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Graziano Di Prima - Believe: My Life on Stage | Peacock Theatre

Graziano Di Prima: Believe: My Life On Stage chronicles the life and rise of Graziano Di Prima from humble beginnings on his family's farm in Sicily, Italy, to becoming an internationally acclaimed and beloved Strictly Come Dancing star. Exciting and exhilarating, the quality of dance in this production sweeps you off your feet. Written and directed by Paul Morrissey, and choreographed by Arduino Bertoncello, this dance production weaves significant moments from Graziano's life, with breath-taking choreographed numbers.

The show erupts into a fast paced and mind blowing performance from the ensemble, set to Imagine Dragon's Believer. The ensemble dancers are unbelievably talented and consists of Maurizio Benenato, Adam Brunyee, Elisa Brunetti, Jasmine Chan, Grace Cinque-White, Leonardo Lini, Luke Miller and Julia Ruiz Fernández. The company are a force of nature, creating a wonderful atmosphere on stage. With a multitude of lifts, spins, and even throws, the dancers defy expectations and push the boundaries of dance. 

However, as impressive as the ensemble are, once Graziano graces the stage, he's unmissable. Moving impossibly quick and with such fluidity, Graziano commands the audience's attention, his love and passion for dance is clear throughout. Graziano basks in the love and applause from the audience, often teasing and fulfilling daredevil steps, each grander than the next. You simply cannot take your eyes off of him.

Cast as his leading lady, dance partner and romantic interest is Giada Lini (who is Graziano's wife in real life and also a very successful professional dancer). The duo have undeniable chemistry and the heatwaves of their passion ripple through whenever the two dance together. The second act, however, feels slightly underwhelming compared to the first, choosing to focus more on the emotional arc. With a continual cycle of success and hope, to failure and doubt in his profession and a monumental decision in his personal life, the choreography is at a slower pace, and with more emphasis on the visual effects. 

A whirlwind world tour in the second act allows for a medley of different styles which seamlessly transition into one another. A particular standout moment is the inclusion of the famous PSY's Gangnam Style when visiting Korea, that has Graziano and the ensemble leaning into the fun viral dance style. The soundtrack has been carefully selected incorporating music from around the globe (Richard Vanryne). Ranging from Billie Eilish's recent What Was I Made for to Shakira's Waka Waka, the songs with additional beats have the audience bopping their heads along.

Set design (Ben M Rogers) is simple, with three doors at the far wall. Video projection (Ben M Rogers) helps the audience visualise Sicily, with footage of the woods, nature and airports. The story is narrated by a voice over from Graziano Di Prima himself, and the video projections often come through with it. The costumes by Cassandra Lyons are exquisite, with the flair for the sequinned shorts, the draped dresses and black and red matching company wide costumes. 

Graziano takes to the microphone at the end of the show to reiterate how much this tour and all the love means to him, and to inspire the audience to believe in their own dreams. He individually introduces and thanks his dance mates, and wife, but it's his direct message of gratitude to his mother (who was in the audience) which has him, and the audience, in tears. 

Graziano Di Prima - Believe: My Life on Stage is a very personal glimpse into Graziano's lowest points and his greatest success. And yet with the stunning choreography becomes a smashing success for a dance show. Filled with warmth, inspiration and hope, Believe: My Life on Stage is a beautiful piece of art. Graziano Di Prima - Believe: My Life on Stage is currently embarking on tour around the UK with the final date being 12th April at Leicester Curve - you can find more information and tickets on each of the venue's websites.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Pamela Raith


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