Sawbridgeworth dancer Lucy Gadman all set for solo role in English Youth Ballet production of Swan Lake
A Sawbridgeworth teenager is excited finally to get the chance to perform alongside professional dancers in an English Youth Ballet (EYB) production of Swan Lake later this month.
Lucy Gadman was devastated when the 2020 performance of the ballet was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. But now she is looking forward to the rescheduled show on the weekend of August 28-29 at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley, south-east London.
The 16-year-old has been dancing since the tender age of two-and-a-half, when she was signed up for a baby ballet class with Bishop's Stortford's Tracey Walker School of Dancing.
"The best feeling about being a dancer is the ability to be able to express my emotions without words and it gives me a happy feeling inside," said Lucy.
"I’m very excited to be performing on stage again and I’m really grateful to everyone at EYB for this opportunity as the past year I've done a lot of dancing on Zoom and it’s so lovely to be in a bigger space again."
Although her first love has always been ballet she is happy to branch out. She has just left Leventhorpe School in Sawbridgeworth and will now be studying a level 6 diploma in musical theatre at the D&B Academy of Performing Arts in Bromley.
"As I’ve grown I’m really enjoying jazz, musical theatre, commercial, tap and contemporary, and I've been fortunate enough to have been accepted into a musical theatre college, starting September, to further my dance training and take me into the professional world," said Lucy.
She has enjoyed performing with the EYB for the past five years and added: "I’m super-excited to be playing the role of the Hungarian princess in this production of Swan Lake."
Lucy's mum Hannah told the Indie that although it had been a frustrating and difficult time for dancers during the Covid lockdowns, Lucy had been very positive.
"The Tracey Walker school was very good, doing lots of Zoom classes, and Lucy really got into them," said Hannah. But she added Lucy could not wait to get back on stage in front of an audience.
The EYB's lavish production of Swan Lake features six international principal dancers and showcases the talents of 64 young dancers from the South East.
The cast was selected from an audition attended by more than 180 young hopefuls in February 2020, with the original performance dates in August of that year.
Set in 1895 Imperial Russia, the production tells of love, rivalry, greed and murder.
EYB director Janet Lewis said: “The cast have shown great enthusiasm and excitement in their Swan Lake rehearsals. The children are obviously so pleased to be back dancing again and taking part in a ballet that they love.
"Since the past year of lockdowns with the many restrictions, they're displaying a sense of freedom that is boosting their self-confidence and wellbeing. The cast are working hard not only on their ballet technique, but on their performance quality that expresses the part they're dancing. The incentive is to be back performing again in the theatre.”