Dirty Dancing Launch
Dirty Dancing Launch:
Musical Theatre Musings sent guest reviewer Lydia Porter along to the Dirty Dancing tour launch:
I was lucky enough to go to Cecil Sharp House in Regent’s Park to honour the launch of the Dirty Dancing Tour. I have always been a huge fan of this iconic film and loved its cross over to stage first seen in the UK in 2006.
The show is set in 1963 in New York’s Catskills Mountains at a resort called Kellerman’s and is centred around Frances Houseman and her family. Frances better known as “Baby” gets bored on the family vacation and wanders into the staff living quarters to discover an underworld of couples who spend all their time dancing intimately. This is where she meets the sexy and bold dance instructor Johnny Castle and is seduced into this risqué world. The attraction between the pair from opposing worlds is evident from the start and the story unfolds as Baby must suddenly become Johnny’s dance partner when Penny his professional dance partner becomes ill. Scenes of intense emotion and provocative Dirty Dancing are at the heart of this love story and the summer is quickly over with everyone having had “the time of their lives”.
The Producer Karl Sydow gave a heart warming opening speech about the show which is set to begin its tour in Brighton in November. It has previously broken box office records around the world and he speaks of how privileged he feels to have produced the show for all of this time and to be going out for their 4th Uk and Irish Tour. Karl talks of the importance of the line “Nobody puts baby in the corner” and when people ask him about this he says it will rapidly make sense and is a fundamental line from the show.
We were then treated to an amazing demonstration and dance masterclass by two ensemble members of the new cast Tom ( Johnny understudy ) and Millie ( Penny understudy). The routine had all the classic moves which you would expect but equally had a fresh modern approach. This experience left me exhilarated and keen to see all of the dance numbers which will certainly impress with risqué moves, intricate foot work and uplifting high energy!
To round off I got the chance to have some photos with the dancers and try out the infamous dirty dancing lift…. not as easy as it looks! Millie was also on hand to answer some of my questions about her training and the show. Being such a successful and iconic show she was thrilled to be cast and did her dance training at Bird college where the main focus wasn’t Latin and Ballroom. Although she comments that the dance techniques have been easy to learn and perfect and is excited to start the rehearsals in August which will run for an intensive 8 week period. Millie comments that the key to getting the technique right and execute good hip action is all to do with weight and foot placement. We discussed the challenges which are most definitely the lifts and speed of the routines but the most memorable and her personal favourite lift is the above head Dirty Dancing lift at the end of the show.
I left on a real high as Dirty Dancing is such a feel good show and cannot wait to see this production at least once when the tour starts in November. Don’t miss out and book to see this dance spectacular at a theatre near you 2018/19.
To find out more visit the website for the Dirty Dancing tour.