Strictly Gerswhin at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

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Following a sell-out season at the Royal Albert Hall, English National Ballet is on tour with its acclaimed production of Strictly Gershwin.

The songs are instantly familiar with all time greats such as Someone to Watch Over Me, I Got Rhythm, and Rhapsody in Blue taking centre stage as the dancers share the space with a magnificent sixty piece orchestra.

Although the piece is a concept work, there is a sense of structure with the first half focusing on Broadway and the second on Hollywood.

The work has it all in terms of razzamatazz and glitz, yet it all felt strangely flat.

Gershwin’s music is a mix of classical orchestration and jazz, but Deane’s choreography often misses the point and the lyrical ballet style doesn’t suit the more upbeat numbers.

Originally conceived in the round, Deane’s usually fantastic ensemble work is lost in a more traditional style theatre. The highlight of the show is the tap routine featuring guest dancers Douglas Mills and Paul Robinson which brings the music to life.

A light hearted work with stunning costumes and a good entry piece into the genre but not a lot of substance for true ballet fans.

Until Saturday.