Star turn for young Derbyshire Dales ballet dancers

Isabella Gerrelli and Chloe Gilbert will star in the ballet production.
Isabella Gerrelli and Chloe Gilbert will star in the ballet production.

Two talented Derbyshire Dales dancers are preparing to live their dreams by starring in a professional ballet production.

Isabella Gerrelli, 14, from Wirksworth, and Chloe Gilbert, 11, from Matlock, have been selected by English Youth Ballet (EYB) to perform in a glittering double bill at Buxton Opera House next month alongside a host of star international principal dancers.

Aurora’s Wedding is acts two and three of EYB’s acclaimed production of Sleeping Beauty with Tchaikovsky’s exquisite orchestral score, while the new production of Ballet Études is a one-act homage to classical ballet training.

Isabella and Chloe are among 84 of the finest young dancers from the local area who have been chosen for soloist and corps de ballet roles.

The young cast will rehearse for just ten days for the production.

Hannah Rose Dance student Isabella, who is a pupil at Anthony Gell School, said: “I started dancing when I was three years old because my best friend said it was fun and my mum thought it would be a good idea too.

“Dancing with the EYB will help me to grow as a dancer and a performer. I will also become much stronger en pointe and become more confident dancing on a raked stage.

“In the future I’d love to become a professional dancer. I am still trying to decide which style I love the most, ballet or contemporary.”

Highfields School pupil Chloe added: “I was two-and-a-half years old when I started dancing at Claire Dobinson School of Dancing. My mum took me to my first lesson and I have never looked back since. I just love to dance.

“I am looking forward to the whole EYB experience, meeting new people and strengthening my technique.

“In the future I would like to have a career in dancing, if not always on the stage, teaching others to dance.”

English Youth Ballet held auditions for the ballet at Buxton Opera House in June, with over 150 young dancers taking part.

Director and founder of EYB, Janet Lewis MBE, said: “EYB is all about providing extra performance experience to young dancers.”

Sleeping Beauty – Aurora’s Wedding & Ballet Études will be presented at Buxton Opera House from October 19 to 20.

For tickets, call 01298 72190 or visit buxtonoperahouse.org.uk.