Chat with Ballerina Amy Drew
25 September 2017
Coppélia is at the Kings Theatre 20-21 October and stars over 100 local children.
We spoke to company Ballerina Amy Drew about the production:
What was your training like?
I grew up in Western Australia and did my professional dance training at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts. It was quite like the ‘Fame’ school because at WAAPA you can study all aspects of performing arts like music, dance and screen acting. I was really grateful for such diverse training because it has made me quite an all-round performer.
Where in the world has your career taken you to?
I did a tour of Swan Lake with the Tasmanian Classical Ballet Company. I also danced in Korea with the Seo Dong Hyun Dance Company and in a company in Singapore called Odessey Dance Theatre. I danced for 6 years in the National Ballet of Ireland. I have enjoyed touring and guesting with companies all over the world.
What brought you to English Youth Ballet?
I was on tour in London and I had seen an audition notice for EYB. I thought it would be the perfect job for me – getting to do principal roles and working with children. I didn’t think I was going to be available for the audition. Suddenly we were given a day off and I called the company at the last minute and was able to go to the audition and the rest is history.
Tell me a little bit about the production of Coppélia that is coming to Portsmouth?
Coppélia is such a great family production because it is so colourful and really humorous. The story is crazy – its about a mad inventor who creates a lifelike doll that he thinks he can bring to life. I play the heroine of the story – Swanhilda. Swanhilda’s boyfriend – Franz flirts with the Coppelia Doll. Swanhilda notices and takes her friends on a spooky adventure into the house of Dr Coppelius – the eccentric inventor. I won’t tell you too much more – but – of course – there is a very happy ending.
How are the young dancers you are working with in Portsmouth getting on in rehearsals?
We have a talented cast of 100 young dancers in Portsmouth. They all live within a 40-mile radius of the Kings Theatre. The rehearsals at Trafalgar School are going extremely well. The dancers are working hard 6-hour rehearsal days and I know that some of the girls have rather sore feet from the pointework! The young dancers are making lots of new friends and everyone has the same passion. I really enjoy sharing the experience with the young dancers – it’s quite a magical atmosphere at rehearsals.
What advice would you give any young dancer contemplating a career in dance?
I would advise them to believe in themselves, work hard and enjoy every second of their dancing. I know that EYB is giving the dancers in Portsmouth a wonderful and unique opportunity. I wish there had been something like it in Australia when I was training.