly, it features a host of Gershwin favourites including Summertime, Fascinatin’ Rhythm, The Man I Love, Lady be Good, ’S Wonderful, and Strike up the Band, all performed by English National Ballet’s star dancers including the celebrated Daria Klimentová and Vadim Muntagirov, Elena Glurdjidze, Arionel Vargas, Dmitri Gruzdyev, Erina Takahashi, Fernanda Oliveira and Begoña Cao.
The music is arranged for a 50-piece jazz orchestra by musical director, Gareth Valentine, whose previous work includes West End shows such as Porgy and Bess, Sinatra and Wicked.
Strictly Gershwin runs from November 1 – 5. Tickets are available from Liverpool Empire box office, by calling 0844 871 3017 or online at www.liverpoolempire.org.uk.