Michael Berkeley welcomes the award-winning choreographer Arlene Phillips, who came to prominence by creating the hugely popular dance group Hot Gossip in the 1970s. After the group achieved TV fame, Arlene worked with major artists from Duran Duran and Diana Ross to Robbie Williams, TV shows and specials, large-scale events such as The Royal Variety Show and Party at the Palace, and worldwide stage productions of shows such as Flashdance, The Sound of Music, Grease and We Will Rock You. She has also directed smash-hit musicals such as Saturday Night Fever, Starlight Express, Jesus Christ Superstar, Saturday Night Fever and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. She has appeared on many TV shows, most notably as a judge on 'Strictly Come Dancing' from 2004 until 2009. In the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games she was appointed the government's 'Dance Tsar' to help improve the nation's fitness. She has also choreographed over 100 TV commercials in the UK and USA.
Arlene's music choices begin with the Dance at the Gym from Bernstein's West Side Story, which fuelled her love of American Jazz. As a small child, she dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer, and she has chosen the Transformation Scene from Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty, one of the greatest of all ballets. Andrew Lloyd Webber is a personal friend, and the theme from his Paganini Variations is her next choice, followed by a number from the show Les Miserables, sung by Alfie Boe. Mozart's Requiem is another passion, also the famous clog dance from the Herold/Lanchbery ballet La fille mal gardee. Her other choices include music by Philip Glass, Pachelbel's Canon, which was one of the first classical pieces she heard, and an Argentine tango.