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  1. It's no secret how much Megan loves the ballet.Last week whilst mooching around Wimborne Library she spotted a book “The Orchard Book of Stories from the Ballet” retold by Geraldine McCaughrean. It's beautifully illustrated and reads like a classic fairytale retelling the story simply of some of Megan's most favourite ballet, including The Nutcracker and Swan Lake. Swan Lake Lighthouse

    Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet returned to Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts from 24-28 January complete with full orchestra to perform Giselle and Swan Lake. Megan was so excited to see the performance especially as she has just taken her Ballet exam and Daddy Moo installed a ballet barre for her. We've had a few odd jobs to do around the house and sadly Daddy Moo's drill has been on it's last legs! Luckily FFX came to the rescue and offered us a Makita Combi Drill he literally jumped at the chance. Megan has been after a ballet barre for a while now but you'd be surprised how expensive they are. In good old fashion upcycling style we rescued an old neglected, off to the tip stair rail which the Makita made light work of installing as a ballet barre. We now have one super happy ballerina.

    ballet barre installation

    Swan Lake is Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece, a tragic tale of love and betrayal with an instantly recognisable score.This is the epic story of Prince Siegfried and his true love Odette who, tricked by the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart and his daughter Odile, would rather die together than live apart. It always amazes me how sad and tragic the stories are and yet they are told in such a delicate manner. Once the performance was finished she insisted we see the orchestra and she watched them pack up their instruments and told them how good they were.

    Megan (9) : It was AMAZING!!! All the dancers were really good. I loved their pretty dresses. I thought that the ladies dancing the parts of Odette and Odile were the best. It was positively the 2nd best ballet I've seen.

    Swan LakeSaint Petersburg Classic Ballet’s youthful company has been earning rave reviews from audiences and dance critics, thanks to their technical ability and heartwarming storytelling. Under the direction of Marina Medvetskaya, the company has won plaudits across Russia, Scandinavia, the United States and the UK. Combining classical training and technique with the best-loved Russian ballets, their performances have an air of magic and feature stunning sets, lavish costumes and sublime dancers. I just love watching Megan watching ballet, she gets utterly lost in the music and dance.  

     

     

  2. Given that we are literally days away form the second of three dance exams it goes without saying Megan LOVES Strictly Come Dancing. It's the highlight of the run up to Christmas, we curl up on the sofa with snacks and blanket snuggling away those long, grey Winter nights. Brendan, Gorka and AJ are amongst her favourite males dancers. But of course being as she's ballet obsessed Darcey Bussell is her most favourite. Brendan Cole was sadly eliminated in week 4 of series fifteen after being paired with Good Morning Britain presenter Charlotte Hawkins. But Brendan Cole has got more than enough to occupy his mind – and body. His brand new show All Night Long is heading out on a national tour hitting Lighthouse Poole on the 10th February. Brendan (and Megan) couldn’t be more excited!

    Joined by his sensational cast of guest dancers, a captivating leading lady and a talented 14-piece band and singers to whip up an extravagant mix of Latin fever and ballroom magic. From tantalising tango to fiery paso doble, elegant foxtrot to breathtaking waltz, with a few surprises in store, this is no ordinary dance show. Live music, stunning special effects and Brendan’s own dazzling choreography and charm makes this an unforgettable night.Brendan Cole - PressWhat did Brendan have to say about his show All Night Long? :

    Had your mum seen something in you that suggested learning to dance might be a good idea?

    No but she loved music and dancing and she wanted her children to learn to dance. She wanted us to do lots of things. I did loads of sport too.

    Your latest show, All Night Long, opens in January. What are you most looking forward to about the tour?

    This is very much my show, not something that somebody else has put together for me. The creative process is amazing, trying to put your vision onto the stage. It’s down to you to make that happen.. There are 21 of us on stage and we’re very much a family - really good friends. We have a ball - both on and off the stage. Then to have that interaction with your audience is such a feeling. On Strictly we have the live studio audience but you’re a very small part of a very big show. With your own show people have come along to see you and what you’ve created. When you tell a story that’s an emotional thing, obviously you’re just dancing but people pick up on that emotion and the meaning’s changed because they’re watching it and interpreting it as if it were in their own life. You know you’ve done a really good thing when an audience is moved by a dance. If something is well-received - when people are on their feet cheering you - that’s a phenomenal, very powerful feeling and you can’t really recreate that in any other industry.

    All Night Long is a great Lionel Richie number – does it feature in the show?

    It certainly does. We open with that number. I love Lionel Richie. You’ve probably seen Monsieur Richie’s numbers hundreds of times on Strictly. It’s got a great vibe. We’ve got a live band onstage, 13 musicians all doing their thing, so it’s not just a dance show. The quality and class of the musicians playing a full-on Lionel Richie number, it’s phenomenal. You’d want to go to watch the band alone.

    There are many different types of music in the show to reflect the different dance styles. Do you have a favourite?

    The waltz is definitely my favourite because of the power of the music. We tell the story of an affair and it’s really moving. But with a show like this, we have to have it all. Strictly fans have an expectation because Strictly has every genre of music, and my show has to reflect that. One minute doing this beautiful waltz, the next minute an Argentine Tango –and finish with a massive jive. I want Strictly fans to walk out saying: “Bloody hell! That was the best night. I can’t believe we saw as much as we did!” It’s really important to me for every person to have a really special and exciting night. One of my favourite things to do is, just after the show has finished, to peek out from behind the staging and get a little reaction as to what people are saying!

    All Night Long will be at Lighthouse, Poole on 10th February and touring the rest of the UK from January until the end of March.