Aljaž Škorjanec and Janette Manrara digital adaptation of their upcoming UK tour is filled with dazzling routines and wonderful diversity of films celebrated.
Remembering the Oscars is the latest show from Strictly Come Dancing’s Aljaž Škorjanec and Janette Manrara – which sadly has had to postpone the live tour until next year given the pandemic. However, still determined to provide people with entertainment and escapism they and their usual team of creatives have delivered a vibrant and enjoyable digital version that offers tantalising glimpses as to what audiences can expect when the tour goes ahead.
Directed and choreographed by Gareth Walker, Remembering the Oscars is a show which highlights the importance of choreography and dance in many of the classic films. This is spectacularly showcased in the dazzling opening sequence that offers glimpses of films such as a tributes to The Way We Were, Flash Dance and Dirty Dancing among others – in this section alone, the signs that this hour is going to be packed with a great diversity of routines, highlighting the talents of all the dancers who appear.
The way in which it has all been captured on film means that it feels like the glamour of Hollywood has been brought to life and yet it still feels like a proper stage show. This is seen not just through the choreography that captures the story of the film in a new way, but also the costumes, the use of digital screen content and the individual segments in which Škorjanec and Manrara discuss the Oscars and particular films.
Both Škorjanec and Manrara’s passion for dance of course is never in doubt – but it is at is highest when discussing the fact the Oscars dropped the award for best dance direction in 1937 and do a section celebrating the work of choreographers whose work are not recognised at these prestigious awards. It seems shocking particularly given the rise of musical films in recent years – but this segment beautifully pays tribute to the work of choreographers on films such as Singin’ in the Rain, Carousel and La La Land.
Throughout all of the sections that builds up to a fun-filled Disney section, all of the dancers assembled (who I would mention individually if I had more time and room) for this digital production put their heart and soul into every sequence. Particular stand out moments include a sharp and sassy routine to ‘All That Jazz’ from Chicago’ and a playful and joyous Mary Poppins routine. Every performer is beautifully synchronised with each other and it so lovely to see them doing what they do best. Meanwhile, vocalists Janine Johnson and Giovanni Spanno enhance the routines with classy vocals.
But of course at the centre of it all, Aljaž Škorjanec and Janette Manrara make every performance look so simple and graceful. Their routine for ‘Kissing You’ from Romeo and Juliet is simply gorgeous – the complexity of some of the moves is incredible and made to look effortless, accompanied by some emotionally rich vocals provided by Janine Johnson make this a real highlight. Meanwhile, their tango routine is equally mesmerising to watch, highlighting the sharpness of the choreography.
Dazzling from start to finish – its only flaw is that it doesn’t go on for long enough! However, there are some lovely extras on top of this show including a behind the scenes look which explores how Remembering the Oscars was made and Aljaž Škorjanec and Janette Manrara in conversation with Richard Arnold are nice additions to enhance the experience.
Throughout, Remembering the Oscars feels like a real celebration of film and dance, perfectly intertwined with each other to provide an hour of delightful escapism and entertainment.
By Emma Clarendon
Remembering the Oscars is available to stream until the 17th April. Tickets can be purchased by visiting: https://www.rememberingtheoscars.com/