For a third year in a row students from the Joanne Grace School of Dance have been selected to perform with the Imperial Russian Ballet Company at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre.
Twenty five classical ballet dancers aged from eight to 12 will be performing as part of Sleeping Beauty Act III (Princess Aurora’s Wedding) during the “Russian Triple Bill” production, showing from October 2 to 4.
“It certainly is an honour,” said the school founder.
“It’s really a benefit to the students who would never otherwise have an opportunity to perform, at that age, with a professional company.
“It gives them insight into being a dancer in a professional show.”
This will be the third time lucky for some dance students while for others it will be their first time.
The most daunting aspect, Ms Grace said, was the little amount of time the students spent rehearsing with the professionals prior to the performances.
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Students have been practising the four-and-a-half minute routine for the last month though has so far just had one intensive rehearsal with the Russians on Sunday. One more major rehearsal is scheduled the day of their first show.
“They gave us corrections, things that they wanted us to improve,” Ms Grace said.
“We’ll take that feedback into the studio to work on that for when they see us again … there are still things they will teach us on the day which we haven’t learnt yet.”
It’s quite an achievement in itself for students to be chosen for this production as Ms Grace said they needed to be confident with the ability to work well under pressure.
Some of the young performers are part of the Australian Ballet’s Junior Program with professional careers already ahead of them.
For others, this is a “once in a life-time opportunity”, Ms Grace said.
The Imperial Russian Ballet will also perform excerpts from Les Sylphides and Carmen.
The show runs for approximately two hours and 40 minutes with two intervals.
For more information and ticketing, visit: www.merrigong.com.au