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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Musicals: Broadway Show Billy Elliot


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Kiril Kulish (won Hope Award two years ago at YAGP and Junior Grand Prix last year) and David Alvarez (won first place in Ensembles several years ago when he danced with Kiril) are two of the three boys cast as Billy Elliot in the New York production scheduled to open this fall. Interestingly, both boys studied ballet with Maxim Tchnernychev (from the Bolshoi) at San Diego Academy of Ballet. Don't know if either can sing, but they are both fabulous dancers! (and really nice people too) :) It's nice to know that the show is putting the appropriate emphasis on the dance. I think it will be a show worth seeing for anyone who lives (or visits) NYC.

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I think it's safe to assume they can sing -- not to mention tap dance -- as that is a major part of the show.

 

It's a fabulous show, though we're wondering how it will translate to American audiences. My understanding was that the London show only cast boys from the Midlands, so the accents would be just right. I guess that's not a concern here.

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I think it's safe to assume they can sing -- not to mention tap dance -- as that is a major part of the show.

 

It's a fabulous show, though we're wondering how it will translate to American audiences. My understanding was that the London show only cast boys from the Midlands, so the accents would be just right. I guess that's not a concern here.

 

Billy Elliott was from the North East, not the Midlands and no they cast from all around the country although initially they may have wanted local lads only.

 

So in the New York show will the boy have to have a Geordie accent?? I'm just curious as I'm from the same area!

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Mel Johnson

One of my students auditioned for the part and didn't get it, he felt, because of the accent. He'd never heard one like that before.

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:)

 

Confession: As a Londoner, I frequently make the mistake of considering everything north of the M25 is "Up north".

 

(M25 is the ring road / motorway around london)

 

There, I've said it!

 

:o

 

Fish

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The third male lead is a champion Irish step dancer, Trent Kowalik. We have watched him grow up in Irish dance. He danced for Inishfree, a school in NY. Trent's been playing Billy Elliot for the last couple of months. He is a veteran of local and international Irish dance competitions (feiseanna). I have seen him dance many, many times, and like many others in the Irish dance world, I've looked forward to feiseanna when I see his name on the competitor list.

 

Trent's dancing is extraordinary. I'm sad that the NYT article barely mentioned his Irish dance accomplishments because they are considerable: North American champion many times in a row (5?), World Champion, All-Ireland champion, Scots champion, etc. In the Irish dance world, we are very proud of him and wish him well in "Billy Elliot". :)

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I wouldn't worry about it Fish and R. Mc....I'm in Scotland and we frequently refer to everything below the border as Down South!

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The accents are going to be interesting! Kiril Kulish is a Russian--he speaks Russian with his parents, but English with his peers (American accent only). David Alvarez is a Cuban--speaks Spanish with his parents, moved to Montreal, where he spoke French with his peers, and then to San Diego, where he spoke English (American accent only). They do have a dialect coach--and I would guess they will need it!

 

I was disappointed they didn't mention the above two boys' connection to San Diego (since we are constantly struggling against a back-water image out here :yes: ) and to the YAGP connection (fact that Kiril and David won for ensembles doing a duet together at YAGP several years ago). They are both incredible ballet dancers. I understand the choreography is going to change each night depending upon which boy is performing the lead, so they may decrease the tap--or at least play to each boy's strengths, which is nice.

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If I'm not mistaken, Kiril is also the youth Latin Dance champion in the ballroom world.

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The choreography that is usually adapted to each boys' strengths, is the song "Electricity", wher e every performers gets to show what he does best. The tap usually stays though, it's in other songs.

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Well on the clip provided they already seem to be making a pretty good attempt at it. These are really talented kids I am sure they will learn it just as they learn the choreography and acting. If film actors can do it these dancers certainly can.

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