David Gest Show & BBC's Move Like Michael Jackson

26/10/2009

Two Articles:

1.  David Gest's ‘My Life' London Show Featuring World Class Soul Artistes

David Gest was back in London on 14th October to host his show ‘My Life' and fortunately we at Pukka PR were invited by one of David's team and treated to a spectacular entertainment line-up of legendary soul stars at the Hammersmith Apollo. To my great surprise on entering the foyer I spotted Tito Jackson member of Jackson Five group and elder brother of the late phenomenon Michael Jackson.  My mother Amita and I were truly delighted to meet Tito and I was particularly overwhelmed and overjoyed to meet someone I consider to be pop royalty in the music business!
The spectacular show opened with the David Gest band and zany characters such as ‘Von Snatch Family' a nuns and priests choir, Liza and Lizetta ‘Chinese Girls With Herpes' and ‘Little People of David Land' Lauren & Aarti two mini glam hostesses who followed David around on the stage.

First of the singers was Freda Payne looking ever-youthful wearing a sexy fitted purple dress singing her hit ‘Band of Gold' then Dorothy Moore belted ‘Misty Blue' in a powerful husky voice and received a standing ovation. Billy Paul who first came to UK when he won a grammy in 73' sang the easy sounding ‘Me & Mrs Jones,' the Stylistics dressed in dapper white suits sang ‘You Make Me Feel Brand New' followed by Jean Knight singing ‘Mr Big Stuff ' and Peabo Bryson sang the duet ‘Tonight I Celebrate My Love For You' with a talented young Brit singer.

After the interval a Michael Jackson tribute with video footage was shown and David Gest talked about his long standing friendship with Michael and Tito Jackson also highlighting the countless charity causes Michael had contributed millions of dollars to as well as being an exceptionally talented artiste and kind generous human being.

The show continued with yet more famous soul divas and Motown greats including Candi Staton, Jimmy Ruffin, Denice Williams, Percy Sledge, Ben E King, Temptations and, David Gest finished with his own unique rendition of ‘I Did It My Way' and he certainly did do it his way with his quirky sense of humour which may seem crude to some! A thoroughly enjoyable and successful show which had people of all ages dancing and singing along to all the timeless classics performed by some of the finest soul artistes - one of the best concerts I've seen this year, hope David Gest returns to London soon with more Motown/soul music legends.
By Gina Chrysanthou © Photos

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Gina with Tito Jackson of the Jackson Five at Hammersmith Apollo

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Amita with Tito Jackson and Sharon Prasad

2.  ‘Move Like Michael Jackson'...BBC's national search for the best MJ dancers
Linking up with the Michael Jackson tribute concert scheduled next year the BBC are making a new programme called ‘Move Like Michael Jackson' and I was invited to participate in the London dance auditions. Being such a huge fan of MJ and being given the opportunity to possibly perform in memory of MJ was an exciting and fun prospect. After receiving an email from the production company Fever Media and being given just under a week's notice, I selected 2 music tracks and quickly choreographed a routine which I worked on everyday and did as much practice as I could. We were asked to prepare a dance routine with one MJ track and any other track so my MJ choice was ‘You Rock My World' and Shakira's current chart hit ‘She Wolf.'
Auditions took place at the Ministry of Sound club where I arrived with a positive mind accompanied by my mum Amita for support. While waiting in the queue outside members of the TV production team tried to motivate us for the camera by asking us to break into some dance moves. Some contestants were also being asked to give demos of their MJ dance style, one man was taken across the road where he danced for the camera while another quirky man dressed in a skirt and beret did a type of Irish/Scottish jig causing bemused members of the public to stop and watch the dance activity.
Once inside the Ministry of Sound I registered and was asked to wait in the main area till a member of the team called us. I was all geared up wearing my costume accessories and ready to dance however, even though I'd arrived over an hour earlier than my allocated audition time, my mother and I were left sitting there waiting far too long - somehow I'd been missed out! Many of the auditionees who had come after me had already been interviewed, auditioned and left and most of the people had cleared out. I brought this to the attention of a production team member who apologised for the unnecessary long wait but by the time they got round to seeing me and called me in for the audition my adrenaline levels had begun to decline which was a pity considering the effort I'd made preparing for the audition. Since I've not had professional training as a dancer but enjoy dancing as a hobby, I felt I gave it my best shot giving my own interpretation of MJ style dance at the audition. The judges were not able to offer any feedback and I'll never know what they thought of my audition piece so...onto the next project!            

By Gina Chrysanthou © Photos by Amita Chatterji

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Gina dancing while waiting to go into Ministry of Sound for 'Move Like Michael Jackson' auditions

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TV production team filming the audition candidates

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Audition contestant doing his MJ dance demo at road junction!

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Gina with audition contestant and his friend

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Audition contestant doing his MJ dance demo...an Irish jig!

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Audition contestants in MJ costumes

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Gina of Pukka PR in MJ mode waiting to audition

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Gina with an audition contestant

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