Believe - My Life on Stage

Before the first minute ends, it is abundantly clear that this is going to be one stunning performance. Believe: My Life On Stage is the biography of lead dancer Graziano Di Prima presented through dance. Written and directed by Paul Morrissey, it follows Graziano’s life from the day he begins learning how to dance at the tender of six, to the present day.

Sound designer Richard Vanryne includes a playlist of celebrated pop music from stars such as Ed Sheeran, Spice Girls and Imagine Dragons, in particular their hit song 'Believer', an obvious reference to the lead. After all, that is the title of the show.

Dance is, of course, the highlight of the evening. Graziano in particular lives up to his reputation as a superstar within the world of dance. There is no denying how much passion and delight he possesses onstage, fully in his element doing what he does best––doing what he was absolutely born to do.

Over the course of two acts, this performance is packed with exciting sequences, gravity-defying stunts and an endless supply of sparkly costumes. The dances are choreographed by Arduino Bertoncello with associate choregraphy by Giada Lini and Alberto Faccio, and these are interspersed with multimedia projections by Ben M Rogers, coupled with narrated voiceovers by Graziano as he sets the scene.

Graziano is more than a believer. He is a virtuoso of multiple dance forms, typically in Latin dance genres. Each act presents a plethora of dance styles, from jive to swing to samba. There is an Argentine tango sequence choreographed by Maria Tsiatsiani and Leandro Palou. Regardless of form, the performances are full of spice and electricity, drawing from a wide range of styles including the waltz and contemporary dance.

Every moment is slick, sharp and crisp, executed to such perfection that even Graziano's long curly hair seems to know exactly where it needs to be at all times. No finger is out of place, and each dancer's individual styling and flourishes contribute to the overall visual appeal of the show.

The talent on this stage is superb. Over 100 minutes of gorgeous choreography is executed with world-class finesse. These dancers are flawless, and somehow manage to make such wild, fast-paced movements seem as simple as breathing. Speaking of which, their athleticism is superb and their core strength unbelievable, as they are repeatedly tossed and twirled in the air. The company has so much physical control, that they barely part throughout the performance.

While the script is rather cheesy, this production is overflowing with heart and sincerity, one can easily excuse the basic script. As such, Graziano's impromptu speech at the end is definitely the most tender and heartfelt. Dripping with sweat, he expresses his gratitude for everyone who has been present throughout his incredible career, moved to tears by his own good fortune.

This is one fantastic, enjoyable production for anyone seeking a fun night out. There is so much entertainment value packed into this piece, it feels like one is both on a cruise ship and in Las Vegas at the same time. For anyone who is a Strictly Come Dancing fan, Believe: My Life On Stage is not to be missed! 

This show was reviewed on the 30th March 2024 at the Peacock Theatre, London.  Full tour dates and tickets available here: HOME | Believe - Graziano Di Prima's Live Show (believeontour.com)

Review written by Penelope Bao

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You can watch our interview with Graziano here: https://youtu.be/XsSbYqycHYo?si=wskhgVO6G8Mb53yF

Check out other reviews from Curtain Call Reviews and get in touch to have our reviewers head to your show.

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