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ENB Debuts Strictly Gershwin at Royal Albert Hall

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George Gershwin classics including “Summertime”, “Fascinatin’ Rhythm”, “Lady Be Good”, “S’Wonderful” and “Strike Up the Band” will provide the backdrop for English National Ballet’s latest in-the-round ballet presentation Strictly Gershwin, which receives its world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall from 13 to 22 June 2008, care of impresario Raymond Gubbay.

The homage to Gershwin, the big band era and the glamour of Hollywood movie musicals from the 1940s and 1950s will be performed by a 64-strong company of dancers – with visiting international guest principals including Tamara Rojo (of the Royal Ballet), Friedemann Vogel (Stuttgart Ballet) and Guillaume Cote (National Ballet of Canada).

The dance journey incorporates ballet, tap and ballroom. Highlights include a recreation of the 1951 film starring Gene Kelly An American in Paris and a Rhapsody in Blue finale. The evening is choreographed by Derek Deane, with set designs by Roberta Guidi di Bango conjuring up a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers feel.

The dancers will be accompanied by a 50-piece jazz orchestra under the musical direction of Gareth Valentine and joined by Broadway diva Barbara Cook – in town next month to appear in the one-off concert celebrating another American composer, Jerry Herman, at the London Palladium (See News, 14 Mar 2008) - and international pianist Jonathan Scott.

- by Melissa Rynn & Kate Jackson


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