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Press Release: London Children's Ballet premieres in London's West End


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LONDON CHILDREN’S BALLET STAGES WORLD PREMIERE OF LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY

  • -  LAUNCHING FUTURE STARS AT WEST END PREMIERE

  • -  10 YEAR OLD BOY TO STAR IN LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY

  • -  DARCEY BUSSELL BECOMES PATRON OF LCB

 

Dynamic youth company London Children’s Ballet brings a new ballet based on the classic children’s novel, Little Lord Fauntleroy, to the West End from 21-24 April. Performed by 60 rising stars of the ballet world chosen from across the country through competitive auditions, the stunning new production brings to life this near-forgotten treasure the Harry Potter of its time for a new generation. Little Lord Fauntleroy is the lesser known but delightful novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the author of The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, and tells an inspiring story of a young boy whose charisma and inherent goodness wins the day.

 

 

A champion of high-quality and inspiring family arts, LCB is a charity that has become known for the unique training and performance opportunities that it offers, for free, to hugely talented young dancers from every background. It creates new West End ballets for a family audience, spring-boarding the careers of many composers, choreographers and designers, and it runs programmes that use dance to change lives in the community.

 

 

Darcey Bussell has announced her patronage of London Children’s Ballet (LCB), and will attend the fundraising Première of the company’s new West End production of Little Lord Fauntleroy on 21 April.

 

 

Dream Team choreographer Jenna Lee and composer Richard Norriss have collaborated with Artistic Director Lucille Briance to create a ballet of this inspirational story for the first time. Richard, graduate of the Royal College of Music, studied as a concert pianist but found hours alone at the piano very lonely. He stumbled into a dance studio to cover as pianist for a friend and has worked with dancers ever since. Jenna Lee ̧ until recently a soloist with English National Ballet, has the rare gift for narrative dramatic ballet, a niche of ballet avoided by many choreographers. LCB ballets are designed to appeal to new audiences, young and old. CLICK HERE for a link to the pair’s previous collaboration – an original ballet of Snow White that sold out at The Peacock in 2015. Biographies below.

 

HEARTBROKEN BUT REUNITED! In 2015, Lily O’Regan was cast in the title role of LCB’s Snow White, but broke her foot two weeks before the curtain went up. Now Lily, age 13, is reunited with her Prince (James Lovell) who has emerged from his GCSE studies in Dorset to dance the role of Captain Errol, partnering Lily in the grand pas de deux of Little Lord Fauntleroy.

10 years old and 4’ 2” tall, Luke Wragg from Queen’s Park in London, has bagged the title role of Cedric Errol, the little 7 year old American boy who learns he must sail to England to inherit the strange title of Little Lord Fauntleroy. Luke is supported by a cast of 60 extraordinarily talented young ballet dancers, drawn through competitive auditions from across the country. The children are all in normal academic schools, and come together on Sunday afternoons to rehearse over a 4-month period.

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Little Lord Fauntleroy is the third children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of The Secret Garden and A Little Princess. It tells the rags-to-riches story of a young American boy, Cedric Errol, who discovers he is heir to the Earl of Dorincourt, a bitter and mean old Englishman with a great fortune and a large estate. Cedric’s kindness, generosity and eternal optimism eventually wins over the heart of his frosty old grandfather.

 

 

 

2016 CREATIVE TEAM

Artistic Director: Lucille Briance Composer: Richard Norriss Choreographer: Jenna Lee
Lighting Designer: Mark Jonathan Set Designer: Libby Watson Costume Designer: Jasmin Ada Knox

 

 

BIOGRAPHIES

 

Jenna Lee, Choreographer

Jenna danced with the English National Ballet for 12 years. As a soloist she performed roles such as The Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, Queen of the Willis in Giselle and The Mistress in Manon. This variety of roles within the company, paired with a keen eye for new and diverse culture, has enabled Jenna to explore a variety of different art techniques and styles, and therefore enhancing her choreographic scope. She created many of English National Ballet’s more adventurous dance works. In 2006 Jenna choreographed Ballet Rocks to launch Sky HD, with music by Bloc Party and costumed designed by Giles Deacon. In 2012 she choreographed an advert for Citroën. It features four Arsenal football players and four ballerinas. Jenna is passionate about fusing classical ballet with the unexpected to keep it fresh and current. With this ethos, she has collaborated with Flawless, World Dance Champions. They created a full-length show that fused ballet, with breakdancing and acrobatics. Recently, Jenna left English National Ballet to focus on choreography and her company - JLee Productions, which provides bespoke ballet performances for any event.

 

 

On choreographing for LCB, Jenna says, “Someone once said to me that choreographing for LCB changed their life. After working with the company over the past month it's easy to see why. You enter a company full of talented, excited and eager-to-learn ballet students who hang on your every word. The commitment and passion from some of the young dancers has been overwhelming. My challenge has been to establish a balance between a fun, upbeat approach in the studio, which is important for morale when we spend so many hours rehearsing, whilst also passing on the skills I have learnt over the years, which involves discipline, dedication and attention to detail.”

 

 

Richard Norriss, Composer

Richard attended the Royal College of Music, studying piano with John Barstow and piano accompaniment with Ruth Gerald. He went on to pursue a career as a recitalist and freelance dance pianist. He joined Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in 2002, and wrote his first pieces of dance performance music there. He created his first full-length story ballet for LCB’s Snow White (2009). Since then he has written numerous dance pieces for piano, a string quartet, and arranged Bach’s Chorale Preludes for a production of excerpts from Richard Alston’s Beyond Measure (2010), and Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony for Gothenburg’s Mareld Festival 2013 and the BBC Young Dancer of the Year 2015. Richard plays for the Yorkshire Ballet Summer School, the RAD Genée International Ballet Competition, and is a founder member of the annual Hikone Dance Intensive course, Japan.

 

 

PERFORMANCE DATES

Thursday 21 April, 7pm: Premiere evening ticket hotline: 020 8969 1555
Friday 22 April - Sunday 24 April: Evening and matinée tickets on sale at www.sadlerswells.com or on 020 7863 8222.

 

 

ABOUT LONDON CHILDREN’S BALLET

Founded in 1994, London Children’s Ballet (LCB) is a charity with a mission to change lives through dance. Each year LCB creates an original, full-length ballet adapted from a classic children’s story and offers emerging choreographers, composers, and designers their first commission of this kind. At LCB’s heart is an outstanding children’s ballet company. Each year 600 children attend rigorous auditions. Those selected (55-60 each year, girls aged 9-14 and boys aged 9-16) receive, at no cost, intensive professional training and perform the new ballet in a week-long West End run. LCB ballets have sold out every year for 21 years.

 

 

LCB Outreach Work

In addition to the main productions, LCB extends its charitable reach by touring shortened versions of the ballet, along with interactive workshops, to over 30 small community venues, including special needs schools, care homes and hospices across Greater London. LCB also invites 2,000 children and elderly people from charities and primary schools in disadvantaged areas to come to special matinee performances on £1 tickets, introducing those with little or no previous exposure to the arts to ballet for the first time.

 

 

Previous LCB Productions

Snow White (2015, 2009), Nanny McPhee (2014), The Secret Garden (2013, 2007), A Little Princess (2012, 2004, 1995), Rumpelstiltskin (2011), Ballet Shoes (2010, 2001), Jane Eyre (2008, 1997), The Scarlet Pimpernel (2006), The Canterville Ghost (2005), The Prince & the Pauper (2003), Faithful Gelert (2002, 1996), The Last Battle (2000), Mrs Harris Goes to Paris (1998) and The Happy Prince (1994). 

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