Duchy Ballet returns to the Hall for Cornwall with its premiere of 'The Sleeping Beauty'. Previously we have staged the much condensed version, 'Aurora's Wedding'. Dancers from across Cornwall first performed this alongside the Mermaid of Zennor in 2010 and again as part of our Christmas Crackers performance in 2011. Some of the dancers having continued to progress in their ballet training, are now enjoying the challenge and more demanding roles this year.
The Sleeping Beauty offers some of the greatest challenges in the classical repertoire for the principals, soloists and the corps de ballet. Aurora is among the most challenging of ballerina roles, demanding pure classical technique combined with unadorned simplicity. The ballet was a major development in allowing subtle characterisation, greater expressiveness and greater freedom. It was one of the first ballets where composer, choreographer and the costume and set designers, all worked together to create an harmonious work of art. The themes within the music have also contributed to the ballet’s appeal: they are closely related to the characters and the themes of the piece, thus ensuring a satisfying and cohesive whole. Since its first performance, The Sleeping Beauty has been performed all over the world to universal acclaim. It is a beautiful work of art which holds a notable place in ballet history, not only as a great work in its own right, but also as a defining moment for some of the most important figures of twentieth century ballet.
Laura was born in Cape Town, South Africa and trained at the Natalie Swanepoel School of Ballet before joining UCT School of Dance. In 2003 she was chosen to recieve Cape Town’s first RAD Bursary Award and travelled to London to attend the Performer’s Course where she was awarded the Tuition Award. Laura became a full time company member at Cape Town City Ballet in 2004, was promoted to Soloist in 2006, Principal Dancer in 2009 and in 2014 became Senior Principal ballerina.
In 2015 she was recognized by the Mobokodo Awards and chosen as a nominee in the Dance section. These awards recognise strong South African women who have made an impact on the arts in South Africa.
Career highlights include national and international touring with Cape Town City Ballet, being asked to guest perform with the South African Ballet Theatre in Swan Lake, Carmen and Romeo and Juliet, and working with the many international guest teachers and choreographers such as John Neumeier, Rudi van Danzig, Lynn Wallace and others who have come to work with the company.
Thomas Thorne is a Senior Principal Dancer with Cape Town City Ballet. Thomas trained at The Central School of Ballet in London where he graduated with a BA Hons degree. He has performed with The Kirov Ballet, Ballet Central and Ballet Ireland before joining CTCB in 2008. Thomas has won several awards In South Africa including - the most outstanding newcomer award 2009, Best male dancer 2010 and 2012, Keith Mackintosh Prague scholarship 2011 and the Sir Geoffrey Nieman and Brian Van Rheede award 2015.
Thomas has danced Principal roles in The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Carmen, Camille, Romeo and Juliet, Spring and Fall by John Neumeier, Le Corsaire, La Sylphide, Coppelia, Les Sylphides, Firebird, Solitaire by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Don Quixote, Giselle, Graduation Ball.
Matthew Phillips rejoined Duchy Ballet for last years performance as The Fire Spirit and Fred Astaire in our production of 'The Snow Queen and Stepping Out to Gershwin'. We were delighted he was able to return this year as our male soloist performing the role of the Bluebird.
Duchess: Julie rejoined Duchy Ballet after four years away, in her last production (Swan Lake in 2013), she danced many roles in particular Lead Swan and Lead Russian.
Julie first joined Duchy Ballet in 2004 for our production of Swan Lake where she danced the role of a maypole dancer and a jester. Since leaving Duchy Julie completed a BSc in Psychology with Criminology while still managing to continue to dance as a Dance Captain along with training with Team England Jazz in Wolverhampton.
Various roles: Stuart is rejoining Duchy Ballet after a short break to further his ballet training. Stuart joined the Royal Ballet School in 2012 where he danced in 'The Nutcracker' with the company. Following his time at the Royal Ballet School Stuart went on to join Elmhurst Ballet School.