International star joins 100 local dancers to give a Hollywood spin to Cinderella
- Credit: Archant
Monica Tapiador stars in English Youth Ballet's premiere of Cinderella in Hollywood, leading an impressive cast of international principal dancers and 100 of the region's finest young dancers.
Monica Tapiador will be starring in English Youth Ballet's UK premiere of Cinderella in Hollywood this weekend at the Norwich Theatre Royal.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary year, English Youth Ballet's policy is to perform full length ballets outside London, and to give young dancers the chance to perform in a professional setting.
For this production they have relocated the timeless love story to the glamorous era of 1950s Hollywood movies drawing inspiration from the romance of film star Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco. Cinderella is a seamstress on a film set and the Fairy Godmother is her late mother - a former movie star of the 1930s. Her wicked sisters are Hollywood starlets competing with each other for starring film roles.
Monica, who was born in Spain and, before joining EYB, danced with La Scala Theatre Ballet and English National Ballet, will be leading an impressive cast of international principal dancers and 100 of the region's finest young dancers.
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How does the role of Cinderella that you will be dancing differ from the fairy tale?
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My Cinderella is very different to the Disney movie. She works in the wardrobe department of a Hollywood film studio in the 1950s. She lost her mother when she was younger so she had to grow up very fast. Her step-sisters aren't ugly – they are wicked Hollywood starlets. Cinderella dreams of becoming a movie star – just like her mother.
What are the biggest challenges of the role for you?
It's important not to get into the cliché of playing the artificial or fairy tale role. I want my Cinderella to be a real girl that the audience can identify with. Also, the style of the choreography is neo-classical (quite modern ballet) and my body is having to find new and different ways of moving that I'm not used to.
What have you enjoyed about the creative process of bringing a new production to the stage?
The chorographers have allowed us to use some of our own ideas so I feel that Cinderella has really become 'part of me'. As a professional, it doesn't happen very often and it feels very special. Seeing the choreography, the costumes and the lighting come together - we feel that we have been really involved in the process.
What do you think that the audiences will enjoy most about the new production?
The audience will love the selection of music in the ballet. We have beautiful orchestral jazz and classical music that the audience are familiar with. It really helps to create the Hollywood atmosphere. There are also many styles of dance from glamorous show dancing in heeled shoes to classical waltzes in pointe shoes. I think that Cinderella's motorised buggy that takes her to the press party will be a hit. It is so Hollywood!
What is the experience of performing with EYB like for the 100 young dancers in the cast?
Like the professionals, they are so lucky to be involved in a new production. It has been created just for them. I think they feel very important being in the premiere. They just love their dancing and they relish being in a professional environment.
What have you enjoyed most about coaching the young dancers?
I have liked seeing the transition they have made from day one of rehearsals to arriving at the theatre. At the beginning, they were quite unsure and nervous and they have become so much more confident and disciplined. They have learnt how to work as a team and really push themselves.
What advice would you give any young dancer considering a career in dance?
If you can learn to believe in what you do then the audience will also believe in you. I think they should keep their passion even through the difficult times. Keep an eye on the goal that is driving you - even on the days when you don't feel that motivated. It is such an amazing feeling to work in a job you love.
• Cinderella in Hollywood, Norwich Theatre Royal, May 25-26, 7.30pm, 2.30pm May 26, £23.50-£10, 01603 630000, theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk