Ballet Cymru are to present the eternal fairy tale, Cinderella, premiering at Newport Riverfront during May.
The production will feature a specially commissioned music score and creative circus elements, combined with the finest classical dance. Ballet Cymru have worked with award winning composer Jack White and Circus Company Citrus Arts to conjure a surprising world of wonder and magic.
Featuring choreography by Creative Wales Award winner Darius James, Ballet Cymru brings to life this timeless story using the company’s unique blend of classical technique and storytelling.
Andy Howells recently put questions to company dancer Beth Meadway who will dance the title role in Cinderella
There are many different types of dance genres. What drew you to ballet?
From a young age I learnt all sorts of genres of dance; jazz, tap and contemporary to name a few, but for me with my long limbs and movement quality ballet always suited me more and I loved learning and performing it. I also believe that ballet is the base to so many other types of dance genres.
Where did you train?
I trained locally for twelve years at the LWHS school of Dance in Hull. I then moved to London to train at the Central School of Ballet for three years where I got my degree in Professional Dance and Performance. To bridge the gap between school and professional work I furthered my training at the Northern Ballets post graduate course. It was during that year where I got my first contract with Ballet Cymru.
I’ve been on pointe for eleven years. I started when I was ten.
What piece of work has given you joy so far as a professional dancer?
I really loved performing in Ballet Cymru’s production of ‘The Light Princess’ as the Queen. It was choreographed on myself and Robbie Morcroft and I felt we were able to show our movement qualities and push each other to create some original and beautiful movement.
Equally. I loved performing ‘Shadow Aspect’ by Tim Podesta, which won the Best Dance Production 2018 at the Wales Theatre Awards. This was a complete contrast to the companies usual works but the clarity and physicality of the movement was something I throughly enjoyed. We also got to perform alongside Mara Galeazzi who was simply breathtaking!
How did you become involved in Ballet Cymru?
During my training and audition year I’d heard great things of the company so when it was time for me to apply and audition I was very diligent. I wasn’t disappointed in the audition and felt such a great atmosphere and care for the dancers there. When I was offered the job I was ecstatic!
Who are you playing in the forthcoming production of Cinderella and and what does your role entail.
I’m am playing Cinderella in the new production. It’s the first main role I’ve done as a professional so I’m very excited. It’s been so nice to be able to have this role re-choreographed on myself as it enables me to perform in my own personal movement style whilst working alongside Darius and Amy to create something believable and original.
There are many presentations and interpretations of the Cinderella story. What makes this version stand out from the others?
We’re doing the Grimm’s version of Cinderella so it’s slightly darker and different from the traditional fairytale. It includes an ugly step brother and sister, a bird, who symbolises the fairy god mother and also Cinderella’s birth mother, and a rather gruesome, yet comical take on the step siblings trying on the shoe! It has a lot of comedy, heartbreak and love all rolled into one ballet.
Are there any particular challenges you are facing in this production?
I wouldn’t call it a challenge but the fact that I am a lot taller then the stepmother posed a bit of concern, especially when she’s supposed to look superior over me. However Eka who is playing the stepmother is so convincing in her acting and body language that it works really well!
What do you think audiences will enjoy most about this show?
The variety of characters and the dancing I hope!
What advice would you give any aspiring dancers who are thinking of becoming professional?
Be true to yourself. Work hard, but also have fun with it. It is career that is short lived so make every moment count!
Ballet Cymru’s Cinderella will premiere at Newport Riverfront on May 11 – 12 .
For further details visit http://www.welshballet.co.uk
This interview was added to the archive on August 23, 2019.