Strictly pros Aljaz and Janette in show remembering genius of Fred Astaire

Strictly professionals Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara pay tribute in their spectacular new show

Strictly professionals Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara pay tribute in their spectacular new show, Remembering Fred. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

The legendary dance icon is celebrated in show coming to Lowesoft anf King's Lynn that also features contributions from Twiggy, Darcey Bussell, Don Black and Bruce Oldfield.

Strictly professionals Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara pay tribute in their spectacular new show

Strictly professionals Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara pay tribute in their spectacular new show, Remembering Fred. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Legendary performer Fred Astaire had a career that spanned 76 years.

As an icon of dance, he is best remembered for his sense of rhythm, his perfectionism, and as the dancing partner and on-screen romantic interest of Ginger Rogers, with whom he co-starred in a series of 10 Hollywood musicals.

He continues to entrance and fascinate dancers to this day and Strictly pros Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara pay tribute in their spectacular new show, Remembering Fred, which they bring to Lowestoft's Marina Theatre this weekend and in King's Lynn later this month.

Brought to life by the producer of Darcey Bussell and Katherine Jenkins' Viva La Diva, the show is a chance to step back in time and relive special moments from the career of the dancing extraordinaire.

Aljaz and Janette will be performing steps and turns from the golden age of Hollywood's most celebrated dance routines.

Audiences will also hear from famous Fred fans including Twiggy, Darcey Bussell, Don Black and Bruce Oldfield who will share stories of how the screen icon touched their lives and discuss what made him so special.

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Janette said: 'I'm a big Fred Astaire fan, and I think everyone else in the cast is too. He still is so influential to performers like us. I'll often watch some of his routines back, to get inspiration from them.

'I jumped at the chance to do this show. It's a great opportunity to celebrate such a beautiful performer who's done so much throughout his career.'

The show's layout is unique, and takes on a format that incorporates live dance routines and music, with classics from the American Songbook, written by the likes of George & Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter, plus video footage.

'On stage it's presented like a radio show,' explains Janette. 'Big names that have performed with Fred over the years are shown in video interviews talking about how great he was, how much they liked his sense of style, the way he carried himself, how he was a great friend to know in the business. It's like they're being interviewed live on the radio, but they're not.

'In between interviews Aljaz and I perform some of his most famous dance routines, while other actors sing. Everything is done to a live band, which is incredible, and it really brings his music and work to life.

'The fact that it's live makes it really worthwhile going to see. The live band is my favourite part - it's even more enjoyable when big, bold, and live.'

Strictly professionals Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara pay tribute in their spectacular new show

Strictly professionals Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara pay tribute in their spectacular new show, Remembering Fred. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Janette would especially recommend the show to those who aren't necessarily Fred Astaire fans, yet.

She said: 'I think if you are already a fan of Fred then it will be right up your street and have everything you'll want in a commemorative show. But if you don't necessarily know that much about him, it could be even greater, as it covers so many aspects of his life, and really captures his personality.'

As for Strictly Come Dancing 2017, Janette and Aljaz, who have been performing together since they met on a pre-Strictly world tour with the Broadway show, Burn The Floor, are yet to receive confirmation that they will be starring again.

Janette, who last year coached radio DJ Melvin Odoom, said: 'We would both love to come back again this year, we're just waiting to find out whether or not we've been confirmed yet. But hopefully we'll be starting rehearsals in August.'

• Remembering Fred, Marina Theatre, Lowestoft, May 6, 7.30pm, £32.75-£19.75, 01502 533200, www.marinatheatre.co.uk

• The show will also be at King's Lynn Corn Exchange on May 16, 7.30pm, £56.50-£21, 01553 764864, www.kingslynncornexchange.co.uk

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