Kicking off tonight’s show with a lively Cha Cha and immediately gaining the audience’s attention were dancers James Wilson, Victoria Burke, Robert Rowinski and Marcella Solimeo. For a first dance it was very well received but what followed was a rather unnecessary short film of Carol Kirkwood, who partnered Siberian born Pasha Kovalev on TV’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2015, introducing the show and referring to Pasha’s book. I just wanted the show to get on with the dancing and could really not see the point of the film and found it rather boring after the great start.
Thankfully Pasha and his partner Anya Garnis then took to the stage and were joined by the other two couples and brought the first of the gasps of wow during the evening when a fantastic lift was performed by Pasha and Anya. After another contemporary dance the stage cleared and again the screen was used with Kirkwood introducing the next performer, with a script that I presume was intended to be funny but really wasn’t.
Ricky Rojas bounced onto the stage and burst into song. I must admit I wasn’t expecting this but he was very personable and had a good voice. Obviously as all the dancers had just been on stage he was needed to enable time for costume changes and he appeared several more times during the evening and was as much a part of the show as the dancing. Other dances included a slow foxtrot and it was mesmerising watching the graceful moves and beautiful and stylish costumes as the couples glided across the stage. Following on was a lively contemporary Charleston and again very entertaining to watch even for the non-dancers in the audience.
A return to the screen followed but this time featuring Pasha and Anya dancing in a short black and white film. I have to say it felt odd to be actually watching a film of the dancing couple when they had just been on the stage and I could not see the relevance of this. The chemistry between Pasha and Anya was evident showing in the following dances with the trust the couple have with each other obvious during the spectacular lifts they performed.
After a short interval the second half started Latino style with all 3 of the lady dancers wearing fabulous neon dresses during this high energy performance with their partners. Ricky returned to the stage singing ‘Un Dos Tres’ before we were treated to a dramatic and powerful Paso Doble. As I have mentioned the ladies outfits it seems only fitting that I now refer to the men’s….or rather lack of them! Be prepared for a bare chested treat (well I think it was anyway!).
Slowing the pace down there followed an interlude with Pasha chatting to the audience and inviting audience participation before he invited 3 ladies to join him on the stage. None of them needed any persuasion and there followed a very amusing 10 minutes with Pasha dancing with each of them in turn, maybe on the next tour the dancers will hail from the Theatre Royal, St Helens! Continuing with a dance made famous in the film Grease, our dancers gave a fun version of a Quickstep to the song You’re the One That I Want, loved the routine but not the costumes worn by the men this time, the schoolboy look is just not cool.
There followed another dance by Pasha and Anya who make dancing so captivating to watch, before the finale featuring the other dancers too and accompanied by Ricky singing , who also joined in with the dancing to great applause from the happy audience.
The whole evening gave the feel good factor and absolutely flew by, I loved it all, with the exception of the use of the screen for the films. The use of it for the background was acceptable and complimented the fantastic stage lighting during the show which was of simple design but brilliantly effective.
Pasha insists ‘It’s All About You’ is referring to us as an audience and not him personally and I agree, Pasha shares his stage with the others and although the star, he is instantly likeable and a charming man and expresses a great personality and you can see he genuinely wants everyone to enjoy the show.
Go along and be entertained, not just by the dancers but by a great singer too, you will not be disappointed. Although as I said earlier I was not expecting a singer to be performing at a dance show, I felt he fitted in and did not take any of the evenings enjoyment away for me although if you just want to watch dance it could possibly be frustrating for him to perform after every couple of dances so therefore, ‘It’s All About You’ and your preference.
For further tour dates and further information see http://www.pashakovalev.co.uk/tour-dates/4586985715
Reviewer: Lorna Weekes
Reviewed: 15th May 2016