[[quoteright:195:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dancing_on_the_edge_-_Copy_7398.bmp]]

Dancing on the Edge is a five part British drama series written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff, following the trials and tribulations of a black jazz band in the 1930s. After achieving fame by entertaining London's upper-class society and being championed by members of British royalty, their fortunes change when one of their members is found murdered, throwing them into a police investigation rife with racism, class prejudice and nationalism.

Airing in early 2013, the series is most notable for its AllStarCast, including ChiwetelEjiofor, John Goodman, Matthew Goode, Jacqueline Bisset, Joanna Vanderham, Caroline Quentin, Creator/JennaLouiseColeman, Creator/AngelCoulby, Jane Asher, Janet Montgomery and Creator/AnthonyHead. The first trailer can be seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcqnCz5chXs here]] and the second one [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdImu56_JRE here]].

As well as the five episodes, there was also a short "bonus episode" released, which involved Stanley interviewing members of the band.

It was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards in 2013: Best Miniseries, Best Actor in a miniseries (ChiwetelEjiofor), and Best Supporting Actress in a miniseries (Jacqueline Bisset). Jacqueline Bisset won for Best Supporting Actress.

It was also Mel Smith's final project before his death.

----
!!This series provides examples of:

* AlliterativeName: The Louis Lester Band
* AngryBlackMan: Wesley
* AristocratsAreEvil: Or at ''least'' very unreliable and shifty. Sarah makes a point of saying that she's ''not'' an aristocrat, thus delineating her character as trustworthy.
** This is {{subverted}} later on, when [[spoiler:Sarah cracks under the pressure of the police's attempts to hunt down Louis, and Pamela displays her HiddenDepths by coming through for him and successfully getting him out of the country]].
* AsYouKnow: Happens quite a bit, as characters provide unnecessary [[InfoDump Info Dumps]] to each other in their dialogue. One particularly glaring example is when Wesley shares with Louis why he fled America, who was already well-aware of the reasons.
** In this case, though, Wesley seems to be addressing a nearby young (and white) woman who would not have been familiar with his past.
* AttemptedRape: [[spoiler:Implied to be the reason behind Julian's fatal attack on Jessie]].
* AuthorAppeal: As always, photography plays a big part in a Stephen Poliakoff drama.
** CreatorThumbprint
* BadLiar: Eric is a self-proclaimed one.
* BecauseYouWereNiceToMe: Whilst on the run, Louis hides out in a ballet studio. He plays for them so that their teacher can watch their movements, and when the police turn up, none of the dancers give away his whereabouts.
* BigBeautifulWoman: Carla, who is very tall, very robust, and very beautiful. [[http://www.farfarawaysite.com/section/dancing/gallery1/hires/8.jpg See picture]].
* BillingDisplacement: Creator/AngelCoulby was practically the face of publicity for the show. [[SmallRoleBigImpact Yet though her part is memorable and pivotal, it's also quite small]].
* BirdsOfAFeather: Surprisingly, Louis and Pamela, who both put up a calm and stoic facade to hide their inner turmoil.
* BittersweetEnding
* ButtMonkey: Eric
* CallBack: Louis tells Sarah that he once saw a young woman ask for new cutlery after he accidentally brushed past her table. Later, Sarah notices a woman demand a new teacup after Jessie's hand brushes it in passing.
* CatchPhrase: Julian's "my dear friend".
* ClearMyName: {{Averted}}. When it becomes clear that Louis is being set up for [[spoiler:Jessie's murder]], nobody even bothers to suggest this -- they know that their only chance is to help him escape the country.
* ControlFreak: Masterson
* CoolTrain: Masterson has a private train that takes his guests to mystery locations.
* CostumePorn
* CreepyChild: Two of 'em; Donaldson's niece and her friend.
* DealWithTheDevil: Almost everyone with Masterson.
* DreamSequence: Louis has a disconcerting dream right before he's forced to go on the run.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:Julian]]
* EverybodySmokes
* EyeOpen: Just before the FlashBack at the start of episode two we get a close-up of Louis's eye.
* FoodPorn: When the band arrive at the Imperial, the first thing they see is a pile of beautiful cakes and pastries being thrown in the dumpster. Throughout the series, their success (or lack thereof) is usually demonstrated by the food they're eating.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: As unlikable as he is, Wesley is right about one thing: Mr. Donaldson and most of the other white supporters of the band do drop the band pretty quickly when it suits them. Wesley also provides foreshadowing [[spoiler: when he is deported because Mr. Donaldson failed to get his paperwork in order as he promised.]] Donaldson claims that he really did try but a later scene [[spoiler: when Donaldson locks Louis in a room and holds him for the police instead of calling a lawyer]] throws that into question.
* GirlFriday: Rosie, Stanley's secretary.
* GrandeDame: Lavinia Cremone
* GrandRomanticGesture: Julian buys Jessie a car.
* HiddenDepths: Pamela, who ends up [[spoiler:being one of the few white people to come through for Louis]].
* HopeSpot: [[spoiler:Jessie awakens from her coma, only to die later anyway]].
* HopelessAuditionees: A string of them after the band is told to get a singer.
* HourglassPlot: Between Sarah and Pamela. Sarah starts as a self-described open-minded and forward-thinking woman who verbally distances herself from Pamela's way of life. Yet by the end, Sarah cracks under the pressure of the investigation surrounding Louis and gives away his location to the police when her father's career is threatened. Pamela on the other hand, steps up and refuses to let Louis be arrested for a crime she knows he's not guilty of, even if it means sacrificing [[spoiler:her own brother]].
* HowWeGotHere: Each episode opens several weeks or months before the main events of the plot, exploring how Louis ended up on the run in the final episode.
* TheIngenue: Carla and Jessie. Deconstructed in Jessie's case as she lets the fame go to her head a little.
* IKissYourHand: {{Averted}} between Julian and Carla. He tries it, but she's rather creeped out by his demeanor at that point.
* ILoveYouBecauseICantControlYou: Masterson states that his fondness for Julian is because he's one of the few people who isn't afraid of him.
* IntergenerationalFriendship: Lavinia and Stanley, [[spoiler:though it has crumbled by the conclusion]].
* {{Jazz}}
* KillTheCutie: [[spoiler:Jessie]]
* LeftHanging: Quite a few plot-threads are deliberately left dangling or ambiguously resolved. For example, we never get a clear idea of what happened to the bruised, drunk girl that Louis finds in Masterson's trashed hotel room.
** We also never find out exactly what happened between [[spoiler: Julian and Jessie.]] It's pretty obvious that it was an AttemptedRape gone wrong from the beginning, but the resolution ([[spoiler: Julian]] saying that he tried to show his love and Jessie rejected him) is extremely unsatisfying.
** This is taken UpToEleven in the bonus episode, in which Louis receives a number of phone calls from a mysterious socialite who tries to tell him something about the Stonemasons. The conversation ends when her husband walks in and takes the telephone from her. Louis gets one last phone-call from her in which only the audience can see that she's (apparently) naked, underground and terrified. Then she hangs up and the whole thing is left utterly unresolved, with only Stanley vowing to investigate further before the episode ends.
* LikeASonToMe: Julian to Masterson
* MusicalSpoiler: Many of the lyrics to Jessie's songs have particular resonance later on. For example, [[spoiler:"The Dead of Night Express" is how Louis escapes the country]].
* MysteriousWaif: Jessie. Her background is only explored in the bonus episode [[spoiler:which was released ''after'' her death in the main show]] and is described by Stanley as "a mysterious little creature."
* PlayingAgainstType: John Goodman as a sinister businessman.
* PlayingSick: Jessie does this in order to get out of a gig and meet with a movie producer that Julian has promised her.
* ThePowerOfTrust: Makes up a big part of the fourth and fifth episode, in which Louis has no idea who to trust amongst his new friends. It ends up being a short-list of [[spoiler:Stanley, Eric and (surprisingly) Pamela]].
* RedHerring: The first two episodes paint Jessie as TheIngenue, receiving lots of male attention and being completely oblivious about it. Near the end of the first episode, the Prince of Wales becomes very interested in her and his brother implies that she "might be a very busy young lady" as a result. A later episode has a minor character note that any woman the Prince of Wales shows interest in is expected to sleep with him. All of these clues make it seem like Jessie is going to end up in some sort of trouble as a result of the Prince's feelings for her, instead [[spoiler: sweet, immature Julian is the one who tries to rape and ultimately kills her.]]
* SaltAndPepper: Stanley and Louis, though with a switch in the personalities that are usually associated with this trope. Stanley (white) is the irresponsible free spirit and Louie (black) is the strait-laced sensible one.
* ShoutOut: Possibly. Given the presence of at least four ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' actors, it feels somewhat deliberate that Stanley mentions trying to write a screenplay about KingArthur, and that Creator/AngelCoulby (Guinevere) utters the phrase: "the son of the king?!" when seeing the Prince of Wales for the first time.
* SpoiledBrat: The band plays at a birthday party for one of these.
* TokenRomance: Louis and Sarah's love scenes could be entirely removed without causing any damage to the overall StoryArc. Matter of fact, so could Sarah, who only really exists to be Louis's LoveInterest.
* TragicBromance: A non-fatal example, but Stanley and Louis are eventually forced to go their separate ways.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: The very first trailer showed [[spoiler:Louis finding Jessie in the linen room, covered in blood. Though it doesn't exactly give away the fact that she was murdered, it's not hard to guess from snippets of dialogue and other scenes shown in the trailer.]]
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Poliakoff claims the story was partly inspired by the antics of Prince George (future Duke of Kent) and the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) and their interest in jazz musicians and racial issues in the '30s.
* WhereDaWhiteWomenAt: {{Deconstructed}}. Though Louis and Sarah's relationship would be controversial in the time period, it's not made much of an issue of in the story itself (in fact, few people outside their circle of friends seem to know it's going on). Furthermore, it's Sarah who makes most of the moves on Louis whereas he [[spoiler:is incredibly quick to distrust her when he's framed for Jessie's murder]].
* YouAreACreditToYourRace: Though it's never voiced explicitly, it's clear that many of the white people Louis meets consider him this (Donaldson tells Stanley in private that he thinks Louis is remarkably articulate and gentlemanly). In comparison, none of them like the more antagonistic Wesley.
----