NEWS: So, that was Christmas – December 2013

 

Lots of dance on television makes for a cracker of a Christmas

 

Christmas makes its presence felt as soon as the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing waltzes onto our television screens. When the sequin-covered participants take their first tentative steps onto the dance floor, I just know that the final quarter of the year will whizz by and, shortly, the winner will be lifting the coveted glitterball trophy, before the nation frantically finishes decking the halls.

Pantomime season means flocks of families visit the theatre for some festive cheer, while traditional productions of The Nutcracker (on stage and on screen) attract balletomanes and newcomers alike.

But, once cosseted in our homes for the celebratory period (whether just for the big day itself, or for an extended break), it is more often than not the television that we rely on for entertainment. Dance fans were spoilt for choice with plenty of telly treats this Christmas. If this time of year is all about indulging in what you enjoy, I certainly fulfilled the brief when it came to setting time aside to view some gorgeous productions.

 

Alina Somova in the quintessential Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker (photo by Valentin Baranovsky, sourced from http://www.specticast.com/event_generic.jsp?xml=/xml/event/Nutcracker.xml)

Alina Somova in The Mariinsky Ballet’s 2011 production of The Nutcracker (photo by Valentin Baranovsky, sourced from SpectiCast.com)

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NEWS: Musical stars prove to be “purrfect” personalities for raising awareness of busy RSPCA rescue centre – Milton Keynes, July 2013

 

TALENTED JELLICLE CATS LEND A PAW TO RSPCA APPEAL

 

Feline fans are being urged to dig deep after performances of Cats at Milton Keynes Theatre in a bid to help abandoned moggies. A bucket collection is being held throughout the show’s two-week run to raise funds for the Milton Keynes & North Bucks RSPCA rescue centre.

Milton Keynes Citizen Leisure Editor Sammy Jones and I joined cast members posing onstage with some adorable rescue kittens in order to highlight the centre as part of the Citizen’s Citikat appeal.

Stars Rum Tum Tugger (played by Oliver Savile), Jennyanydots (Alice Redmond) and Victoria the White Cat (Alicia Beck) were more than happy to bond with the 6-week-old kittens as they scampered around the junkyard set of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash-hit musical.

 

Cast of Cats join kittens onstage at Milton Keynes Theatre for RSPCA fundraising.

 

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NEWS: English National Ballet to return to Milton Keynes Theatre with ‘Strictly Gershwin’ – November 2011

 

Strictly Gershwin dance show is guaranteed to get toes tapping and spirits soaring!

 

Billed as a dazzling homage to American composer George Gershwin, the big band era and the glamour of musical motion pictures, Strictly Gershwin is coming to Milton Keynes Theatre.

The piece was premiered in 2008 at the Royal Albert Hall as part of English National Ballet’s hugely popular and successful series of in-the-round ballet presentations.

Now, this month, the full company of 67 dancers and a live jazz orchestra are bringing a proscenium arch version of the show to the new city.

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English National Ballet dancers in Strictly Gershwin, a dazzling homage to the American composer.

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NEWS: ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Countdown, August 2011

 

TIME TO DUST OFF OUR DANCING SHOES AS THE STRICTLY COUNTDOWN BEGINS

 

Strictly Come Dancing returns to our screens next month and the internet is full of rumours about which celebrities are set to surrender to the sequins and grace the dance floor with their presence.

Last year I was lucky enough to be part of the audience for one of the shows after applying online and fox-trotting down to BBC Studios ridiculously early to claim my place. After a thoroughly entertaining evening, I then wrote a feature for the Milton Keynes Citizen to share my experience with readers…

 

The cast of BBC show Strictly Come Dancing 2010. Picture shows: Standing l-r: Felicity Kendal, Gavin Henson, Goldie, Kara Tointon, Matt Baker, Michelle Williams, Jimi Mistry, Peter Shilton, Scott Maslen. Seated l-r: Paul Daniels, Patsy Kensit, Tina O'Brien, Pamela Stephenson, The Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe. Picture courtesy of the BBC.

 

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