Theatre in Wales

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English Youth Ballet premiers a new production of Swan Lake at the New Theatre. It promises to be a traditional production but with particular emphasis on the rivalry between the seductive evil Black Swan Odile and the beautiful but vulnerable White Swan Odette, as they compete for the affections of the Prince.
Set in Russia in at the time when the Marinsky Ballet was popular with the Tsar and the Russian nobility, Baron Von Rothbart, Director of the Russian Ballet schemes to secure Royal patronage through the marriage of his daughter Odile to the Tsar’s son. Odette is eventually betrayed in this famous ballet which leads to a tragic and dramatic end. Enjoy the beautiful dancing of the swans in the Lakeside scene and the sumptuous contrast of the Tsar’s Palace Gardens in Act 3.
English Youth Ballet’s Professional principal dancers lead the pageantry of a large cast of up to 100 young talented regional dancers in this highly acclaimed Company.
English Youth Ballet – one of the UK’s largest ballet companies
English Youth Ballet (EYB) is one of the UK’s largest ballet companies and previously won The Stage Award for special achievement in regional theatre. The opportunity to watch English Youth Ballet (EYB) is a unique experience. Sell-out audiences are treated to beautiful international principal artists sharing the stage with the top up-and-coming young talent from the local area. EYB’s large cast ensures the ballet is performed with the scale and grandeur which was originally intended.
The company is made up of 8 professional principals and 100 local dancers (aged 8 – 18) from South Wales. The young dancers are some of the top talents from the local area. There are now ex-EYB young performers in some of the world’s best companies – including the Royal Ballet.
The Audition
English Youth Ballet (EYB) held a huge audition for the ballet at the New Theatre in February. Nearly 200 young hopeful dancers turned up to the 2 auditions. The atmosphere, the nerves and the excitement were all electric. Director and founder of EYB – Miss Janet Lewis MBE – was on the lookout for the hottest young dance talent to join her award-winning company for the production in Cardiff. The lucky dancers heard they had been accepted on the day. Miss Lewis said “EYB is all about providing extra performance experience to young dancers. We saw a very pleasing standard at the audition today and it was lovely to see lots of enthusiasm.”
The Rehearsals
Rehearsals for the ballet are taking place at Fitzalan High School. Monica Tapiador ( featured in the image at the bottom of this release) is one of EYB’s principal dancers – she previously danced with English National Ballet. She coaches the young dancers in rehearsals and she will also be starring in the role of Odile – the Black Swan. She 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 3 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.
The dramatic and thrilling story of EYB’s Swan Lake
English Youth Ballet’s acclaimed production of Swan Lake is set in 1895 Imperial Russia and tells of love, rivalry, greed and murder. The action takes place in the Mariinsky Theatre - where the Mariinsky Ballet are preparing for a production of Swan Lake - and the sumptuous Royal Palace of the Tsar. Two unlikely lovers meet Odette, a dancer with the Mariinsky Ballet and Prince Sergei, son to the Tsar. The Tsar must ensure that Prince Sergei does not marry beneath his station. Equally, the tyrannical Baron Von Rothbart would do anything to secure a royal patronage for his ballet company. He would even manipulate his own daughter – Odile – to compete for the affections of the Prince.

The choreography, design and musical score – a masterpiece
The inventive choreography is faithful to the well-loved original version and has been created by Janet Lewis – EYB’s Artistic Director – and her team. The soaring musical score for the ballet was composed by Tchaikovsky in 1875. The opulent Imperial Russian-era stage designs are by Sebastian Petit and the 240 costumes have been designed by West End theatre costume-maker - Keith Bish. Over 400m of netting and 30m of fur lining have been used by the professional makers on many of the lavish costumes.
Highest calibre international principal ballet dancers
The professional principal dancers have joined EYB from some of the world’s most renowned ballet companies – including the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre, National Ballet of Portugal and Ballet de Toulouse. British principal dancers include Phillip Tunstall, Oliver Speers, Steven Wheeler. Monica Tapiodor is a Spanish principal dancer, Clare Corruble is a French dancer and Samantha Camejo is Brazilian.
New Theatre Cardiff  
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Nathan Scott-Howe
Wednesday, August 7, 2019back



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