Last Seen Dancing…

I’m sure you can guess from the fact that my last blog was a good couple of weeks ago, I have been rushed of my dancing feet! Between the usual rounds of rehearsals for Monty Python and Brazouka, I have been absorbing myself in the most highbrow of the arts, with Opera at the Colosseum and The Royal Ballet at the Opera House. This alongside three other amazing theatrical events, I was almost danced out, almost…

I’ll start with the very tearful last night at We Will Rock You, that I can hardly bear to say has rocked Tottenham Court Road for the last time. (I can also hardly bear to say that this was three whole weeks ago, where has the time gone?!) It was such a spectacular evening, finishing with an extra surprise performance at the end of the show from Brian, Roger and the company that left us all in tears. Watching all the love and hard work we had as group put into that show was truly moving, and I’d like to take this opportunity to once again thank everybody there for making it the show it was. It’s lucky for America We Will Rock You is still rocking around the world and can catch the show in the following cities… http://www.wewillrockyou.com/

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From a closing to an opening, this time of Flashmob at the Peacock theatre, which was such a unique new dance show starring ‪@KeviClifton‪@Karen_Hauer ‪@FlawlessUK ‪@TommyFranzen ‪@AlleviateDance‪@BrosenaDance. I had a wonderful chat with Tommy Franzen who was one of my diva dancers on So You Think You Can Dance, and I am so proud to see him out there working those moves! It was also great to catch up with business superwoman Deborah Meaden, who loves to pick my brains about dance  as much as I do hers about business! In the continued spirit of dance my next outing was to see In the Heights at the Southwark Playhouse. This was truly an incredible piece of dance theatre, and the clever choreography and fierceness of the dancers completely blew me away.

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The first of my very cultured evening was to the first night of Terry Gilliam’s opera, Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini at the London Coliseum. Not being a regular on the opera scene, it was such an incredible experience, and Terry’s witty direction combined with the most heartbreakingly beautiful voices made it a evening to truly remember.

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The second was my trip to the Royal Opera House to watch dance god and dear friend Edward Watson, star of the Royal Ballet in a piece called Connectome by Alastair Marriott. With a stunning design by Es Devlin, it was a raw and emotional piece, and as always, Ed’s passion and intensity in his movement brought me to tears. Plus, seeing the sensational Natalia Osipova dance like a goddess was the icing on the very non fattening ballet cake. As part of a three act ballet, we had the incredible opportunity to watch the first act piece, The Dream from in the wings at the side of the stage! Steven McRae was nothing short of sublime, and standing there in the midst of it all was like a dream in itself. We finished with dinner and dance gossip at one of my favourite restaurants Balthazar in Covent Garden, and I think that evening I truly floated into my bed, with dreams of the ballet dancing through my mind.

With dance being a running theme in my life as ever, I attended a fabulous party for Pineapple studios, which turned 35 this year! Congratulations to my darling Debbie Moore for making it the number one dance studio in London today.

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I had a great time with Pamela Stephenson on ITV’s Weekend with Aled Jones, talking about our upcoming show Brazouka! http://brazouka.info/index.html and I definitely think the highlight was meeting Jason Mraz, who both myself and my daughters are huge fans of, and when he sat down with his guitar and just started to sing my eyes welled up with just how beautiful and soulful his voice is. It was truly a very special moment, and apart from the sounds of his guitar, you could have heard a pin drop in the studio, everyone was transfixed.

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So here we are, the start of my technical rehearsals for Monty Python, and I know it’s going to be one hell of a week… Hopefully the next thing I will be writing to you is all about our fabulous opening night… So wish me luck, and I’ll see you on the other side!

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Much love till then…

Arlene x

Arlene’s International Wonderblog

It’s been a real West End whirlwind this past couple of weeks, with show after show in country after country. My week in Gozo with the company of Brazouka was just as exhilarating as exhausting. Starting our days with yoga at 6am, followed by breakfast at 7, then a full day of dancing, lunch, more dancing, dinner, and of course more dancing! I have to say the energy and passion of the dancers is just so infectious, and no matter how tired I was, their spirit kept me going through what could have a been a week to end all others. Gozo is such a beautiful place, and dancing on the rooftop of our incredible accommodation looking out over the view was just breathtaking. Despite the sun the beating down, the wind was fierce up there and I was wrapped up to the nines, so clearly no tan for me! It still wasn’t enough however to keep from dipping my toes into the beautiful heated pool and taking a break to just enjoy my surroundings, hearing the wonderful chatter of Portuguese and soft samba sounds around me. As always though, nothing beats returning to my family and I was happy to return home to head off again to Germany. Oh, wait…

So next it was Starlight Express, and my time to work with the new company who were rehearsing to open the show later that week. It’s always so exciting getting to shape and inspire a new generation of the Starlight Family, seeing what they can bring to their characters, and of course overall to the show itself. With brand new race music, some new choreography, and new tricks and turns from our amazing stunt skaters, the show is looking better than ever. As always, it really is something to behold so if you haven’t already, get yourself out there for a showstopping experience you’ll never forget!

I managed to take a break to celebrate my birthday, although just the evening mind as I spent the day with all the gang from Carnation footcare at the divine Bluebird restaurant in Chelsea. It’s crazy how being on my feet all day dancing, rehearsing, running between meetings can really take it’s toll, but thanks to my amazing new Pediroller, my aches are a thing of the past. Coupled with the amazing gel pads and soothing foot cream my feet are finally getting the love they deserve! I also got to have some delicious birthday cake, and picked up a pair of beautiful silk trousers from the fabulous boutique downstairs, so a real birthday bonus! New trousers on, I made my way with the family to my birthday dinner destination, Jason Atherton’s Berners Tavern at the London Edition Hotel. If the menu wasn’t enough to drool over, the decor was simply stunning. The food was just perfection, as was the company! The beautiful flowers and gifts I received, the cards and messages from friends old and new, it was all just perfect and I couldn’t have wished for more to make it a truly wonderful day. 

So here I am, after my first week at rehearsals for Monty Python, and all I can say is let the madness begin…
Make sure you check in next week to hear all about the last night at We Will Rock You, I still can’t believe it. 

So goodbye everybody, I’ve got to go…
Love Arlene x

Favourites and Flowers

So it would seem I’ve been running around all over the place again! I had an amazing week in Gozo, Malta, rehearsing with the Brazouka company, a couple of crazy days in Bochum with the new Starlight company, both of which I’ll tell you all about in my next post. This time however, it’s all about my favourite new things and my day at the wonderful Chelsea Flower Show!

So recently I have been obsessing over the following… My amazing new Nicky Clarke hair products! I’ve been using the new hair thickening shampoo and conditioner, and once it’s dry plying my locks with the incredible Tease Me Backcombing Styling Dust and the Hair Raising Thicken Lift and Shine Spray. My hair is a veritable cloud of voluminous wonder! Topped off with just a light spritz of my “can’t live without” Bumble and Bumble Brown Hair Powder I really feel like my hair has some life back into it.

I’m also obsessing over my Dr Lewinns nail care, my gorgeous new Avon goodies and my out of this world skincare from top Bevery Hills dermatologist Dr Lancer. Never has turning 71 felt so fabulous thanks to these treats!

So, now for your enjoyment, a day in photographs at the one and only Chelsea Flower Show! It was so wonderful to be there, and especially with my darling Flower Fairy Abi, who as I’ve mentioned many a time, is the most beautiful florist. I was such a joy to experience all the gardens, and especially to be part of the gardens from RNIB and of course Alzheimers, a disease so close to my heart that I regularly speak out for. I loved catching up with friends old and new, and even attempted to track down my favourite Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch himself!) but to no avail. Oh well, I hope you enjoy the following as much as I did…

Make sure you check in next week to hear about my time away, and also my night judging the English National Ballet’s emerging dancer awards, a truly spectacular evening of dance not to be missed!

I hope you all enjoy the bank holiday weekend, and the sun will put his hat on…

Much love till next time,
Arlene x

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