Bringing ballet to bumpkins

Dancing may have been part of British culture for many years, but it is now becoming more prominent as it dominates the television schedules with shows such as “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Pineapple Dance Studios” showcasing just some of the the UK’s talent.

Although you’re more likely to see the Cha cha cha or the quickstep across a ballroom floor, ballet dancing is set to break out and become the new trend.

You’d be forgiven for assuming that the audience at the theatre shows are mainly upper-class people, but this misconception has recently been dispelled. With ticket prices ranging from £10 to well over £100, The Royal Opera House has seen thousands more people coming through its doors than ever before.


Mara Galeazzi performing in “Giselle”. Photo: Bill Cooper

Mara Galeazzi, one of the principle dancers from The Royal Opera House, has noticed this trend: “I’ve definitely seen more people coming to the ballet and they even come and see the more modern works. Shows like Wayne McGregor’s new pieces for The Royal Ballet seem to bring in a younger audience.

“At the moment, we are preparing a new production of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ by Christopher Wheeldon, and I think that will bring a lot of new people as well,” she says.

Ballet has also branched out into films with “Black Swan”, Darren Aronofsky’s critically acclaimed film based around a production of “Swan Lake” and stars Natalie Portman as a veteran ballerina.

“At the moment everyone is talking about the new film, ‘Black Swan’,” said Galeazzi, who believes that this is just one of the reasons that more people are now interested in the dance.

It’s one of few films focused around the dance form with others including Stephen Daldry’s “Billy Elliot” and Thomas Carter’s “Save The Last Dance”.

As for the music industry, Pixie Lott is performing ballet in her video for “Cry Me Out” and American rock band Shinedown have a plot about a ballerina running away from home in their video “Second Chance”.

The Pet Shop Boys have an ambitious plan as the ‘80s electronic dance duo aim to produce their own ballet called “The Most Incredible Thing” set to include electronics and strings and will be performed at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London later this year.

The piece will be based on a Hans Christian Anderson story and the pop duo will be helped by the Venezuelan choreographer Javier De Frutos.

Performers from the Royal Ballet will be performing their own version of Shakespeare’s classic “Romeo and Juliet” to a crowd of over 13,000 people in June as ballet stars join a host of names who have previously performed at the prestigious O2 arena in London.

“It will be the first time The Royal Ballet will be performing at the O2 which will hopefully bring a lot of people to the ballet who have never been before. It’s going to be great opportunity for everybody,” said Galeazzi.

With it only being the start of the year, there is still time for plenty more opportunities to arise and there is no doubt that they will.

Mara Galeazzi will be dancing in “Giselle” at the Royal Opera House and also in “Romeo and Juliet” at The O2. For more information, see online at www.roh.org.uk

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