Young Mid Sussex dancers show their skills

The Mid Sussex contingent (photo Ben Garner)The Mid Sussex contingent (photo Ben Garner)
The Mid Sussex contingent (photo Ben Garner)
A strong contingent of talented young dancers from Mid Sussex – 13 in all – will perform alongside international professional dancers in English Youth Ballet’s Coppélia at The Hawth in Crawley from Friday to Saturday, November 3-4.

In July, they were chosen to be part of the 100-strong cast for EYB’s production of Coppélia. They were selected in competitive auditions and have now experienced the life of a professional dancer in rehearsals.

In the photograph are (from left to right): back line – Martha Gibson, Amy Masson, Joel Martin, Phoebe Simmons, Martha Powell, Emily Winfield; front line – Amber Mason, Imogen Phillips, Molly Nelson, Scarlett Pye, Bonnie Harding, Jessica Howes, Anna Stephens.

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Martha Gibson studies her dancing at V B Dance and she goes to Burgess Hill Girls School. She said: “I first started dancing when I was three years old. I was keen to start ballet after seeing how much fun my sister was having in ballet class. I like the freedom I feel when I am dancing. Dancing also relaxes me after a busy day at college. I like that performing on stage gives me the opportunity to take on different roles and characters. I have performed with EYB on two previous occasions and I feel it is a wonderful opportunity to enhance my performance skills further. In Coppélia I will be dancing as one of Swanhilda’s friends, which will allow me to strengthen my pointe work.”

EYB principal Lyndsey Fraser will be Swanhilda in the production. Before joining EYB she danced with the Vienna Festival Ballet.

Lyndsey said “I wish I had danced with EYB when I was young. The dancers learn so much about performance skills and the artistry of ballet. I love working as a principal dancer with EYB because I get to dance fantastic roles and teach and watch the young dancers progress. The sets and costumes in the production are superb and the whole experience is one the young dancers and the audiences will never forget!”

The story of Coppélia follows the escapades of the dreamy Franz and how he comically falls in love with a beautiful, life-like doll. The doll – Coppélia – is created by the eccentric, yet mysterious inventor, Dr Coppelius.