Friday, 31 January 2014

U.Dance Medway - this Sunday, Feb 2nd

U.Dance Medway performance is a youth dance community platform for 11-19 year olds and takes place at the Brook Theatre on Sunday, February 2nd.

This community dance platform is open and free for young people between those ages, looking for an opportunity to develop their dance skills and celebrate their choreography through a youth dance performance platform celebrating Medway and Kent's youth dance talent.

Through attending U.Dance Medway 2014, local and regional youth dance groups are provided with an opportunity to perform live and have a real focus, which is an excellent way to raise aspirations and confidence.

The U.Dance Medway performance is taking place on Sunday, 2 February, 2pm at The Brook Theatre, Old Town Hall, Chatham, ME4 4SE. More information can be found here.

Please click on the links below if you require further information on U.Dance Medway.

Dancing on Ice: Jazz hands no good for Zaarandy

In an evening of excellent performances - mostly - it was Zaraandy we bade farewell, even after Puttin' on the Ritz, by the incomparable Ella.

Maray top score with 40

Ok, we knew she was going, because the producers did their usual "let's show this one as a miserable cow and no-one will vote for her" hatchet job *sighs*. It was a great routine, although her first lift seemed a bit floppy and the last trick was cut short.

It was Kyrina who joined them in the Skate Off, a fairly solid Rock'n'Roll number which didn't melt the ice; Chasing Cars definitely upped the tempo, with a head banger for Nina looking far too literal. Very smooth and strong and he got through with a 3-1 vote in his favour.

Dance night brought some nice variations on the theme, with the top picks being Bethasz's Highland Fling, which was brilliant - I loved it, especially the aerial cartwheels. They really nailed the feel of it. Maray, also, showing off some fabulous shaping in the Flamenco, awesome flying lunges and a standation from the judges! Full bag of points: 40!

Lots of intricate detail in Samvick's Bhangra, while Garianne's Streetdance seemed to end way too soon and was a bit on the quiet side for me. Bondrei's Waltz had a quiet charm about it - apparently, Bonnie hated it, but I thought it came across very warm and genuine.

Suzatte's interpretation of The Flower Duet with Ballet was quite beautiful, graceful and elegant, apart from one of the lifts, which turns out to have gone completely wrong - very well covered! Hayliel's Charleston of course suited them, although I found the moves a little manic at first. They calmed down though, and gave a very enjoyable performance.

Getting interesting now, it could be anyone next week. The only one not safe in a skate off is Garianne against any of the others - but his fans are keeping him well clear! Till then x

Saturday, 25 January 2014

The Voice: Tom keeps it in the family

Sir Tom Jones upped his team to six - and still not a hint of testosterone except from him! Amongst his harem, Danny McFly's sister and Adele's cousin.

Vicky Jones sounded promising but didn't wow me, although Kylie also turned; Georgia, who, like her more famous relation, has only a first name, was quite different and right up my street although I've not put her on my team yet, as I feel she weakened a little in the higher, longer notes.

The proper old skool voice of Celestine caught my attention, very confident and sassy, while Laverne Scott-Roberts I decided I didn't like but ... one lovely audition later and she's on my team. A different original sound that all the coaches turned for.

A very mixed bunch of NOs - apart from the edited together boy rock singers for Ricky: Nathan Kobierrowski we needed to hear more, tuning an issue. Ben Affleck, I mean, John Rush, was brave doing Lady Ga Ga but not vocally strong enough and Jeff Anderson would've probably be on my team had he made it through - I remember enjoying him on Jesus Christ Superstar, where he made it through to the final stages. Less rock and more emotion would have seen him through I think, he has a very sweet voice, verging on the operatic at times.

Swing singing superhero and funny Welsh guy Paul Blake, who utterly convinced Will he was American - and don't we love that Will's turning English, referring to Tom and Ricky as 'those blokes' - did a great version of Jump (not the Pointer Sisters, the other one) but was just possibly verging on the edge of club singer so didn't make it. Then came the Si Genaro Show. He stepped away from the pigeons and gave us the Chicken Train instead, which might have seen him through had he done that instead of the harmonica-beat box-dodgy-vocal-on-account-of-the-dancing-around-that-he-did-thing.

Of the other coaches, only Ricky found one he was looking for, as first time in front of a live audience reluctant singer, Myles Evans, stepped up with his guitar at the behest of his seriously ill sister. Very genuine but needs work.

Team Scatty: Laverne; Jermain; Jamie; Mairead; Sophie-May; Beth; Anna.

Laters x

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Dancing on Ice: Former champs motoring

The final series of Dancing on Ice promised much, featuring so many former champions and from the judges point of view, it certainly couldn't be closer.

However, as we know, the judges don't get it all their own way and so Todd duly made it through to Week 3! A mambo routine no less. No more, either, but ...

Last week saw Suzanne and Matt (Suzatte) top score with a beautiful, emotional skate - six years on and she hasn't lost it. Lovely tricks and gorgeous lines.

We said goodbye to David and Gary, after some errors from David and a nice skate from Gary - nice was never going to be enough in this show. The shock came from seeing Sam and Vicky (Samvick) in the skate off. Which could be the result of being too Sicky - which will be their name if they carry on like that. Thankfully, we got the Riverdance skate, which was a favourite of mine.

Surprise package was Zaraah, showing some very good form with partner Andy (Zaraandy), while Beth and Lukasz (Bethasz) came out with purpose and intent. So bendy - fab tricks!

On then, to Week 3, and the former champs all suddenly remembered they had reputations to uphold, storming the ice with excellent skating, tricks and personality - with Zaraandy showing up again and possibly ahead overall. Loved the hip hop on ice. I may still call Samvick Sicky yet, because they're being a bit too yucky - but nice jivin'.

We had some poppin' from Kyrina and jazz hands from Hayliel; ballet from Bethasz but thankfully not any twerking from Maray who got us all groovin' in our seats with Blurred Lines. Lots of skating quality and dynamic performances.  Bondrei and Garianne did well although technically a little behind the others. Suzatte's timing and expression again, coupled with the tricks and basics means she's in for the long haul.

No shocks in the skate off, once Todd's name wasn't called as saved. Solo skating around a gondola was not enough this time for Tondra and we say goodbye. A shame for Zaraandy to be there but it did let us savour the Diamonds and Pearls routine again.

Wide open now then - no-one's safe and there'll be no skate off shocks, since everyone's good enough to go on. It's going to get very interesting!

Till next time :)

Saturday, 18 January 2014

The Voice: Team Will looking strong

So, it's week two and I'm sadly lacking a week one blog post because someone managed to lose the notes I made, full of witticisms and critical observations *coughs* I can therefore only let you know that Team Scatty, at the end of Week One, consisted of Beth McCarthy and Anna McCluckie, lovely voices - Anna the pick - and brave song choices reinterpreted very well.

Onwards, then, with Week Two.

Jermain Jackman quite frankly, blew everyone else out of the water - why all four never turned for him is a mystery to me, lawd knows he showed them enough versatility singing a hard, hard song and bunging shed loads of emotion into it - crafty Will turned at the last second. But someone really needed to tell him his skirt was tucked into his knickers.

Local lad, Jamie Johnson from Gillingham, did very well, and I've put him through too - great potential; likewise Mairead Conlon, although a) STOP TALKING and b) if I see your dogs dressed like that again I'm calling the RSPCA. Didn't like the song choice but an interesting voice. The only other to challenge Jermain was Sophie May Williams and again, Will nabbed her without a fight! I was expecting something more jazzy but a very strong unusual vocal.

Bob was great and I really thought Tom would snap him up, but you could see he wasn't 100%, likewise Miles almost got me but sadly he didn't end well and the coaches, like me, were waiting for a big finish. Lewis and Jimmy sounded like inexperienced Bryan Adamses, and Kelsey Beth was promising but never quite fulfilled it. Has anyone told Kylie she can only have so many? She seems to be turning for everyone: I can't believe she's actually only got four in her team.

The teams as they stand can be found here. And Will is clearly way out ahead. Apart from me, obviously, cos I've got all his plus the best of the others ;)

Team Scatty: Jermain; Jamie; Mairead; Sophie-May; Beth; Anna.

Till next time x

Dance dates for your diary!

Three big events coming soon:

In March, join the Dance Movement at Olympia, where Move It will once again be moving its collective feet to occupy it over the weekend 7-9 March. Dancing royalty appearing include Darcey Buseell, Sisco Gomez and The Waacktitioners.
The Interview Sofa is back, along with live performances and dance classes. New for this year is a sister show happening alongside Move It, for aspiring and professional performers interested in acting, singing and performance. PERFORM is a must if you're looking for a career in the performing arts industry. Entry is free with all full price tickets to Move It.

Find out more above Move It here and Perform here.

The UK Hip Hop Dance Championships take place in The Great Hall, 327 Mile End Road, London (an old haunt of mine, no less - probably get lost now) on Saturday, April 5th. Prelims at 3pm; Finals 7.30pm - not an awful lot of other info on the website - and the ticket site showed as as a bit dodgy, so take care on that.

A Sadler's Wells project, the Breakin' Convention kicks off its festival dates at the London theatre on Saturday, May 3rd through to the 5th. A full list of other dates and further info can be found here.

And finally, fancy a holiday but can't afford/don't have time for a two week break? Remember those soul weekenders we used to love? They've evolved - try the Summer Salsa Weekender! It's being held at the Wigana Casa de la Musica - that's the Britannia Wigan Hotel to you 'n' me - on 4th to 6th July (that's got to beat freezing on the Norfolk coast in April and October, yes?) with over 50 hours of Latin loveliness. Full details and booking links can be found here.

UDO South East Street Dance Championships at Medway Park

Fancy following in the footsteps of Diversity and Flawless? A European 2014 and World 2015 Streetdance Championship qualifier is being held at Medway Park on Sunday, July 13th.

The brand new event and venue for the UDO Streedance Championships welcomes all levels from beginner to advanced, with different age categories available.

Teams, duos and solo dancers can take part and free membership can be obtained via the website (membership is mandatory in order to do so).

Entries need to be made at least 7 days before the event, as there will be no late or on the day entries allowed.

The British Championships take place at Pontin's Bream Sands on 7-9 March.

Priestfield to host TalentFestUK

Gillingham FC's Great Hall at Priestfield will be the venue for the London and South of England round of TalentFestUK over the weekend 26/27 April 2014.

Chase the Stage events are bringing together experts in vocals, dance and musical theatre to give feedback to up and coming performers on how to improve their skills and further their careers.

Categories include solos, duos and groups in musical theatre, dance and vocals, and also includes an open performance slot for comedians and cheerleaders, amongst others. There are additional prizes up for grabs, in the form of Super Special Awards, such as Family Heroes - recognising the commitment parents make to their child's ambition.

For full details, visit the website here.

People Dancing International Event 2014

The Foundation for Community Dance is holding the largest specialist event held for community and participatory dance in over ten years.

This inaugural international dance event will be held in Cardiff, at The Millenium Centre and other venues across the city between 13 - 15 November 2014.

The delegate packages will be available view and purchase this month, and the call for contributor submissions is open until February 19th.

Experts from all fields of dance will come together to discuss and share best practices through a programme of workshops, presentations and performances.

For more information or to sign up to the Community Dance newsletter, visit the website here.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Dancing in Chatham: Strictly Irish

Two dance shows for you to enjoy are coming to Chatham.

Reel √Čire are returning to The Brook Theatre to perform their exciting new show, full of intricate rhythms, stunning costumes and top quality Irish dancing. From the traditional to a more modern fusion style of dance, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Saturday, February 8th 7pm
Sunday, February 9th 2pm and 7pm

Tickets: £12 adults, £9 concessions - click here to book.

Then, in May, we have An Evening with Stars of Strictly Come Dancing at the Central Theatre.

The BBC TV show Strictly Come Dancing returned to our screens last month achieving new heights, which is something that this spectacular new live theatre show, featuring two of its stars, Pasha Kovalev and Katya Virshilas, will most definitely do.

This much larger production will feature them along with their four guest dancers, all beautifully costumed, demonstrating a series of stunning dance routines, accompanied by a full audio-visual backdrop and light show, the ever enjoyable Q&A section, plus an appearance by a local dance school.

But not content with all that, the show will also feature the opportunity for the audience to get involved and dance on stage with the stars resulting in this production being the ultimate one for any Strictly fan.

Friday, 9 May, 7.30pm
The Central Theatre

Tickets: Band A - £23, Band B - £21 - click here to book your tickets.

Dancing on Ice: Mission Impossible for JoRo

Bonnie and Andrei (Team Bandie) survive the skate off - and thanks to the voters for putting them in it, otherwise we wouldn't have seen that incredible lift at the end. It was even worth having to sit through the advert on the ITV clip, since I was obviously watching Sherlock by then.

However, contrary to the purists fears, it looks like said voters are going to take this Battle of the Champions seriously and we said goodbye to Joe Pasquale, who'd clearly worked hard to improve. So we'll see no more of Team JoRo but not before having the fun of two-for-the-price-of-one routines.

Also leaving were Jorgie and Sylvain, who didn't make for a good pairing at all: Jorvain was the best I could come up with. Horrid, isn't it? A shame though, as she clearly was going to make his life hell on behalf of bessie mate Jennifer Metcalfe. He didn't look at all amused, did he? Always a shame when a good looking bloke can't crack a smile. On the ice though, she was as fabulous as ever. A shame but up against three past winners and a teen heart-throb it was always going to be between her, Bonnie and Joe.

So safely through with public support went Ray and Maria, probably my favorite pairing ever. I will be expecting a lot more from Team Maray though, as I was a little bit underwhelmed. I need to see Bailamos again! Kyran and new partner Nina (Team Kyrina) shone to the best song of the night - Sir Duke - and we know he can do funky, so we can look forward to that next time.

Gareth and Brianne (Team Garianne) showed off some neat tricks to Patience, while Hayley and Daniel (Team Hayliel) came out strongly again.

Till next time x