ANDRÉ Rieu’s Shall We Dance is being shown in cinemas across Dorset this month on July 27 and 28. The Dutch violinist and conductor explains how he plans to keep making classical music accessible...

Your last cinema shows holds the record for the biggest opening weekend recorded for a music concert in cinemas. Why do you think your shows are so popular?

“I think it has to do with the modern technologies from the 21st century, which allow people from all over the world, who are not able to come to my concerts, still can attend the performance.

“ It is an almost live experience, quite new, and both the sound and the moving images are so very real... I even heard that the cinema audience were dancing in the aisles, like they do in the concert halls. isn’t that amazing?”

this year you’re asking audiences Shall We Dance? What does dancing mean to you?

“It means that people are having genuine fun and that they actually do what the music from Johann Strauss was meant for. He did not write those waltzes just to listen to them, but in order to dance them. He even got Queen Victoria off her feet and up on the dance floor! My wife is a passionate folkloristic dancer, she is doing this for about 30 years. It’s really nice to look at this!”

People are often seen dancing in the aisles at your cinema shows, why do you think this is?

“Because it is simply impossible NOT to move when you hear these vivacious and uplifting melodies. My father, who was a symphony orchestra conductor, played Viennese waltzes sometimes as an encore and even then, the people in the audience started to move their bodies a little bit.

“Witnessing this as a young boy, I was gob smacked!” Later on, I discovered the magical power of the 3/4 rhythm myself!”

Do you have any special childhood memories of dancing?

“In my childhood, it was quite common that you followed dancing lessons. I was raised in a rather strict family atmosphere and I missed this boat. My first waltz was my wedding dance with my wife Marjorie, the second waltz... well, you know that story, haha!”

You have specifically mentioned the Beautiful Blue Danube. Would you say this is your favourite song to dance to?

“Without any sense of a doubt, it is one of the most beautiful waltzes ever composed. It has all ingredients a real waltz should contain: joy, happiness, melancholy, everything! Although I don’t really dance myself, it is such a delicious melody to play. Every time I play the first notes, I think I feel the joy Johann Strauss had while he composed this piece. It is even more gratifying when my audience starts to dance, wherever we play it. That is an indescribable moment!”

Vast amounts of people are able to watch your Maastricht show by bringing it to cinemas. Is it important to you that live classical music remains accessible?

“Yes, because classical music is meant for all generations, not just for the elite. Besides that, I allow the complete range of emotions, unlike you see that at other classical concerts. If you are happy, please laugh; when you are sad, don’t be afraid to show your tears. A lot of people love to go to the cinema, and I saw that as the perfect way to show my concerts. Music plays an important role in the education of children, and why not combine this with a visit to a cinema? And why not try to learn to play an instrument or to sing?”

People flock from all corners of the globe to attend your Maastricht performance. What is it about this show in particular that appeals to such a broad range of nationalities and cultures?

“Maastricht is my hometown and I feel a lot of love for this city. My whole life, I am a proud citizen and personally, I think that the people have a radar for that love. Maastricht is not a big town, it is the oldest one in the Netherlands and it has a lot to offer for people from all over the world. The geographical situation is central, within one hour one is able to fly to either Berlin, London or Paris. I feel truly honoured that inhabitants from so many countries seem to see the glance of my hometown - last year, about 90 nationalities attended the concerts! I started the summer concert tradition back in 2005 and many people, who came in that year, are very loyal visitors and travel to Maastricht every year again and again. I hope they will do that for many years to come, and I hope for myself to give these concerts for many years too!”

André Rieu’s Shall We Dance comes to the Regent Centre in Christchurch, the Tivoli Theatre in Wimborne, The Rex in Wareham and Cineworld Poole. Contact the box offices for tickets or see andreincinemas.comContact the box office for tickets. See