Friday, October 19

Interview: Brendan Cole

- January 8, 2018



After a Christmas of Strictly Come Dancing highs and lows, treat your withdrawal with dancer Brendan Cole’s spectacular production All Night Long. Brendan took time out from Christmas Strictly rehearsals to speak with Victoria Nangle about it.

Hi Brendan, how are you doing today?
Busy. Filming the Christmas Special… it’s going to be a long one.

Are you looking forward to your tour?
I cannot wait, although there is a lot to be done before then. We have a ball on tour. Always very sad when it’s over. 21 musicians and dancers on the road for three months. What could be better?

It sounds an incredible feat, with so many dancers and musicians, all directed by you. What do you most enjoy getting involved with?
Every task is tricky and very involved. The overall satisfaction when you see the whole thing come together is incredible. Ultimately being on stage and performing is the best but it is the icing on a very tricky cake.

The show also includes a guitar spot from you. How long have been playing the guitar, and how did that passion develop?
I love a challenge and I love live music. I am in awe of my band and the talent that they have. It’s a lovely opportunity to play one song with them. The song is an Ed Sheeran song and who wouldn’t want to feel like Ed Sheeran for a few minutes?

What is your favourite dance number in the show?
It’s the Waltz. It’s a very powerful piece of theatre with loads of emotion. It’s a Michael Bublé song that tells the story of an affair. It’s sad but beautiful.

I believe in saying what I believe in rather than kicking off behind closed doors

When Strictly is on the television, is there a first bad habit you always have to address with your celebrity partners (i.e. core work, hip movement) or do they each surprise you with something new?
Every person is different and they all learn in different ways. The hardest thing is the mental strength and emotional support that they need during the show. It’s a massive ask for all involved.

You were beautifully fierce defending Charlotte’s dancing to the judges this year.How difficult is it to stay quiet when the judges ‘perform’ with their comments?
Thank you. Clearly I find it very difficult – lol. I believe in saying what I believe in rather than kicking off behind closed doors.

The choreography is always impressive. How far in advance do you choreograph dances for the show, and how much do you need to change and tailor them to the abilities of the partner you’re given?
I do them on Monday mornings on the way to rehearsal. They get tweaked throughout the first few days but not too much. Most of the time I get it right.

Close relationships between the dancers and celebrities don’t seem to help but develop over the run. Do you stay in touch at all after the show has ended though? It must be a wrench. Any surprise long-lasting pals?
I have developed some great friendships over the years. I would say I’m still good friends with half of them. The others… not so much lol.

Choreographing seems so nuanced, sometimes incorporating drama, other times comedy, taking an audience on a roller coaster of emotions and communicating straight to the heart without words. How do you learn to conduct and create such a wide breadth of performance?
It’s tricky but like anything, it takes a lifetime to understand how to do something well. I’m still learning. I think this is what makes Strictly so special. People see so many different emotions, all on screen for all to see. It’s brilliant.

Which ballroom step should everyone learn to dance in their life?
Not sure. Anything that makes you excited.

Brendan Cole: All Night Long, Brighton Dome, Sunday 18 February 2018, 7.30pm, £41/31

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