Keep Dancing – Milton Keynes Theatre

Director: Emma Rogers
Choreographers: Emma Rogers and Innis Robertson King
Reviewer: Maggie Constable

With this year’s Strictly madness imminent on our TVs, what could be nicer than a reminder of last year’s series. Best to cha-cha-cha down to Milton Keynes theatre for Keep Dancing, a sizzling and dynamic piece showcasing all our favourite styles of dance from Tango to Rumba to Charleston and many more.

Robin Windsor never disappoints, neither in his specialist choreography nor his dance. He and Anya Garnis are professionals to a tee. They perform several dances as a pair, all of which are faultless, and some individually with the ensemble dancers. Their Argentine Tango is stunning. The all-male contemporary dance, with Windsor at the helm, is very powerful.

Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani receive top billing but do not really live up to expectations. McGuiness seems very uncomfortable, even unsure, much of the time and is as lacking in smiles as he often was on last year’s Strictly Come Dancing. By the second part of the show he has settled and performs at his best in the jive. The latter includes the kicks for which he became so famous and one can see that he is clearly enjoying himself. One recognises that it’s tough for him since he is not a professional dancer, and he most definitely tries very hard, but nerves do appear to get the better of him. Vilani does a great job in keeping things going, ever-smiling and professional and, on this occasion, covering a Salsa slip-up well.

Keep Dancing is exactly what the 10 ensemble dancers do and with incredible energy. Mercifully there is no attempt to intertwine a story, so we witness a whole range of dance styles at some speed. A very pacey show with dancers only given time to change or catch their breath by odd musical moments. The choreography is very slick and varied.

The musicians are spot on and the singing is good, but it is Lisa-Marie Holmes’ voice which truly stands out. Her rendition of Stormy Weather is excellent. The costumes, as one would expect, are colourful matching perfectly with each dance.

Runs until 10 September 2016 | Image: Contributed

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  1. First night nerves for sure. Jay will only get better with each show, you’ll see.

  2. First night give the Beautiful Boy a chance, he’s not a professional dancer. He will just get better and better. Love him to bits.

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