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Chris High reviews: Simply Ballroom 2006

Lionel Blair Hosts Simply Ballroom

Danny Last, Jodie Binsteed, Bruce Lait, Crystal Main, Ben Hardwick,
Emma Slater, Patrick Helm, Sharna Burgess, Gary Wright, Victoria Burke, Innis Robertson, Jade Main, James Wilson, Stephanie Powell, Andrew Lane, Faye Huddleston, Simon Coulthard, Kate Galston
Choreography: Anton Du Beke & Erin Boag
Director: Alan Harding
Liverpool Empire Theatre
Monday March 6th, 2006

Simply Ballroom hosted by Lionel Blair: promotional image

SIMPLY BALLROOM

Images of mums and dads tripping the light fantastic and having a good gossip over a cup of tea and a slice of cake were dispelled as soon as the first chords of music filled the auditorium. With a breath taking agility, twenty dancers filled the vast stage and did not stop moving from then on.

Hosted by the ageless Lionel Blair, who demonstrated wonderfully that he still has the moves and an innate ability to entertain, this was a show filled with surprises as the lighting and overall drama of dance was put on show.

Danny Last and Jodie Binsteed, both native to Liverpool, were runners up in last year's Simply Dance Fever TV programme and showed just how talented they were as they danced the Malonga, which included an intricate in motion flip-over step that had the audience gasping.

The talent on show was unbelievable and the stage boasted 4 world champions 2 world champions and the winners of the Berlin Dance festival, with the youngest couple being just 19 and 17. A fact commented upon by Lionel Blair "I've got tap shoes older than these two," he said.

Also, it should not be forgotten that with dance there is generally song and this was provided by Simon Coulthard and Kate Galston superbly, as they too strutted their stuff for the appreciative audience.

Highlights of the evening, though, were Lionel Blair's interpretation of Me & My Shadow with the male dancers mirroring his movements superbly from behind a back-lit sheer screen, being taught how to Salsa en masse from the stage and one lucky lady, Vivien, being asked up on to the stage for a waltz with the male cast members.
The costumes on show were an absolute delight, with Lionel Blair changing so many times in quick succession his wardrobe must have been fitted with revolving doors. Every style of ballroom was on show, foxtrot, samba, waltz, quickstep et all, with a brief demonstration being provided by each couple, with a history behind their origins
Overall, this is a fantastically entertaining evening for young and old alike, with music ranging from classical to contemporary dance that is played so astoundingly well it is impossible to keep ones feet still.

"Simply" Ballroom? This show is so much more than that.
9/10
 

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