Monday, 10 February 2014

'Strictly Come Dancing Live!' The o2 Arena ****

The annual ‘Strictly Come Dancing Live!’ tour has recently finished its journey across the United Kingdom and the performance I saw at The o2 Arena was simply glittering in all elements.  The tours’ basic plotline is simple, it’s a live version of the ever popular television series that has been engaging audiences of all ages on Saturday nights since 2004 and the tour is a welcomed addition to this elegant format. One of the aspects that make the show as spectacular as it is is the audience’s reactions to it and the 10,000 seat arena that is always full really captures this. I think that this year’s casting is amazingly thought of with the reigning champion Abby Clancy and runners up Natalie Gumede and Susanna Reid leading and of course firm favourites Ben Cohen, Nicky Byrne, Mark Benton and Deborah Meaden which brings the production to focus. The show is directed and written by ‘Strictly Come Dancing’s Mr Nasty, Craig Revel Horwood and it’s a superb piece of direction and writing and it brings the BBC television format to arenas and it’s a wonderful entertaining performance. I found the judging panel formed of the TV judges Craig Revel Horwood, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli (Darcey Bussell is absent here) were greatly performed and again captures the essence of the television programme to a good standard of finish, and of course provides the comical elements of the production. Lisa Riley’s role as the host was of an acceptable level of finish, but I thought that her voice sound rather breathy and the clarity in her pace and projection needed more work to establish a well-rounded performance.  The dance routines by ‘Strictly Come Dancing’s popular professional dancers Artem Chigvintsev, Kevin Clifton, Karen Hauer, Natalie Lowe, Iveta Lukosiute, Kristina Rihanoff, Aljaz Skorianec and Robin Windsor were beautifully performed and the reaction from the vast audience towards this was electrifying. I would have liked to have seen a Ballroom and Latin American dance company being involved in this aspect of the entire production. I found that Allan Roger’s musical direction were graciously thought of and encapsulates the atmosphere that you are part of the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ experience.  The use of television cameras and LED screens on either side of the set were a great touch as it immersed you into the world of television making and in a television studio. It was a wonderful show.

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