Young Sunderland dancers taking to the stage in professional ballet

Back, from left, Sofia Lally, Anna Maw, Ella Ho, Niamh Hamilton, Katie Wall, Joe Douglas, Laura Blanchard, Avril Best, Jessica Williamson, Jasmine Foister, Georgia Mason. Front, Niamh Dunne, Grace Burton, Charlotte Hackett, Abigail Price, Sophie Bulmer, Thalia Morales, Madeline Davison. Left, Joe Douglas.
Back, from left, Sofia Lally, Anna Maw, Ella Ho, Niamh Hamilton, Katie Wall, Joe Douglas, Laura Blanchard, Avril Best, Jessica Williamson, Jasmine Foister, Georgia Mason. Front, Niamh Dunne, Grace Burton, Charlotte Hackett, Abigail Price, Sophie Bulmer, Thalia Morales, Madeline Davison. Left, Joe Douglas.
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A group of talented young dancers has been hand-picked to star in a professional ballet.

The 18 youngsters from Sunderland will appear in English Youth Ballet’s production of Giselle.

Joe Douglas, from Sunderland.

Joe Douglas, from Sunderland.

They’ll be seen on stage in the romantic ballet at the Tyne Theatre & Opera House, in Newcastle, on September 9 and 10.

Wearside youngsters Sofia Lally, Anna Maw, Ella Ho, Niamh Hamilton, Katie Wall, Joe Douglas, Laura Blanchard, Avril Best, Jessica Williamson, Georgia Mason, Jasmine Foister, Niamh Dunne, Grace Burton, Charlotte Hackett, Abigail Price, Sophie Bulmer, Thalia Morales, and Madeline Davison will star alongside a host of international principal dancers.

Oxclose Academy pupil Joe, 16, said: “I started dancing relatively late – I started when I was 10-years-old. I do tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical and theatre craft as well as ballet. I am really looking forward to working with English Youth Ballet for the experience of being on stage in a full length ballet.”

Joe, from Washington, added: “Dancing with the male principal dancers will be a really rewarding experience because you can see the development of where steps and technique move on to. When I finish school I would like to go into dance. I think I would like to do musical theatre but still quite classically-based.”

Amy Drew and Oli Speers in EYB's Giselle.

Amy Drew and Oli Speers in EYB's Giselle.

The 18 youngsters were chosen out of nearly 250 hopefuls who turned up to audition for the show.

It tells the story of peasant girl Giselle who falls in love with the aristocratic Albert, but he betrays her and she dies of a broken heart.

Giselle’s ghost chooses to protect Albert as he visits her leafy graveside. In the forest live the macabre Wili Spirits, the ghosts of other young women who rise from the grave each night. They will stop at nothing to take their revenge on the menfolk of the town who cross their paths.

Director Janet Lewis said: “We are especially excited about returning to Newcastle with our poignant adaptation of Giselle. We always find extremely talented dancers when we audition for young cast members in Newcastle.

“EYB is all about providing extra performance experience to young dancers. We saw a very pleasing standard at the audition and it was lovely to see lots of enthusiasm.”

EYB has helped many of the UK’s top talent springboard into some of the world’s greatest ballet companies, including the Royal Ballet Company and English National Ballet.

The company is currently rehearsing for the ballet at Emmanuel School, in West Bridgford.

Tickets to see the show cost from £15. To book, go to www.tynetheatreandoperahouse.uk or call the box office on 0844 2491000.