South Tyneside dancers earn role in production of one of the world’s most famous ballets

The dancers in action.
The dancers in action.

A magnificent seven talented young dancers from South Tyneside are set to appear in a production of one of the world’s most famous ballets.
English Youth Ballet’s production of Swan Lake is being performed at the Sunderland Empire on June 16 and 17.

The tragic love story will feature a number of international principal dancers - and alongside them will be Ellie Adams, Emma Becke, Amber Blu Bell, Grace Carr, Molly Gibson, Caitlyn Frost and Rebecca Longstaff.

Adele Robbins, "Odette" and Oli Speers, "Prince Sergei".

Adele Robbins, "Odette" and Oli Speers, "Prince Sergei".

The girls, aged from nine to 17, were chosen to be part of the show’s ensemble following a rigorous audition earlier this year.

English Youth Ballet (EYB) is one of the UK’s largest ballet companies and previously won The Stage Award for special achievement in regional theatre.

Amber Blu Bell, nine, from South Shields attends Kathleen Burdon School of Ballet & Joanne Smith School of Dance.

She said: “I started dancing when I was three years old. I do five classes a week and my favourite kind of dancing is ballet.

Dancer Amber Blu Bell.

Dancer Amber Blu Bell.

“I am looking forward to dancing with English Youth Ballet. I can’t wait to be on the stage. In the future I would like to be a famous ballet dancer.”

The girls are part of a 100-strong group of ballet dancers who were chosen from the North East to become part of the cast.

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

“We saw a very pleasing standard at the auditions and it was lovely to see lots of enthusiasm.”

EYB has helped many of the UK’s top talent springboard their training progress and careers into some of the world’s greatest ballet companies – including the Royal Ballet Company and English National Ballet.

The show tells the story of love, rivalry, greed and murder. It is set in the Mariinsky Theatre in 1895 Imperial Russia where the theatre company are preparing for a production of Swan Lake.

Two unlikely lovers meet Odette, a dancer with the Mariinsky Ballet and Prince Sergei, son to the Tsar. The Tsar must ensure that Prince Sergei does not marry beneath his station.

Equally, the tyrannical Baron Von Rothbart would do anything to secure a royal patronage for his ballet company. He would even manipulate his own daughter – Odile – to compete for the affections of the Prince.

Swan Lake presented by the English Youth Ballet will be on at the Sunderland Empire from on June 16 and 17.

For tickets contact the Box Office on 0844 871 3022 or visit