Review: I Got Rhythm, Northern Ballet, Leeds Grand Theatre

THIS revival of David Nixon’s celebration of the music of George Gershwin in song and dance has only a brief flirtation with the British summer: a week in Leeds, then hopefully mustard-hot in Norwich next week.

It is not the most expensive looking piece in the Leeds company’s repertoire, with John Pryce-Jones’s Northern Ballet Sinfonia moved from below stairs to provide a backdrop to Nixon’s company beneath the I Got Rhythm sign, bordered by giant boards of a dapper man and woman.

This throws the focus wholly on the dancers who were still finding their feet in the first night’s first half (or not in the case of the unlucky Pippa Moore, who went over on her ankle, leading to David Nixon hastily making an impromptu appearance to announce Embraceable You would have to be cut).

Rhapsody In Blue is the ensemble peak, a perfect union of shifting music and gorgeous movement, and Kevin Poeung provides two of the show’s high points, a duo for I Got Rhythm with Benjamin Mitchell and a dazzling solo for I Got Plenty O Nuttin.

• I Got Rhythm, Northern Ballet, Leeds Grand Theatre, today at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Box office: 0844 848 2700 or leedsgrandtheatre.com

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