Male dancers from the region have the chance to secure a starring role in a new production.
The call has gone out to recruit twenty boys and young men aged between 10 and 25-years-old for parts in world renowned director Matthew Bourne’s latest ballet.
The Lord of the Flies will be staged at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle in November and will feature a cast of both professional and new dancers, all picked from auditions to be held in the North East later this year.
No experience is necessary for the parts and it is hoped that the chance to perform with one of the country’s finest dance companies will inspire the boys and young men to take up a career as a professional.
Dancer Hannah McGhee, 22, from Billingham, who is working on behalf of Dance City in Newcastle to train the new cast members, said: “They will be in an environment where young men and boys can see that it’s okay for men to dance. Matthew Bourne’s male version of Swan Lake is recognised throughout the region while all male groups like Diversity have done a lot to make dance more popular.
“This production will be massively theatrical, hard-hitting and savage. It’s not been done before.”
To encourage people to sign themselves up for the auditions, young dancers taking courses in the subject at Dance City performed a three minute excerpt from the show in the city centre yesterday.
Performer Jackson Watson from Washington, who is studying for his dance BTEC, said the choreography perfectly presented the masculinity and strength required for large-scale productions.
The 17-year-old said: “People with no experience can pick up the steps. For most boys it’s a confidence thing because of the idea it’s ‘girly’ but really that’s just a stereotype.
“These are really masculine parts and it’s a good one for boys and great experience as well.”
The production is a collaboration between Matthew Bourne’s company New Adventures, currently enjoying a run of Swan Lake at the Theatre Royal, and Re:Bourne, the charitable arm of the organisation.
Local dancers from dozens of regional cities will be chosen to perform in each leg of the production’s national tour which debuted in Manchester in March.
The show is based on the classic novel by Nobel-prize winning English author William Golding which depicts the brutal consequences when a group of boys find themselves alone on an uninhabited island.
Dancer Travis Robinson, 21, from Newcastle, said taking part in Lord of the Flies would be a lot of fun and that prospective cast members should not to be afraid of having little experience.
He said: “I discovered dance completely by accident. My mum didn’t want me to spent my summers on the streets so I went to a dance workshop when I was 14 and I’ve been dancing ever since.
“There needs to be more male dancers, especially considering it’s an industry that requires a lot of strength.
Even now I go to auditions and there’s maybe 50 girls and about five boys.”
Auditions will be held at the Arts Centre Washington on Saturday June 28, TIN Arts, Durham, on Sunday July 6, Alnwick Playhouse, Northumberland, on Saturday, July 19, Dance City, Newcastle, on Sunday, July 20, and Customs House, South Shields on Sunday July 27.
The production will run at the Theatre Royal between November 5 and 9.