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Dancing on the Edge comes to BBC Two

Date posted: 29.01.2013

Highly anticipated period drama Dancing on the Edge comes to BBC Two on 4 February, telling the story of a successful all-black jazz band in 1930s London. Created by award-winning television dramatist Stephen Poliakoff ("The Lost Prince", "Shooting the Past") the five-part series stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men, American Gangster), Jacqueline Bisset (Day for Night, Bullitt) and Matthew Goode (Watchmen, A Single Man) alongside Hollywood powerhouse John Goodman (The Big Lebowski, The Artist). The series shot extensively in the capital.

Dancing on the Edge addresses economic depression, immigration and a public obsession with celebrity from 1931-33 through the experiences of an all-black jazz band. Fashionable enough to play at chic hotels and clubs for a high-society crowd, they must enter and exit venues by the back door because of their race.

"I thought the 1930s was an extraordinarily interesting time," says creator Poliakoff. "In the early 1930s, just after the great crash, it was a melting pot of all sorts of things happening; no one knew, just like now, where things were going to lead. There was this wonderful conjunction of this music leading members of the aristocracy to mingle with black musicians and it became very fashionable. "

Shot entirely on location, Dancing on the Edge took great advantage of the capital's historic buildings.

"Finding locations for Stephen Poliakoff is a challenge," said Location Manager Harriet Lawrence. "He always shoots 100% on location ... I love the fact that when he starts writing a new film, we meet and in the very early stages of the creative process, I can suggest locations that excite him and find their way into the script early on."

One important location for the period drama is the stately Fenton House in Hampstead.

"Fenton House is a well kept secret," says creator Poliakoff. "One of best moments of the shoot for me was standing in the garden and being able to turn 360 degrees and not see a single modern building as a marvellous period townscape surrounds the garden walls."

Buildings including Somerset House, Fulham Palace and Blythe House also bring life to depictions of 1930s glamour.

Dancing on the Edge premieres on BBC Two on 4 February. Further information can be found on the BBC website.

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