STRICTLY GERSHWIN Returns To London's Royal Albert Hall


Following a sell-out season in 2008, Strictly Gershwin returns to the Royal Albert Hall for 13 performances only from Thursday 9 June – Sunday 19 June 2011. English National Ballet and an array of special guests will celebrate one of the finest composers of all time, the big band era and the razzmatazz of the forties for this in-the-round dance spectacular.

Photo By Michael Garner
This revised production of Strictly Gershwin promises more glitz and glamour than ever before as the 67 dancers of English National Ballet and guests take audiences on a journey of dance through ballet, tap and ballroom, culminating in a spectacular grand finale. With stunning choreography from Derek Deane, a 50 piece jazz orchestra under the musical direction of Gareth Valentine and Swarovski bejewelled costumes by Roberta Guidi di Bagno, Strictly Gershwin is an unforgettable and enchanting evening celebrating Gershwin’s timeless classics.

A selection of English National Ballet’s finest dancers will take to the stage throughout the evening, including Prima Ballerina Daria Klimentová, Elena Glurdjidze, Arionel Vargas and Outstanding Classical Performance-winner Vadim Muntagirov.

They will be joined over the season by international guest stars including Royal Ballet star Tamara Rojo, Stuttgart Ballet’s Friedemann Vogel, Guillaume Côté from the National Ballet of Canada and tappers Douglas Mills and Paul Robinson. Nightly casting will be available from

The evening will feature songs from Gershwin’s acclaimed repertoire including Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris, Summertime, Shall We Dance, The Man I Love, Someone to Watch Over Me, ’S Wonderful and Strike up the Band. Strictly Gershwin continues the hugely popular and successful series of in-the-round ballet presentations which started in 1997 with Swan Lake followed by Romeo & Juliet in 2005. The last three seasons of in-the-round ballets were sell outs, selling over 130,000 tickets.

Former Principal Dancer of The Royal Ballet and former Artistic Director of English National Ballet, Derek Deane returns to the Royal Albert Hall to stage Strictly Gershwin. Previous credits include Swan Lake in-the-round (1997) and Romeo & Juliet (1998) at the Royal Albert Hall. Deane has created work for The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Teatro San Carlo, Naples, Shanghai Ballet, China, Kobayashi Ballet, Tokyo, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Toulouse Ballet and National Ballet of Zagreb.

One of the West End’s finest musical directors, Gareth Valentine has adapted the music and will conduct the 50 piece jazz orchestra. A renowned British composer, conductor and musical director, Valentine has worked extensively in the West End on countless productions including Cats, Miss Saigon, Cabaret, Chicago, Merrily We Roll Along, Wicked and Porgy and Bess.

The band will be joined by triple Olivier Award-winning singing sensation Maria Friedman and guest pianist Jonathan Scott. One of the UK’s best loved musical theatre performers, Maria Friedman has starred in countless West End productions including The King and I, Chicago, Passion, Lady in the Dark, Ragtime, and Sunday in The Park With George. Maria Friedman’s first solo show in London, By Special Arrangement, won its star an Olivier Award. She has won two other Olivier Awards for Ragtime and Sondheim’s Passion.

A prizewinner at many International competitions, acclaimed pianist Jonathan Scott has performed at all the major concert halls in the UK, as well as venues throughout Europe, South America and the Far East. He has appeared as soloist with orchestras including BBC Philharmonic, RPO, RLPO, RSNO and City of London Sinfonia. He recently released two new solo CDs: Bach's Organ Works, Duos for Piano & Organ and Duets for Piano.

Royal Albert Hall
Kensington Gore

9-19 June 2011
£19.50, £31, £33, £35, £37.50, £55, £57.50, £60, £65

Fine dining and corporate hospitality packages also available
Audio-described performance on Saturday 11 June at 2.30pm
Booking fees apply except to personal callers at the Royal Albert Hall Box Office.
Box Office 020 7838 3100 or Book online