Latin rhythm sends concert crowd wild at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod
Hot, hot, hot – the temperature soared to new levels at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod last night, thanks to some of the best dancers and musicians in the world.
Billed as Strictly Cuban, last night's concert featured not only two of the brightest stars of BBC TV's Strictly Come Dancing, James and Ola Jordan, but also the legendary Cuban band, Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club.
Many may have been attracted to attend by the glitz and glamour of James and Ola, but the undoubted stars of the show were the ageing musicians from Cuba, who had the near capacity crowd literally dancing in the aisles.
The show got off to a slow start – 20 minutes late thanks to a technical hitch in the eistedffod pavilion – but that was soon forgotten as James and Ola provided an entertaining first half, showing off their dancing skills to great applause and also lifting the lid a little on one of television's most popular and enduring shows over the past decade.
After each number, as Ola changed into another sexy outfit, James chatted to the audience, answering questions that his legions of fans were keen to have answered.
They included, who had been his favourite celebrity partner.
"My favourite has to be Pamela Stephenson," he said.
Though, he revealed, he had been disappointed at first, to have someone of her age, 62, as his partner, he soon realised how good she was.
"For someone of her age to get into the final of the show, shows that at any age you can be a great dancer," he said.
Ola joined him on walkabout around the pavilion much to their fans' delight before their last dance, an extremely hot jive.
But as soon as the show's second half, dedicated to Buena Vista Social Club Orchestra, the atmosphere in the pavilion almost went off the temperature scale.
Each musician is a virtuoso in his own right, but vocalist Omara Portuondo – who must be in her 80s – was mesmerising.
The winner of a Latin Grammy, Portuondo still has a wonderful voice and can still show a leg and dance to the beat with the best.
The crowd loved them all, showing their appreciation, not only with cheers, but probably the longest conga dance the eisteddfod has ever seen.
Tonight's concert will have a totally different feel, celebrating 200 years of the music of Giuseppe Verdi.
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