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Starz Tunes Up for 'Dancing on the Edge'

Debuting this October, the five-part 1930s Jazz-centric miniseries stars Golden Globe nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew Goode, Jacqueline Bisset and John Goodman.

Chiwetel Ejiofor in "Dancing on the Edge"
Chiwetel Ejiofor Dancing on the EdgeJuly 26, 2013

Matthew Goode and Chiwetel Ejiofor in "Dancing on the Edge"
Matthew Goode and Chiwetel Ejiofor in "Dancing on the Edge"
Jacqueline Bisset in "Dancing on the Edge"
Jacqueline Bisset in "Dancing on the Edge"
BEVERLY HILLS, CA — Starz announced the U.S. television premiere of the musical drama "Dancing on the Edge," an original miniseries from the multi-award winning writer/director Stephen Poliakoff (Glorious 39, "Gideon's Daughter," "The Lost Prince"), is set to premiere on Starz in October 2013. The riveting five-episode miniseries features original lyrics and music from the Emmy Award-winning musician and composer Adrian Johnston ("Gideon's Daughter," "Shackleton," "Kinky Boots," "Brideshead Revisited"), performed by actresses Angel Coulby and Wunmi Mosaku, who sing on screen for the first time.

Inspired by accounts of the prolific Duke Ellington Band's mingling with the future Duke of Windsor Edward VIII in Europe, "Dancing on the Edge" takes place in London during the early 1930s. The story illustrates the journey of a group of Black jazz musicians — the Louis Lester Band — as they steadily rise to stardom, a result of performing at various elite social gatherings hosted by London's aristocrats. Although Britain's climate was flourishing with extraordinary social change, much of the upper-class loathed the idea of Black musicians performing in polite society. Still, the city's more progressive socialites (including members of the Royal Household) befriend the ensemble and introduce them to posh life. The blissful eminence surrounding the band abruptly changes when the band members are entangled in a murder conspiracy.

Golden Globe nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor ("Twelve Years of a Slave" to be released in December 2013, "Salt," "American Gangster") stars as the debonair band leader of his self-titled "Louis Lester Band," who befriends an ambitious music journalist named Stanley, played by co-star Matthew Goode ("Stoker," "A Single Man," "Brideshead Revisited"). Ejiofor and Goode are joined by Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominee Jacqueline Bisset ("Joan of Arc," "Two Jacks") who plays the influential Lady Cremone, along with Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner John Goodman ("The Monuments Men," "Inside Llewyn Davis," both set to release in December 2013, "Monster's University") who portrays the affluent American entrepreneur named Masterson.

The sultry songstresses of the Louis Lester Band are played by Angel Coulby ("The Tunnel," "Merlin") playing Jessie and Wunmi Mosaku ("I Am Slave," "The Body Farm") as Carla, who both lend their extraordinary, authentic vocals to the miniseries. The striking cast also includes Janet Montgomery ("Black Swan," "Entourage") as Sarah, the insightful photographer; Anthony Head ("The Iron Lady," "Merlin," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") portrays the compassionate gentleman named Donaldson; and Tom Hughes ("The Lady Vanishes," "Cemetery Junction") plays Julian, the employee of Masterson and socialite brother of Pamela played by Joanna Vanderham ("The Runaway," "Young Herriot").

"Dancing on the Edge" was filmed on location in London and Birmingham on a moving set over four months and was executive produced by an acclaimed production team including: James D. Stern, Douglas E. Hansen and Colin Callender ("The White Queen," "Magic City"); Alison Owen ("Jane Eyre," "The Men Who Stare at Goats"), Paul Trijbits ("Saving Mr. Banks," "Jane Eyre") and Poliakoff; Dan Lawson and Peter Hampden. The miniseries was produced by Nicky Kentish Barnes ("Salmon Fishing in the Yemen," "Match Point") and Faye Ward ("Toast," "Jane Eyre") for Ruby Film and Television. Ruby Film and Television produced the series for BBC Two, supported by Endgame Entertainment, Playground Entertainment, Creative England (through the Advantage Media Production Fund (previously managed by Screen West Midlands)) and LipSync Productions. ITV Studios Global Entertainment will distribute the series internationally.
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