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Dream come true for young quartet; Dancers team up with English Youth Ballet for major show.

Byline: Ballet Hilarie Stelfox

FOUR young ballet dancers from Huddersfield will find themselves in the limelight next month when they appear in a professional production of Coppelia by the English Youth Ballet.

The children, all pupils of the Bernadette Heys School of Dancing, are aged between just eight and 11. They were chosen at auditions in March from hundreds of young hopefuls and will dance in three performances at the Plaza Theatre, Stockport.

Oliver Atherton, aged eight, from Linthwaite; Norah Fox, 10, from Golcar; Sophie Parkinson, 11, from Slaithwaite; and Emily Shaw, 11, from Meltham, will join the professional cast for the shows on June 13 and 14.

They are part of a 100-strong team of young dancers under the age of 18 involved in the company's Summer production.

The young cast members are currently attending 60 hours of intensive rehearsals with the EYB principals at Stockport Grammar School, getting a taste of real life in a professional ballet company. Principal ballerina Amy Drew explained: "The young dancers we are working with in Stockport have great energy, and a professional environment gives the students a unique insight into life in a ballet company. They are so lucky. I wish there had been something like EYB when I was training. I feel very privileged to be a principal with the EYB as English |Youth Ballet prima ballerina Amy Drew in Coppelia with Brenda Bratulic I get to work with some of the UK's most talented young dancers. I find them incredibly inspiring."

Coppelia, by Delibes, was first produced in 1870 and is one of the most popular classical ballets.

It tells the story of a young man who falls in love with a life-size doll created by an eccentric inventor, Dr Coppelius. The romantic comedy, which is performed with a cast of over 100 by the EYB, has a colourful musical score and has been choreographed to be true to the original. The English Youth Ballet is one of the UK's largest ballet companies and is made up of eight professional principals who work alongside young dancers selected from the areas in which their productions are performed. The cast of Coppelia is drawn from the North West.

Ticket details for the Plaza Theatre performances can be found at www.stockportplaza.co.uk or from the box office on 0161 4777779.

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Young Huddersfield dancers prepare for a taste of the professional stage -|from left, Emily Shaw, Sophie Parkinson, Oliver Atherton and Norah Fox

English |Youth Ballet prima ballerina Amy Drew in Coppelia with Brenda Bratulic
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:May 9, 2014
Words:425
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