The Manx Ballet Company Announces an Island First With Snow White, a Classical Ballet Performed by Children
The Manx Ballet Company is presenting Snow White at The Gaiety in November, which will be the first classical production of a ballet on this island performed by children aged 8 to 18 years old. Children learning classical ballet from dance schools all over the island auditioned to take part in this unique production towards the end of last year and 60 were chosen to take part.
The young dancers have been rehearsing since March and in the process have learned about the history and structure of a classical ballet production, as well as honing their acting skills alongside their classical dancing technique. Snow White will be a three act ballet with music by the 19th century French composer, Adolphe Adam, who is best known for writing the score for the ballet Giselle.
The Manx Ballet Company was officially formed in 1999 to present classical ballet appealing to a broad audience. Its first production was La Boutique Fantasque (Debussy) and since then it has put on a production every other year. The Principals of The Academy of Dance were invited last year to produce Snow White, with Mari-Louise Britz as Choreographer and Pippa Salter as Head of Costume and Set Design.
With children taking all the parts, they not only get the opportunity to perform in front of a large audience, but some have also been given the responsibility of taking on a lead role. Mari-Louise Britz explains: “We want to inspire young dancers, both boys and girls, to take part in future productions and enjoy performing in ballet. We hope that this production of Snow White will appeal to everyone, from children to adults, without diluting what classical ballet is about.”
Commenting on the challenges which the young dancers have faced, she adds: “’Using a score such as this one composed by Adam has proven to be a challenge as well as an inspiration to the students who are not necessarily used to listening and dancing to anything other than syllabus music. But they have all risen to the challenge and we are very proud of what they have achieved.”
Pippa Salter has overseen the production of a dazzling array of costumes, which together with the sets, will transport audiences into the magical world of Snow White. Pippa explains: “We want to convey the mystical side of the original story of Snow White rather than the modern interpretation of the ballet. To this end we have created a historical and romantic thread with our costumes and set design.”
Commenting on the latest production from the Manx Ballet Company, John Bethell, Chairman of the Manx Ballet Company, says: “In these three performances you will see the culmination of months of hard work in rehearsals and also the physical preparation by each of the dancers.” The Manx Ballet Company is supported by the Isle of Man Arts Council.
Tickets for Snow White are now on sale and there will be evening performances on Friday 1st November and Saturday 2nd November at 7.30pm and a matinee at 2pm on 2nd November.