English Youth Ballet production of Swan Lake
Talented young Kent dancers will get a taste of stardom when they join the English Youth Ballet (EYB) to perform Swan Lake.
Eight principals from the EYB will lead the best of the region’s students in a production of the world’s most famous classical ballet, set to Tchaikovsky’s traditional score.
The EYB held auditions earlier this year, choosing 100 dancers aged eight to 18 from Kent and the South East, and the company have been rehearsing at the Canterbury Academy.
Barham dancer Phoebe Abbott
Among those successful was 13-year-old Phoebe Abbott, who lives in Barham and goes to Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar School in Canterbury.
A pupil at Canterbury’s Dance Warehouse, Phoebe has been dancing since she was four.
She said: “I saw my first ballet at the Royal Opera House in London – it was Giselle and it was amazing. I am dancing the role of the Italian princess in Swan Lake.
“There are three princesses and we each dance a solo in a different style. I like getting to watch the professionals at EYB.
“They are very inspiring as they’ve done it all and you get to see them in rehearsals and they show us what to do. They’re really nice too.”
Also successful was 17-year-old Katherine Reynard from Canterbury.
Katherine goes to Barton Court Grammar School in the city and is training at the Dean Academy of Performing Arts.
Canterbury dancer Yuka Otsuki
She said: “I started dancing when I was seven and I now dance five evenings a week for about three to four hours. I am dancing as a Swan in the ballet. I’ve met so many new friends at EYB and have learnt different styles of ballet.”
Student Yuka Otsuki, 18, is playing a Big Swan. She also lives in Canterbury and is studying music at Christ Church University, but finds time to train in dance twice a week at Dance Warehouse.
She said: “I started dancing when I was five years old when I was in Japan.
“Swan Lake was the first ballet I ever saw. I can’t wait to dance in front of the audience. I haven’t decided what to do as a career yet – but I will carry on studying both music and ballet.”
Swan Lake is at Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre on Friday, August 23 and Saturday, August 24. Tickets from £16. Call 01227 787787. Funds will be raised at the performances for the Kent and Canterbury Hospital’s Children’s Assessment Centre.