dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
Strictly stars trip the light fantastic
Ballroom dancers Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag returned to Symphony Hall with new show Dance Those Magical Movies. The couple, who first came to fame as professional dancers on television's Strictly Come Dancing, have gone on to carve out their own niche with tours blending dance, music and chat.
The show, at Birmingham Symphony Hall as part of a UK tour, crosses the decades of great film music with highlights from classic such as Top Hat,Casablanca and West Side Story as well as more recent hits including Titanic, Dirty Dancing and The Greatest Showman.
The production is more of a variety show than a ballroom dance performance with a blend of music played by the London Concert Orchestra conducted by Richard Balcombe, songs from the movies sung by Lance Ellington and Laura Emmitt and dance numbers. With an additional six dancers, Anton and Erin sometimes dance together, sometimes perform with other dancers and also leave the stage to the other cast members.
There is also plenty of chat and jokes, much of the humour focussed on Anton's enduring failure to win the Strictly glitter ball – although this last series he reached the finals, the closest he's ever been to being named champion. Anton was also quick to comment on Birmingham's never-ending roadworks, asking just when they were expected to finish.
Audience members are also invited to pose questions to the couple which at this performance covered such topics as how they first began dancing together – and how they've successfully stayed friends over all that time. Both Anton and Erin have enough experience and confidence to deal with any question thrown at them and are easy with the audience.
But the reason the audience is there is to see the couple dance together and those are the highlights of the show – whether it's a waltz to 'Over the Rainbow' from The Wizard of Oz or a touch of sultry tango from Moulin Rouge.
Strictly may have been the springboard for Anton and Erin's tours but, as they told the audience, this is their 13th tour, so they must be doing something right.