Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnis The Magic of Hollywood review


Another year, another Pasha Kovalev tour, another year of jaw-dropping talent, smiles and laughter. In fact, I swear each year Pasha and Anya’s tour reminds me just how dirty my laugh can be but hey laughter is always appreciated.

The Magic of Hollywood is a magical journey of dance through the eras, from old Hollywood to modern day. Following our leading man, Pasha and our leading lady, Anya through a narrative that combines some all-time greats from movie soundtracks and all the ballroom and latin dances that we know and love from Strictly. From sumptuous and tear-jerking waltzes to party Latin numbers that make you want to get up and boogie. Pasha explains that the inspiration for this show is that sense that ‘movies take us out of our everyday lives and transport us to places we could hardly have imagined without them, weaving their magic as their stories unfold.’

A particular favourite dance of mine (and I’m sure for many others) was the Paso Doble to the Moulin Rouge version of Roxanne, which was a breathtaking display of choreography, athleticism, trust, tricks and lifts that had me spouting more expletives than watching Joe and Katya’s cantilever lift on Strictly. You could hear the whole audience take in a collective gasp. I’ve never seen choreography and daring quite like it and my admiration for Anya skyrocketed even further.

Expletives and gasps aside, one thing that often strikes me about watching Pasha and Anya dance is that how the audience can be so quiet but that’s far from a negative thing because they’re so enraptured and captivated by the storytelling and emotion of the dance.

But as ever, one of my favourite parts of the show is the audience participation part. Even when you know the gist of what’s going to happen it never ceases to be hilarious and there’s always that element of the unpredictable (like someone actually refusing to sit on his knee, not sure that happens very often). Each participant becomes heroines in their own right and often the envy of some audience members (wink, wink.) I also adore this section because it shows off Pasha’s comedic side.

This year Pasha and Anya are supported on their 66 date tour around the UK by dancers Valerio La Pietra, Lisa Welham, Domenico Palmisano and Nina Geric who help sustain the magic on stage. Including an emotional contemporary number that will have you wiping away a tear. They’re also joined by singer Britt Lenting whose voice has such an old musicals tone perfect for belting out Etta James’ At Last but also more modern jazz numbers such as Welcome to Burlesque.

I thoroughly recommend the show to any Strictly Come Dancing fans, ballroom dance fans, fans of dance in general or if you just want a thoroughly entertaining night out with a difference. The show has something for all ages. And with a 66 date tour across the UK, they’re bound to be performing at a venue not too far away from you.

You can view my review of last year’s show Let’s Dance the Night Away with Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnis here.

To find out more about Pasha and for a full list of tour dates visit


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