Sunderland ballet stars to appear in English Youth Ballet company’s Swan Lake

The eleven Sunderland youngsters that have been chosen to appear in the Swan Lake performance
The eleven Sunderland youngsters that have been chosen to appear in the Swan Lake performance
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TALENTED Wearside youngsters have been chosen to perform with one of the UK’s largest ballet companies

The region’s best young dancers were selected by the English Youth Ballet company (EYB) from more than 200 hopefuls, to appear in a new adaptation of Swan Lake.

Jessica Williamson, 11, from Washington is one of the 11 youngsters that were selected to appear in the performance

Jessica Williamson, 11, from Washington is one of the 11 youngsters that were selected to appear in the performance

George Washington Primary School student Ethan Widdrington will be play the nephew of Prince Sergei in the three performances at the Mill Tyne Theatre, Newcastle, on April 16 and 17.

“We were completely surprised and so proud,” said his mum Natalia.

“I think he’s a bit apprehensive, but is really looking forward to it.”

Eight-year-old Ethan attends Washington-based Prima Academy of Performing Arts, as does Holley Park Primary School pupil Jessica Williamson, 11, who has also been chosen for Swan Lake.

Dad Melvin said: “I’m over the moon for her. I couldn’t ask for anything better.

“She’s so excited to have the opportunity.”

Other Prima students chosen by the EYB were Lucy Carruthers, 14, of Lord Lawson of Beamish School; Laura Blanchard, 10, of St John Boste School; and St Robert of Newminster pupils Helen Downey, 14, and Hannah Mather, 15.

Taylor sisters Jessica, 17, and Katie, eight – who attend Caroline Oliver School of Dance – were also selected

Mum Elaine said: “It’s a one-off that both of them will be in, as it is Jessica’s last chance, being 17.

“I’m over the moon. We all can’t wait to see it.”

Other children who won places against fierce competition were Houghton Kepier pupil Natasha Agnew, 15, of Houghton Dance Academy Zazz; Woodlea Primary School pupil MacKenzie Williamson, 11, of Vicky Maron Theatre School; Biddick Sports College student Jasmine Wales, 14, of McKenzie School of Dance; and King’s School pupil Madeline Squires, 13, of Newcastle Dance Centre.

The youngsters will experience the opportunity of a lifetime.

They will perform alongside EYB principal dancers, Emma Lister, who has previously danced in the English National Ballet, and Oli Speers who will be flying in from Toulouse to play the role of Prince Sergei.

The dancers will also endure an 11-day intensive training process at John Spence School, Tynemouth.

Swan Lake is one of the most technically and dramatically-complex of all the classical ballets and will stretch the youngsters’ abilities.

Company manager Ben Garner said: “Working with English Youth Ballet will be one of the highlights of these talented young dancer’s careers, to date.

“The audiences watching EYB are in for a unique and exciting experience too.

“They will be seeing both top international principal artists and the best up-and-coming young talent from their region – sharing the stage.”

For details and tickets call 0844 493 9999, or visit www.millvolvotynetheatre.co.uk.

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