Ballet performance featuring dancers from Batley, Dewsbury, Mirfield and Spen
Coppélia will be performed by the English Youth Ballet (EYB) – one of the UK’s leading ballet companies.
The opportunity to watch EYB will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience as sold-out audiences are expected to be treated to international lead artists sharing the stage with the region’s top up-and-coming young talents.
The company is made up of six leading professionals and 70 selected dancers – ages 8-18.
The 70 young dancers are some of the best talent in the region – and 12 come from Dewsbury, Batley, Mirfield and Spen.
Among the local young dancers – who were selected in a competitive video audition in January – include nine-year-old Alexia Crawshaw, 10-year-old Isabelle King and 10-year-old Ellis Lee from Mirfield; Ellie Brown, 10, and Lily Mankelow, 13, of Batley; Jessica Forster, 12, Jessica Gavaghan, 12 and Robyn Haigh, 11, from Spenborough; and Daisy Fox, 10, Emily Fretwell, nine, Casey Hawkins, 12 and Olivia Keyworth, nine, from Dewsbury.
Alexia, who attends the Sutton School of Performing Arts, based in Cleckheaton, said: “It was an amazing experience and I made lots of new friends.
“It gave me confidence to do more auditions in the future, because the English youth was my first audition I’ve ever done!”
Emily, who also attends the Sutton School of Performing Arts in Cleckheaton and has been dancing since the age of two, said: ‘I enjoyed the rehearsals, making new friends from different dance schools and I’m delighted to perform on stage. I love being on stage.”
Emily’s mum, Amy Richardson, said: ‘I’m so proud that Emily got through the audition stage, something she’s never done before and have the opportunity to dance alongside professional principal dancers will be a wonderful experience for her.
“Watching her grow into the confident young dancer she is now makes me so proud.”
Jessica, who attends Emma Coombs Dance Academy in Heckmondwicke, said: “It was an amazing experience rehearsing with English Youth Ballet.
“I learned so much and I’m so excited for the performances.”
Jessica’s mum, Kate Gavaghan, has opened up about how proud she is of Jessica and how she met lots of new friends during rehearsals at EYB Bradford.
Kate added: “They put in so many hours of rehearsals with wonderful teachers and they all worked incredibly hard.
“I can’t wait to see them all on stage – it’s going to be magical.
“Such a wonderful opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime.”
Sally Mankelow, Lily’s mother, also expressed how proud she is that her daughter had a role in Coppelia.
Sally added: “It’s been a fantastic opportunity and as well as working hard during rehearsals she has made some great new friends.
“I can’t wait to see her and all the other talented young dancers.”
Coppélia’s humorous story follows the escapades of dreamer Franz and how he comically falls in love with a beautiful realistic doll.
The doll – Coppélia – is created by the eccentric but mysterious inventor, Dr. Coppélius.
The plot thickens when Franz’s jealous lover, Swanhilda, takes her friends on an adventure to the mad inventor’s spooky house to confront her rival.
Of course, the story ends well once the truth is discovered.
The choreography, design and musical score have been described as “a masterpiece”, with choreography adapted from Arthur Saint-Léon’s original.
The production was led by Janet Lewis and her team of international lead artists who coach the young dancers.
The production takes place at St George’s Hall, Bridge Street, Bradford, BD1 1JT, on Friday April 22 at 7.30pm and Saturday April 23 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.
For tickets call 01274 432000 or visit www.bradford-theatres.co.uk