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Preview: Swan Lake at Sunderland Empire


Swan Lake
Sunderland Empire
Friday 16th - Saturday 17th June 2017

Seniors degage devant Photo: Ben Garner
The atmosphere was electric at SunderlandEmpire yesterday, Wednesday 29 March, when over 200 young hopeful dancers fromthe across the North East took to the stage to audition with the English Youth Ballet (EYB) for roles in an exciting production of Swan Lake.  The mesmerising production will pirouette into Sunderland Empire from Friday 16th June 2017 for three performances.

Seniors arms 5th Photo: Ben Garner
The young dancers (aged 8 – 18) were nervous and excited as they warmed-up for the two auditions and the parents who watched the audition from the auditorium were equally as nervous as the young dancers!  English Youth Ballet was looking for young dancers at the audition to join the company for a professional production of the ballet Swan Lake.

Janet Lewis MBE, Director of English Youth Ballet said: “I am very pleased that English Youth Ballet is returning to the North East to audition for Swan Lake – our most dramatic ballet.  I will be looking for dancers who clearly enjoy their dancing.  The audition is not all about getting the steps right.  We look for dancers with personality and a positive approach.  It is most rewarding to see the potential in the young dancers.”

Niamh Dunne  - Photo: Ben Garner
The first young dancer through the doors to audition was Niamh Dunne (12) who attends St Robert of Newminster, Washington. Niamh who dances at Zazz, Houghton le Spring was successful at audition stage with English Youth Ballet last August for the production of Giselle which was presented in Newcastle.

When asked about the auditions Niamh said: “I am quite nervous. I do lots of dancing and ballet is my favorite, it is so graceful. I dance three times a week and also on a Sunday in preparation for a performance at Disneyland Paris”.

The young dancers selected at audition will take part in an intensive and rigorous rehearsal schedule for the production.  They will rehearse for 10 days at weekends and after school.  Rehearsals will take place at a local high school and the company use 3 large rehearsal spaces simultaneously.  The young dancers are treated like professionals and each rehearsal starts with company warm-up class.  Different rehearsals then take place in each of the 3 rehearsal spaces and then all the cast join each other for a run-through of everything learnt that day.

The cast are coached by EYB’s 8 international principal dancers who also dance the leading roles in the performances.  The young dancers get a unique insight into the life of a professional ballet dancer.

Tickets for performances from Friday 16- Saturday17 June 2017 are available in person at the Box Office on High Street West, from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022* or online at*
*Calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your standard network charge. Booking fees may apply to telephone and online bookings.

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