Ballets in all sizes in Blackpool

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Blackpool Odeon is one of the venues for the first ever live screening of the The Royal Ballet’s haunting classic, Giselle.

It is being screened live in cinemas across 10 countries worldwide to more than 250 cinemas next Wednesday January 19 from the Royal Opera House.

Moving from happy peasant village scenes into a beautiful but eerie world of ghostly spirits, Giselle is one of the most poignant ballets of the Romantic era.

This production, staged by Peter Wright with designs by John MacFarlane, captures both the folkloric and supernatural aspects of the ballet.

Starring Royal Ballet Principals, Marianela Nuñez and Rupert Pennefather, the ballet is set in a medieval Rhineland village and tells the story of a gentle peasant girl who is driven to her death when deceived by her aristocratic lover Albrecht. Filled with remorse, Albrecht visits her moonlit grave where he is condemned to death by ghostly spirits. However, Giselle’s love transcends death and she protects Albrecht until the safety of the dawn.

In the meantime Russia’s alternative ballet company, The Big Ballet, has been forced, for the first time in its 16-year history, to lower its strict minimum weight requirement from 17-stone, back to the original requirement of 15-stone, due to a drop in the average weight of auditioning hopefuls ahead of its UK tour this spring which will be at Blackpool Grand Theatre on Sunday, April 3.

Comprising 16 female dancers The Big Ballet’s previous two UK tours saw the average weight of the dancers stand at a fraction under 20-stone.

But the Big Ballet UK Tour Producer Alexej Ignatow, for Amande Concerts UK, said: “While many of the original dancers are retained for the forthcoming tour, open auditions regularly take place in Russia and were initially so oversubscribed with potential dancers weighing the minimum of 15-stone, that the level was actually raised to 17-stone. However, the number of hopefuls weighing that has dropped significantly in the past two years, coinciding with sustained global campaigns for healthier eating”

The Big Ballet was established 16 years ago by top Russian choreographer, Panfilov. who decided to prove two things to the world; firstly, that people of larger build are able to move with similar grace, dignity and flare as traditional dancers, and secondly, that he would be able to create a professional ballet troupe from dancers with no previous experience.