Tag Archives: Dancewear

“THRILLER” AT THE LYRIC THEATRE, LONDON

I was lucky enough to see Michael Jackson perform at Wembley in 1988 and it remains the best £30 I have ever spent – I kept the ticket!  Whatever you may think of Michael Jackson the person, Michael Jackson the performer was one of the greatest – if not the greatest – entertainers of all time.  His songs are now classics and continue to sell in their millions, plus his dancing was just indescribable – it really had to be seen to be believed.  Michael Jackson was so fast, so precise and so innovative that it seemed that you were watching something a little bit unreal.  The best example of this is, of course, his “Moonwalk”, where he literally appears to be walking forwards but is actually moving backwards.  As John Peel, the respected music critic, wrote of the show:  “I do not expect it to be equalled in my lifetime”.  (The ‘Observer’, 17/7/88).  I also doubt that I will see anything better than “Bad” – ever.

So it was with some trepidation that I went to see “Thriller” at the Lyric Theatre in the West End.  Sensibly, the Show does not provide any type of story or narrative, it simply gives the audience exactly what they came to see:  the songs and dance of Michael Jackson.  It is roughly in chronological order, especially at the beginning, starting out with the Jackson Five – and an excellent Owen Mugawa playing the young Michael – through to “Thriller” and “Invincible”.  Like the Michael Jackson Show at Wembley, “Thriller” is less a sequence of songs than a series of “scenes” – often with numbers being expertly worked together.  Each “scene” would also display a variety of the amazing costumes associated with the songs in that “scene” (often taken from the music videos).  Finally the performance was supported with an excellent, if somewhat small, live band.

The singers in the Show, fronted by Zoe Birkett, were tremendous and very hard working.  (I can tell the difference between a good and a bad singer, but cannot really distinguish, except in rare cases, between a good and a great singer…).  I knew that Zoe Birkett was a good singer from the various Shows I have seen her perform in.  What did surprise me, however, is that Zoe is also quite a decent dancer.  She certainly did not look out of place against the professional dancers supporting her.  And throughout the Show Zoe brought a huge amount of sparkle and enthusiasm to the numbers she performed.

In a top West End Show such as “Thriller”, which is in its 11th year, the dancers have to be first class or they will not be in the Show long.  The dancers were indeed excellent.  None of them can actually dance with the genius of Michael Jackson (the only person who I have seen “Moonwalk” like Jackson was Jeffrey Daniels from Shalamar) – but no one would realistically expect that.  Although not listed in the programme I recognized one of the dancers as Lauren Gore.  Lauren is one of the best female tap dancers in the Country and although there is no tap required in “Thriller”, it was great to watch a top class dancer really enjoying herself.  (Lauren was an original member of the amazing “TapCorps”). Take a look at TapCorps!

The other dancer that really impressed me was Austyn Farrell.  I had heard about Austyn from his student days at the Leicester College of Performing Arts (LCPA), where he combined a lot of potential with even more character.  This really comes across on the stage.  He is incredibly expressive and I think Austyn would have been very happy to stay in the limelight for another hour or so!  My favourite “Scene” of the evening, which began with “On the Floor” saw both Lauren and Austyn wearing Dincwear – style costumes, Lauren displaying a Kylie-type tunic with Austyn in a sparkling ‘muscle-back’ top.

It all added up to a tremendous evening of entertainment and received a standing ovation from the very full and enthusiastic audience.  My only criticism of the Show (apart from a gin and tonic costing £10 at the bar!) is that right from the beginning the cast gets the crowd involved in clapping along.  Now I am a boy who simply cannot multi-task.  I can either clap along (and concentrate on getting that right) or I can watch the Show.  For some of us it is impossible to do both!  And for that I received a frown from the multi-talented Miss Birkett!

LCPA students wearing Dincwear

The Students of the LCPA, all wearing our Dincwear clothing, will be looking to follow their alumni Austyn into the West End.”

 16th April 2014 The Dincwear Team.

TWEET!

“Move it” 2014

Dincwear Visits ”Move it” 2014

In the Dance World, March is all about “Move It”:  The annual Dance extravaganza at Olympia in London.  This is a celebration of dance where dancers, from youngsters to the very top professionals, take their turn to perform on the Main Stage.  There are classes, seminars, interviews, competitions and Colleges advertising their courses – and of course, dance wear shops!

Over the past couple of years Dincwear has been very active at “Move it.  We brought Adam Garcia to perform “Move Like Jagger with 20 of the top professional dancers, and Kimberley Wyatt performed “We Found Love with our team.  We have also brought many of the stars of “Revolution”, our hit West End Dance Show (dancers like Tobias Mead, Lizzie Gough and Charlie Bruce) to sign autographs and meet their fans.  We even had the wonderful Arlene Philips with us one year to sign her book.

However our “Move It” performances take a huge amount of time (and money!) to prepare and organise.  Due to an amazing development for Dincwear (which will be the subject of next month’s blog), we had to give “Move It” a rest this year.  But happily our team were invited by “Consider This”, the Show’s sponsor, to enjoy the three day festival with them (and we very much appreciated it – thank you!).  So what did we think of “Move It” 2014?

In short, it was fantastic!  Between us we watched every performance on the Main Stage from the youngsters, setting out on their dance journey, to the very top professionals like Lukas McFarlane and Danielle Peazer – and every single one was a joy to watch!

It was particularly inspiring to see how many of the top choreographers (Paul Roberts, David Wood, Dax O’Callaghan etc) had created works for the College students.  We also have to mention the sheer passion shown by Jonny Wilkes for his students at the new Wilkes Academy.  Jonny is a world-class performer (often with Robbie Williams) and his protégés will benefit massively from his industry experience and contacts.

I particularly enjoyed watching Christabelle Field, and her ‘Poison Girls’ dancing with the ‘Mini-Poisons’.  Our friends at the LCPA gave a couple of incredibly raunchy routines, fully justifying the label ‘soft porn on tip toe’.  Luckily we are told that Miss Gemma had approved the routines!  And ticket sales for the LCPA Production of ‘Grease’ in April have rocketed!

Jak and Tobias Mead were sensational as “Duplicate” – do people realise that Jak is only 12?  He is doing everything that Tobias can do plus a signature “arm-break” move that even Tobias cannot do!  Every time we have seen these guys at “Move It”, or “Revolution”, they have brought the House down!  In the “Gospel According To Dincwear”, these guys would be major superstars!!

The BOP, under the guidance of Dollie Henry, gave a mesmerising performance to the Jazz Music of Paul Jenkins.  There were several very professional numbers by the Urdang Academy, who definitely caught our eye and the Cambridge Performing Arts, fronted by Chloe Polson-Davies, put on a superb performance.  Finally we really noticed all the interest in the various tap performances – even the presenter Matt Flint, who did a first class job throughout the 3 days, was a ‘top tapper’.  It was all completed with a visit from the gorgeous Darcey Bussell.

‘Move It’ 2014 demonstrated beautifully our major predictions in these blogs:  That the popularity of Dance is growing enormously, the standard of the top pros is getting forever higher, and soon top dancers will be treated like top footballers or rock stars.  You could see this beginning when “Diversity” had to be ushered into the Olympia Building surrounded by bodyguards and screaming fans…

For some time now Dincwear has operated a “covert” policy of trying to kit out the top professional dancers in our clothing.  We have recently extended this policy to include “up and coming stars”, and a couple of these were spotted at “Move It” and offered free Dincwear (such recommendations are made by the top pro dancers we have worked with).  We believe that once the very best dancers know how good Dincwear is they will actively recommend it to their colleagues and students, etc.  As our regular reader (!) will know, this “trickle down effect” is our only form of advertising – we know that our Dincwear clothes are their own best advert.

 

Why not try some…..

Dincwear Dancewear November/December 2013 Newsletter.

The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that we are combining November and December into a single blog.  This was mainly because we have been so busy in the run up to Christmas and a little because ‘yours truly’ has been lazy!   As the popularity of ‘Dincwear Dancewear’ grows, the number of enquiries and social media requests has just exploded.  For example, we have been delighted to supply “Rough Copy” with harem pants and harem shorts during their performances on “X-Factor”. We predict that these guys – and their fashion – will soon be enormous.

In the first two blogs we explained a little about our business and how we are expanding.  This is continuing apace, for example, with Move Dancewear offering Dincwear on its highly regarded website.  (We have also had to take on more warehouse space which means that the boss man can now drive his forklift truck from one building to another!).  Move Dancewear are very strong in the UK, Germany and France and this perfectly complements our relationship with Papillon – who are dominant in Holland and Belgium.  The final part of our distribution plan is to begin opening our own shops in the biggest Cities and concessions in selected quality retailers.  With the success of our ‘pop-up’ shop in Covent Garden, we shall shortly be announcing exciting news on both these fronts.

From the very beginning our fundamental belief has been that the interest in ‘dance’ world-wide is about to take off, with top dancers gaining the sort of recognition that we currently associate with pop stars and footballers etc.  Dincwear has actively encouraged this trend with all the money made from the clothing sales being put into dance shows.

We began in 2011 by sponsoring the MMXI Show at Sadlers Wells, the home of contemporary dance in London.  This was continued at “The Clothes Show”,  where we took a troupe of the best 16 professional dancers to perform several times a day for a week.  We added dance ‘stars’ Adam Garcia and Kimberley Wyatt to perform with our troupe at ‘Move It’ in 2012.  Many still consider the Adam Garcia ‘Move Like Jagger routine to be one of the best dance routines performed.  (It has gone from one view to 164,000 views on You Tube)  

Finally, we put on the “sold out” West End Show, “Revolution”, starring Adam and Kimberley and 20 of the best dancers in the Country, at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in Covent Garden.

We are currently looking at several very exciting projects for this year and we continue to support exceptional dance talent such as the amazing “Tap Corps”.

Obviously as the dance industry grows, we think that Dincwear, by offering the most stylish and best quality dancewear, will continue to grow with it.  Let’s hope so!

Happy New Year!

Dincwear.

Don’t Forget You Can Follow us on Twitter and Facebook?