Swing into Christmas with Youth Ballet West this weekend

Youth Ballet West

Youth Ballet West

Dance fans in Galway and Athlone are about to get a wonderful double helping of festive fun as Youth Ballet West takes to the stage of the Dean Crowe Theatre in Athlone on tomorrow Friday December 14 and the Town Hall Theatre in Galway on Saturday and Sunday December 15-16.

This pioneering dance company will premier its fabulous new ballet Upbeat and Classical, set to music of the big band jazz era. Choreographed by Kilian O’ Callaghan, former principal dancer with Royal New Zealand Ballet and West Australian Ballet Company, this piece celebrates the timeless great rhythms and melodies of Glenn Miller.

And that’s not all. Audiences will also delight in Alice Underground, an exciting, modern interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s classic tales, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Pirouetting parrots, dancing ducks, flouncing flowers and a very Mad Hatter will all star in this exciting adaptation of much loved stories. Conceived and choreographed by Claire Lillis and Judith Sibley, together they have taken key elements from these stories and created an inspired masterpiece.

And last but not least is a new dance piece set to Tiny Dancer, a song for Judith’s daughter, Lily-Mae, which is currently number one in at least four countries, and is hoping to be the Irish Christmas No 1. Phyllis Hayes and her senior students at Corrib Dance Academy have created this piece as a tribute to Judith and Lily-Mae.

This fantastic ballet double bill promises to be one of the entertainment highlights of the season and is sure to be a thrilling Christmas treat for all the family. Young and old will be amazed by the spectacular costumes and lighting special effects, imaginative choreography, fabulous costumes and award winning dancers.

According to Artistic Director Judith Sibley, “Youth Ballet West features 25 of Ireland’s most talented young dancers from Galway, Ennis, Athlone and Roscommon.

"This pioneering young ballet company is unrivalled in the West of Ireland in its excellence and this is a great opportunity to see the dance stars of the future in a magical double bill”.

Ms Sibley herself is one of Ireland’s most prestigious ballet artists and she is successfully guiding these young dancers to truly realise their dreams. Founded only five years ago by Judith and her sister Phyllis, Youth Ballet West has already had many former members accepted into top dance schools abroad.

So, for ballet on the double in Galway and Athlone don’t miss Youth Ballet West as they swing into Christmas with Upbeat & Classical and Alice Underground in Athlone and Galway over the next three days. Tickets €16 / €12 are available from Town Hall Theatre Galway, 091 569777 www.tht.ie and from the Dean Crowe Theatre on Athlone www.deancrowetheatre.com or phone 090 64 92129.

Youth Ballet West was established in 2007 by Phyllis Hayes and Judith Sibley. Recognised and grant aided by the Arts Council, it aims to allow young gifted dancers from across the West of Ireland to develop their talent locally while remaining at their studies. Classes are free for these talented dancers aged between 13 and 23 who are selected during an audition process.

Youth Ballet West has delighted audiences in Galway’s Town Hall Theatre and at Feile Na Bealtaine in Dingle. Performances also include dancing in the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin 2012, dancing as part of the Volvo 2012 celebrations, dancing in the annual Macnas Parade, 2010 and 2011 and at The Dublin Youth Dance Festival. The company has won awards at The National Dance Awards and is firmly establishing itself as a leading youth ballet company in Ireland. For details, see www.youthballetwest.ie


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