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There he was, looming out at me, as I set off in search of the draughty hall, tucked away on a South London council estate, where he's rehearsing his new show, Shall We Dance. Perhaps it's because he has so often been compared with David Beckham.The second encounter was in a brief break between dance pieces. The pale Englishman who became a sex god, the guy with the London accent and the surprisingly soft voice. So, he's doing his job, and I'm doing mine, and I've learnt the plot of his new show (guy searches for love all round the world and finally finds the right girl, who, presumably, I've just glimpsed) and the fact that it came about at the suggestion of impresario Raymond Gubbay, who had been offered the entire Richard Rodgers (of Rodgers and Hammerstein) back catalogue for somebody to create a dance show to, and the fact that Cooper finds doing the choreography and dancing "really hard" because he's "a bit of a control freak".
I remember one tour when two of the leading male dancers were injured, so myself and another guy around my age filled in for them, and we never got any thanks for it.
I think that's one of the reasons I felt like I never fitted in in the ballet word, because until I was about 16, it was all a laugh." And that, you suddenly realise, is the key to Adam Cooper, to his phenomenal versatility, his lack of airs and graces, and perhaps even, off stage (as I've just witnessed), of grace.
This is the son of a teacher and a pianist in Tooting who, as a four-year-old, danced around the living room after watching Fred Astaire on telly.
"Matthew seemed to be shaking up the dance world," he says, "and you can absolutely see real sexy dancing on stage." You can say that again.
Cooper was already used to playing broodily sexy, dangerous figures – bastards, in fact – at the Royal Ballet.