Ballet Star Gary Avis in conversation with Christine Webber

Christine Webber and Gary Avis at the Royal Opera House before the show on April 2. Picture: Christi

Christine Webber and Gary Avis at the Royal Opera House before the show on April 2. Picture: Christine Webber - Credit: Archant

Gary Avis MBE, star of the Royal Ballet company has been in conversation with Norfolk author and broadcaster Christine Webber at Covent Garden

In a must for ballet fans, Gary Avis MBE has talked about his life and career, on stage at the Royal Opera House.

And the great news for fans who didn't manage to get a ticket, is that it is hoped the show will go on the road in Suffolk and Norfolk over the coming months.

A sell-out house at the Clore Studio was able to find out about the Royal Ballet's world renowned character artist and ballet master, in his own words. Gary, who was born and brought up in Ipswich and now lives in north Suffolk, was in conversation with former Anglia Television presenter Christine Webber, a successful author, broadcaster, and agony aunt (with actor and broadcaster Helen McDermott) for the Eastern Daily Press. The show began with Gary's first dance moves which were disco... yes, really. He then went to the dance school run by acclaimed teacher Linda Shipton.

In the course of a hugely entertaining evening, the audience heard that Gary's first ambition was to become a musical theatre star and, although he was to go in a different direction, he is a consummate actor - as anyone who read the recent reviews or has seen his performance as Tybalt in Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet will know.

The audience was treated to pictures of Gary, through his life and also film clips of him dancing.

Gary spoke of his time with K-Ballet, in Japan, a company he co-founded in 1999, dancing as a guest artist with English National Ballet and his return to the Royal Ballet where he was often chosen to partner Dame Darcey Bussell and indeed danced with the ballerina at her farewell performance at the Royal Opera House.

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There was also a chat about Gary's working day which can start with catching the train to London, from Suffolk, at dawn and not getting home until 1.30am. His Facebook friends will have seen his fabulous sunrise and sunset pictures, taken from Greater Anglia carriages!

Gary and Christine also chatted about his support for the arts scene in Suffolk and his commitment to inspiring young artists through the Art and Culture Fund at Suffolk Community Foundation, and as a member of the board of Dance East.

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