Keep dancing is a full speed ahead, none stop evening of dance. The show is made up of a variety of dancers, including some TV dance stars and celebrity guests. Our guest this evening was Olympian and Strictly come dancing 2012 champion, Louis Smith. Smith appeared in four main dances throughout the evening and overall was a great dancer. I felt in his first three routines he lacked a little emotion and personality, perhaps due to nerves, being the first time in a new venue. I thoroughly enjoyed his fourth routine, a Charleston, which had all the fun and cheekiness needed for this type of dance. The show ran with some backing tracks but for the most had three live singers.
In the opening routine, I found the singers a little off putting as they were on a raised platform above the dancers but they seemed to be doing their own dancing while singing, at the same time the dancers on the main stage were dancing a choreographed routine, meaning my eye was being pulled between the two sets as the singers were all dancing their own style, different to the dancers. If the singers should dance, perhaps they could have something choreographed or a style set to stick to.
The trio of singers were made up of Adam Warmington, Harriet Mullen and Lisa-Marie Holmes. Warmington delivered a mediocre performance, lacking some strength in parts, especially in songs such as Bailamos, where it seemed the song was bigger than the performer. Mullen had a nice voice and a lovely tone at times. The star for me was Holmes. Every song she sung was delivered with passion, feeling and even with a little trip on the stairs, stayed professional and delivered a great performance. I felt that when the trio sung together there seemed to be something missing, they didn't quite gel and complement each other quite as I'd have liked.
The dancers were made up of lead dancers Robin Windsor and Anya Garnis along with 10 dancers, although I feel there may have been one missing as I'm sure I only counted nine during group routines as there seemed to be a solo dancer at times, perhaps intentionally and I may have miss counted, but it seemed offset at times with odd numbers in routines.
The routines were all delivered fast and full of enthusiasm but I felt at times, in group numbers, the couples were slightly out of time or a little behind each other, noticeable mostly when they were all doing the same thing. This again could be due to it being opening night in a new venue and them getting used to places and changes.
The most enjoyable moments were when Windsor and Garnis danced together. Their energy and passion in every dance left the audience in awe and wanting more. Some particularly wonderful moments were when Holmes sang I put a spell on you and Never tear us apart. The vocals were powerful and I felt entranced.
Two extremely powerful dances were Fan Fusion where you could feel the passion and intensity portrayed along with accompanying red light which enhanced the mood.
Secondly was Ameska which was delivered by just the guys. They started by dancing in couples then the five guys turned against Windsor's character and it became a Pasa Doble style dance where Windsor was the bull and the guys the matador. It was raw, full of fire and passion.
I particularly enjoyed the version of I Want It That Way the song arrangement was extremely clever and the dance contemporary, very edgy and current and had an up to date vibe.
Two dancers in the group that made most impact to me were Lisa Welham and Shane Seal. They caught my eye on numerous occasions, giving full commitment to every move and seemed to be enjoying every moment on the stage. This is not to detract from the rest of the dancers who all gave wonderful performances, it's just the two named caught my attention more. The lighting was very inventive and complemented each routine very well, adding mood, joy and fun throughout. Well done to Martin Cox and team.
Tonight, was directed and choreographed by Emma Rogers and Innis Robertson King with the help of Robin Windsor, Richard Marcel, Anya Garnis and Kyle Seeley who all managed to create a wonderful show with a mixture of styles for all. I feel the show could benefit from having a storyline or theme running through to give more flow as although the dances were wonderful, they felt in a way rather random.
The costumes were extraordinary, full of colour which were changed to depict an era or mood. Well done to costume supervisor Lesley McKirdy and team.
Overall, the show was fast, full of energy and glamour but I felt it could use a little more structure and tightening up with some vocals and group numbers.
Reviewer: Damian Riverol
Reviewed: 1st November 2016
North West End Rating: ★★★★