The Siberian terpsichorean and Strictly Come Dancing reigning champion, Pasha Kovalev returns to Scotland with his newest show: Life Through Dance showcases the perennial favourite’s impressive choreographic and dancing skills as well as providing an insight into his journey from child in Russia to worldwide favourite.
In the near two and a half hour show Kovalev is accompanied by two professional pairs (Ryan Hammond & Marcella Solimeo and James Wilson & Leila Stewart) as well as his original professional partner Anya Garnis and delivers a whirlwind tour of dance styles neatly linked by big screen footage of Kovalev talking of his inspiration for, and motivation to, dance. The set is simple but effective and is complemented by inventive lighting and projections.
Kovalev’s sheer class shines through and despite the undoubted talent and quality of the other dancers, Kovalev is simply in a different class. The effortlessness with which he executes each routine is breathtaking.
Kovalev’s warm personality shines throughout and at times he’s like a little boy on Christmas morning, such is his delight at the reaction of the crowd. A quality evening and hopefully not the last time we see him here in Scotland.
Strictly Come Dancing’s Katya and Pasha took to the stage for an evening of exhibition dance routines, audience participation, a bit of Q&A and some video highlights, and danced their way into the hearts of the enthusiastic crowd in Motherwell.
Joining Katya and Pasha were two rising stars in the world of dance, Lindsey Muckle & Ryan Hammond (below), the undefeated British Latin Show Dance Champions. They took part in Strictly Come Dancing in South Africa which Lindsey went on to win, and both recently appeared in the hit Sky 1 show Got to Dance, reaching the semi finals.
Linked by an joke-cracking host, the evening began with an energetic Samba, then a slow Cha Cha Cha, before being joined on stage by Muckle and Hammond for a Salsa. The dances then flowed in quick succession (in a dazzle of gorgeous costumes): Foxtrot, Quick-Step, Argentine Tango, Viennese Waltz, Rhumba, Paso Doble and Jive.
The evening was interspersed with a Q&A session, a lesson in how to Merengue and a Cha Cha Cha competition, which the natives had nearly to be restrained from leaping onstage to join in with.
The two stars came across as extremely engaging and the warmth radiated from them both – which was nice to see as Katya is often portrayed as a bit of a hard task master – here she showed her softer side. A hugely enjoyable evening with the most phenomenal dancing and, as good as Muckle and Hammond were, it showed that Katya and Pasha are simply in a different class. The dancing was phenomenal and it was a chance to get closer to these stars of Strictly – if you have the chance to see Katya and Pasha in a theatre near you – GO – you’ll love it!