20 episodes

Professional dancer Oti Mabuse explores the extraordinary people who have changed the course of dance.

Oti Mabuse's Dancing Legends BBC Radio 4

    • Arts
    • 3.0 • 2 Ratings

Professional dancer Oti Mabuse explores the extraordinary people who have changed the course of dance.

    Olga Muller

    Olga Muller

    Oti Mabuse shows her appreciation for the dancers and choreographers who have transformed the dancing world.

    In today’s episode, she is joined by choreographer, presenter (and also big sister) Motsi Mabuse. Motsi developed a successful professional career including winning the German Championship before moving to become a judge on Let's Dance in Germany and Strictly Come Dancing in the UK.

    Motsi has worked with various dancers and choreographers in her career, but she says the person who has had the greatest influence on her is Olga Muller.

    Olga is a former World Latin Champion who was celebrated during the 1990s as one of the figureheads of competitive German dance. Motsi and Oti, who were both trained by Olga, go down a personal memory lane as they reminisce about their time under her tutelage in the dance studio.

    The dance adjudicator Colin James helps to tell the story of Olga’s life and career, and Oti is joined in the studio by her husband, the dancer Marius Iepure, to learn a routine inspired by this dancing legend.

    Presenter: Oti Mabuse
    Producer: Candace Wilson
    Editor: Chris Ledgard
    A BBC Audio Bristol production for BBC Radio 4

    • 28 min
    Jerome Robbins

    Jerome Robbins

    Oti Mabuse continues her journey celebrating the incredible dancers and choreographers who have made a huge influence on the world of dance.

    In this episode, Oti sits down with ballet dancer and choreographer Wayne Sleep OBE. Wayne has danced professionally for over 50 years and starred in productions including Cats and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Wayne cites the Oscar and Tony award winning choreographer and director Jerome Robbins as his dancing legend.

    Jerome Robbins was one of the most accomplished choreographers of the 20th century and his vision led to the creation of the highly celebrated musical West Side Story. His work can be seen in the worlds of theatre, movies and television, and Wayne and Oti together explore the career of this renowned figure with the expert help of writer, Wendy Lesser.

    Oti then heads to the dance studio to be taught a routine inspired by Robbins, with dance teacher James Bennett showing her the ropes.

    Presenter: Oti Mabuse
    Producer: Candace Wilson
    Editor: Chris Ledgard
    A BBC Audio Bristol production for BBC Radio 4

    • 28 min
    Janet Jackson

    Janet Jackson

    Oti Mabuse shows her appreciation for the dancers and choreographers who have transformed the dancing world.

    In today’s episode, Oti sits down with Beth Honan. Beth has worked with music artists including JLS and Girls Aloud and is Choreographer on Strictly Come Dancing. In the course of her career, she has been Creative Director on The X Factor and has produced large scale concerts at the 02 Arena and Wembley Stadium.

    Beth talks about her career and then introduces us to the dancer who has consistently inspired her over the years - Janet Jackson. This Grammy Award-winning artist has sold over 100 million records, has performed on stages around the world and has been inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Janet Jackson’s performing life began when she was a young child with her famous family. To tell the story, we're joined by the writer David Ritz, who co-wrote the book True You with Janet.

    Oti delves further into the movement of Janet Jackson and is joined in the dance studio by Alisha Thompson to learn a dance routine inspired by this singing and dancing powerhouse.

    Presenter: Oti Mabuse
    Producer: Candace Wilson
    Editor: Chris Ledgard
    A BBC Audio Bristol production for BBC Radio 4

    • 28 min
    Cyd Charisse

    Cyd Charisse

    Oti Mabuse pays homage to the dancers and choreographers who have revolutionised the dancing world.

    In today’s episode, the choreographer and creative director, Jason Gilkison, reminisces about key moments in his dancing career and celebrates a legendary dancer who inspired him.

    Jason is the director of the hit dance stage show Burn The Floor and is creative director on Strictly Come Dancing. He has found inspiration in many places when devising routines, but there’s one dancer he urges everyone to watch - the Hollywood legend Cyd Charisse.

    Cyd Charisse is known as one of the greatest Hollywood dancers of her time and has scene-stealing roles in Singing In The Rain and Silk Stockings. She danced alongside other legendary dancers including Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly and was nominated for a Golden Globe award. She has also been honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Jason and Oti explore the career of this dazzling dancer with archive clips and the expert help of entertainment historian, John Kenrick.

    Oti then heads to the dance studio to learn a dance routine inspired by Cyd Charisse. Ballet dancer Mlindi Kulashe puts Oti through her paces.


    Presenter: Oti Mabuse
    Producer: Candace Wilson
    Editor: Chris Ledgard
    A BBC Audio Bristol production for BBC Radio 4

    • 28 min
    Dougie Squires

    Dougie Squires

    Oti Mabuse reflects on the dancers and choreographers who have transformed the dancing landscape.

    In today’s episode, Patti Boulaye OBE sits down with Oti to reflect on her 50 year career and pay homage to a legendary figure from the world of dance.
    Patti shot to fame on the TV talent show New Faces and her stage credits include the musicals Carmen Jones and Jesus Christ Superstar.

    Patti has worked with a variety of choreographers - but she says the one who has inspired her the most is Dougie Squires OBE.

    Dougie Squires formed and choreographed the singing and dancing group The Young Generation, which performed on some of the biggest TV shows of the 1960s and 70s. Dougie’s own career spans seven decades and he is still working with dancers today.

    Patti and Oti explore the wok of this acclaimed choreographer with archive clips and the expert help of dancer and presenter, Rosemarie Ford.

    And then Oti heads to the dance studio to learn a dance routine inspired by Dougie Squires. She’s joined by Antony Johns who has worked with Dougie for over forty years. Antony tries to mould Oti into becoming an honorary Generation Dancer.


    Presenter: Oti Mabuse
    Producer: Candace Wilson
    Editor: Chris Ledgard
    A BBC Audio Bristol production for BBC Radio 4

    • 28 min
    The Nicholas Brothers

    The Nicholas Brothers

    Oti Mabuse explores the dancers and choreographers who have made an impact on the world of dance.

    In today’s episode, the Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams joins Oti to look back on her career and nominate her dancing legend. Michelle has toured in arenas around the world performing to millions of fans, and has appeared on stage on Broadway and in the West End.

    She’s been inspired by the pioneering work of the Nicholas Brothers and celebrates their legacy with Oti. The tap dancing duo performed astounding dance routines on screen which are still entertaining audiences more than seventy years later. Their acrobatic performance in the 1943 movie Stormy Weather clearly showed their brilliance, and Michelle and Oti explore their career with archive clips and the expert help of author Constance Valis Hill.

    Oti is joined in the dance studio by tap dancer Junior Laniyan as she learns a dance routine inspired by the style of the Nicholas Brothers.

    Presenter: Oti Mabuse
    Producer: Candace Wilson
    Editor: Chris Ledgard
    A BBC Audio Bristol production for BBC Radio 4

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

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