West Norfolk ballet dancers to appear at Norwich Theatre Royal

West Norfolk ballet dancers are heading for the Theatre Royal in Norwich

West Norfolk ballet dancers are heading for the Theatre Royal in Norwich

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Young dancers from West Norfolk will be performing on stage at the Theatre Royal in Norwich next month.

They will be among the 100 dancers from Norfolk and Suffolk in the English Youth Ballet production of Sleeping Beauty on Friday and Saturday, July 24-25.

More than 200 young hopefuls auditioned for the show in March and now those who were selected will rehearse for the show at Sprowston High School.

The successful local 14 are: Genevieve Wright, Lauren Southwell, Elizabeth Durham, Isabel Harmer-Borley, Sophia Collins, Philippa Wright, Chloe Raab, Summer Rose, Olivia Patterson, Isobel Croker, Ethan Croker, Evangeline Axcell, Alfred Wright and Evelyn Wilcox.

The ballet will star international principal dancers Amy Drew, Adele Robbins, Monica Tapiador, Richard Read, Brenden Bratulic, Oliver Speers and Steven Wheeler.

Amy Drew will be dancing the leading role of Aurora and she is training the young cast in rehearsals. She previously danced with the Tasmanian Ballet Company and Ballet Ireland.

Amy said: “Rehearsals for Beauty are going very well in Norwich. I enjoy getting to know the young dancers. It is wonderful having such talented young people all in the same place and working together.

“I think that there is a unique and wonderful synergy that takes place because all the dancers learn so much from watching each other and from watching the professionals too. Our production of Beauty has gorgeous costumes and sets. I think that the young dancers are really excited about the costumes!”

Elizabeth Durham (18) from Springwood and a student at the College of West Anglia is training at Lynn Academy of Dancing said: “I was four years old when I started dancing. I think I started because my mum wanted me to but I stopped and then when I started back I really started to love it.

“I am looking forward to learning a lot from English Youth Ballet and to making new friends. I think it will make me better as a dancer. When I am older I would like to carry on dancing and maybe become a dance teacher.”

Julianne Rice-Oxley is EYB’s Ballet Mistress and she previously danced with English National Ballet and Lisbon National Ballet. She coaches the young dancers in rehearsals and said: “The young dancers are treated like professional dancers during rehearsals – we work them hard but the results are fantastic!

“They learn what the life of a professional dancer is like. They are living their dream and they just love it!”

The young cast will rehearse for just 10 days for the production. During those days EYB take over three of the biggest rooms in the school and run rehearsals simultaneously in each room. At the end of each rehearsal day the whole cast comes together in the largest space to share what has been learnt that day. The young dancers see the production taking shape like a big jigsaw.

Sleeping Beauty opens at the Theatre Royal in Norwich on Friday, June 24 at 7.30pm; there are two performances on Saturday, June 25 at 2.30 and 7.30pm. For tickets call 01603 630000 or visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk