Ballet dancer Rhys is coming home
Thursday 5th October 2017 @ 13:40 by Matt nicholls
News Oldham Town

Oldham-born ballet dancer, Rhys Antoni Yeomans, will be returning to his home city to perform with the English National Ballet at Manchester Palace Theatre from 11 – 14 October.

The ENB will be performing Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s masterwork, Song of the Earth and August Bournonville’s La Sylphide recreated by Frank Andersen and Eva Kloborg.

After seeing Billy Elliot The Musical live in London when he was 10, Rhys started training at Centre Pointe in Manchester and after only two years he was performing the lead role of that very same musical in the West End.

Ballet dancer Rhys is appearing at the Palace Theatre next week.

Rhys told the Oldham Reporter: “I’d never danced before I saw Billy Elliot so I must have had some natural ability, I’m quite a fast learner and I pick up things quite quick so it was natural for me.”

Students of the ENB usually spend their third year looking for a job for when they graduate and Rhys travelled all over the world auditioning for ballet companies.

Thankfully the ENB hired him into their company which is extremely rare for a graduate and Rhys was the only person in his year to do so.

“I never thought I would get this far to be honest, I’m super happy and super lucky. Even when I was training at the school I never dreamed that I would be with the company.

“It’s my first time performing with the company as well as in my home town so it’s pretty special. I have all my family coming along on Saturday to watch me.

“I’m really excited for them to be able to watch me because I’ve got older grandparents and I don’t know how long I’ve got them for; It’s gonna be great for them to see me dance and do what I love to do.”

Rhys was unfamiliar with the pieces before working with the company and has worked non-stop to perfect his performances of Song of the Earth and La Sylphide.

First performed in 1965, MacMillan’s Song of the Earth is a powerful, moving exploration of life, death, and renewal and is set to Mahler’s song cycle, Das Lied von der Erde, performed live by the English National Ballet Philharmonic and coincides with the 25th anniversary of MacMillan’s death.

Devised by one of the world’s leading producers of Bournonville ballets, Frank Anderson and Eva Kloborg’s faithful version of the 1830s Romantic ballet La Sylphide sees James wake from a dream on the morning of his wedding to Effy to encounter a mysterious sylphide before him, setting off a fateful sequence of events.

English National Ballet was founded in 1950 as London Festival Ballet by the great English Dancers Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin, it has played a major role in the growth and history of the ballet in the UK. You can get tickets to the show by going to www.atgtickets.com/shows/song-of-the-earth-la-sylphide/palace-theatre-manchester/.