The Leigh Journal
February 24, 2016
[Atherton, England] – Atherton’s real life Billy Elliot is living his dream after winning a place in the professional production of Giselle. Twelve-year-old Xander Bevan will be dancing the role of Gentleman of the Hunt at the Preston Guild Hall and Charter Theatre in the English Youth Ballet production next Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5.
Xander has previously been part of large productions like Swan Lake last year and Coppelia in 2014.
He has danced from the age of six after signing up to do lessons himself. His dad Lee said: “I got an e-mail saying your little boy tried out and is great at ballet. He did karate and rugby, so I was shocked, but I asked him and he said he wanted to do it.
“So we said ‘go on then’ and he’s just amazing.”
Auditions for Giselle took place at the Preston theatre in November, with more than 200 dancers taking part. Xander was one of the lucky few to be selected.
Janet Lewis, director and founder of the English Youth Ballet, said: “EYB is all about providing extra performance experience to young dancers. “We saw a very pleasing standard at the auditions and it was lovely to see lots of enthusiasm.”
EYB has helped many of the UK’s best talents springboard into careers with some of the world’s top ballet companies, including the Royal Ballet Company and English National Ballet.
Lee said: “We’ve been told that Xander has exceptional talent for such a young boy, with many people saying he has perfect feet for ballet. He goes to school then straight to his six-hour rehearsals, and then is coming home and trying to master moves until midnight. He’s dedicated, hard working and is just larger than life. I never thought with having three boys that we’d have one of them doing ballet, but he just loves it. We are all so proud of him.”
The ballet will star principal international dancers Amy Drew, Adele Robbins, Monica Tapiador, Richard Read, Brenden Bratulic, Oliver Speers and Trevor Wood. All the soloist and corps de ballet roles in the production will be performed by 100 dancers, aged eight to 18, from the north west.
Copyright 2016 Newsquest (North West) Ltd.
Read more about Xander: Youngster will star alongside pros in Coppelia