17 August 2016
Still on the Dawn Princess. I didn't catch everything, but I did catch most. What I most like on cruise ships is the shows - I don't see dance/song shows like this otherwise, and they are very good. As on another ship, we were introduced to the performers and went backstage to see the minimal dressing space. The competition for these gigs, especially for the dancers, is immense. One male said he'd attended an audition in London with 900 dancers and 9 were selected. They go on a list, get matched into a team considering skills but also presentation, sizes, looks, I guess. Then off to LA to learn the routines in 6-8 weeks, then to a ship for a contract, perhaps 6 months. Then breaks in between and perhaps more contracts. Some had been dancing 10 contracts with Princess. They are good and do it on a rolling ship (more difficult to stand still, apparently) and, to quote Ginger Rogers, the women do it backwards and in heals. No written choreography, so memory is required. The dancers performed different shows most days, each twice daily, mostly with live music. Otherwise there were feature singers or musicians with the show band. Once there was a dance show (British invasion - Beatles, Queen, etc) with a recorded track. The stage band was 7 players, reading charts: keys, trombone, trumpet (leader?), tenor/alto sax, guitar, drums, bass. Nice and supportive rather than featured. Grand pianos available on main stages and a few places otherwise. A truly satisfying PA throughout from Apogee Sound. I love a good PA: there's nothing like shear, clear power.