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Strictly Gershwin

Music and Lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin

English National Ballet

Palace Theatre, 12 October 2011

Strictly Gershwin

Never mind ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, this was a rhapsodic show in celebration of the Gershwin brothers.

We were given wonderful performances of many of their songs, among the highlights being ‘The Man I Love’, a heartfelt rendition by Sarah Fuller, and ‘Someone to Watch over Me’,  tenderly delivered by Hannah Richmond.  The spectacle of the dance also engaged one’s attention and there were many happy moments when one saw the two working together in perfect harmony.  A case in point being the pageant that occurred on stage while the score of ‘An American in Paris’ played.  It was plenty special.

But what caught the eye most was the tango in the second act, this dance accompanying ‘Summertime’, that curiously unsettling song.  Another case of ‘a ballerina stole my soul, broke my heart and torpedoed my weak flesh’, I’m afraid.  Her name was Daria Klimentova.  Saints would be tempted to sin, such a sensual ballerina is she.  They’d happily can their canonisation, let it go all to hell.

You can be assured of a splendid evening’s entertainment when you go to see this show.  And watch out for the song (you know the one) that rhymes Pollyannas with bananas.

Strictly Gershwin is playing at the Palace Theatre until 15 October and then tours the UK.  Details here.