Wanted: 100 young ballet dancers for Sleeping Beauty production

"Sleeping Beauty" auditions will be held next week by the English Youth Ballet team
"Sleeping Beauty" auditions will be held next week by the English Youth Ballet team

Young people across East Anglia are being given the chance to star in a major new production by the English Youth Ballet.

The company is looking for 100 dancers aged 8 to 18 to star in Sleeping Beauty, which takes to the Norwich Theatre Royal stage on Friday and Saturday, June 24 and 25.

And the successful young people will get to perform alongside the EYB’s professional principal dancers who have appeared for the likes of the English National Ballet and Boston Ballet.

Auditions for the show will be held on Monday, March 7, at Sprowston Community High School.

They will take the form of a ballet class so that the EYB team can assess each young person, as well as help them with their technique.

Anyone interested should email misslewis@englishyouthballet.co.uk to find out more.

Young people aged 8-11 will audition from 5pm and those aged 12-18 will audition from 7pm.

The opportunity ties in with the company’s ethos of giving young dancers professional experience close to where they live.

Ben Garner, of English Youth Ballet, said: “Once selected, they benefit from being coached and mentored by the professional dancers in an 11-day rehearsal period which takes place out of school hours.

“They gain a unique insight into what it is like to be a professional dancer and parents have said it has also helped boost children’s confidence.”

Updated from the very first production of Sleeping Beauty back in 1896, it tells the story of the title character Aurora who pricks her finger on her 16th birthday and falls into a deep sleep after being cursed by the evil Carabosse.

Only the kiss of a Prince can awaken her, but will the evil magic prevail or can Sleeping Beauty find her true love?

This production helps to mark the 18th year of the English Youth Ballet, which is headed by director Janet Lewis.

She enjoyed an illustrious dancing career performing for the likes of the Royal Ballet and London Festival Ballet, dancing alongside such greats as Dame Margot Fonteyn and Rudolph Nureyev.