Thursday, April 4, 2013

Billy Elliot: More Than Ballet

Billy Elliot The Musical is the story of a young boy who aspires to a career in ballet, but people are often surprised that the show also encompasses tap, hip hop, jazz, acrobatics and folk dancing. Even walking becomes a form of expression. 

The diversity was very deliberate. Said choreographer Peter Darling, “I didn’t want to convey the notion that only one form of movement is of value. I wanted to use as many different forms of movement as possible. We’re celebrating dance; dance is worthy of celebration and all forms of dance can tell a narrative.” 

Darling infused the ballet choreography with contemporary movement, steps that would contradict traditional classical dance. When Billy auditions for The Royal Ballet in the number “Electricity,” the ballet he performs includes street dance, hip hop and acrobatics. “The idea is that The Royal Ballet is looking for young dancers with potential, who are phenomenal movers,” says Darling. “And Billy shows that he’s a phenomenal mover who can also turn three pirouettes. Ballet can be one of the most thrilling things you’ll ever see, because of the amount of training, technique, and strength required to do it. The training enables the body to do things that are phenomenally difficult. You’re able to travel through the air. It’s got a great freedom to it.” 

To learn more about Billy Elliot The Musical, please visit

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