Carla López and Anna Aguilar from Martorell, aged 10 and 17 respectively, take part in Billy Elliot El Musical in the roles of Susan and Sharon, two of the students taking ballet classes with the protagonist. Evangelina Esteves, an Argentine based in Martorell, has taken part in the formation of classic i jazz of young actors between 2019 and 2020. The production premiered on October 9 at the Teatre Victòria in Barcelona and is expected to have a season in Barcelona until January.
The musical tells the story of young Billy, born in a town in the north of England in which men practice boxing and work in the mine. None of them dance or harbor ambitions to perform at the Royal Ballet School. But Billy is different. Raised by a widowed father, Billy does not like boxing but is captivated by ballet. He will resolutely fight to achieve his dreams, returning the union to his family and faith to a community devastated by the final convulsion of the British mining industry.
Billy Elliot El Musical is led by Natalia Millán (Miss Wilkinson), Oscar de la Fuente (father), Agustín Otón (Tony), Teresa Guillamón (grandmother), Pedro A. Roca (George), Juanki Fernández (Braithwaite) and Allende Blanco (mother).
The children’s cast is made up of more than 60 boys and girls, who after months at the Billy Elliot School -based at the Coco Comín School- receiving training in classical ballet, tap, performance, voice, clown and acrobatics are showcasing their talent on stage. Five children play Billy Elliot: Iker Castell Daifuku, Pablo Fito, Marc Gelabert Rueda, Pol Ribet and Max Vilarrasa Rivas.
In total, more than 140 people have worked for two years, in the hands of the producer Som Produce, to present this work backed by success on Broadway, London and Madrid, where it has been seen by more than 750,000 viewers.
With music by Elton John and lyrics by Lee Hall, it tells the story of the self-improvement of young Billy, who dreams of learning to dance. Locations can be purchased at billyelliot.es, teatrevictoria.com and official channels.
What is your role in ‘Billy Elliot The Musical’?
A.A: I’m one of the girls who plays Sharon, who is like the girl who always wants to stand out above the others.
C.L: I play Susan, one of the girls who also dances. She is the clueless of the class and she doesn’t care what they say about her, she always responds with a thank you.
AND AND: In my case, I was able to do the ballet training process and jazz of the girls and boys coming out to the musical, from December 2019 to March 2020. It was a wonderful experience and I was able to witness the learning of all of them, from start to finish.
How did you get the chance to participate?
A.A: I found out why Evangelina, who was my ballet teacher at the Coco Comín Dance School, told me that there was the casting and encouraged me to introduce myself. I decided to sign up, even though my height was a bit fair, as they were looking for smaller girls, and they grabbed me.
C.L: I heard from casting by my mother, Evangelina, who worked there and asked me if I wanted to participate.
How were the selection tests?
A.A: I remember it was my birthday and I went with my best friend, who also studied at Coco Comín. The minutes before entering we were very nervous and then they made us enter a room, where we all started to warm up.
C.L: Then a dance teacher came and gave us a small class to teach us a piece of the dance that we would later have to do ourselves. There were also singing and theater rehearsals, and when you were done they would tell you if you were finally coming in or not.
AND AND: The moment of casting I lived it as a mother and the atmosphere was nervous. It is true, however, that the producer and the school did their best to create an atmosphere of tranquility among the aspirants.
And how do you remember the premiere?
C.L: I was not there at the premiere on October 9, because we are divided into five groups and some of them played the preview and others the premiere. The day I first went on stage I was very nervous as I had never been on a stage as big as the Victoria Theater. I remember when the audience applauded us I was very excited.
A.A: Everyone really had their own premiere, but I did go there on the 9th. It was a pretty strong experience, as you’re with the people you’ve been practicing for two years and you know them a lot. To me the moment of applause from the audience is one of the things I like the most, as it is thanks to the effort you have put in for so long.
AND AND: It should be noted that when the whole training process began, the pandemic broke out. The process had to be stopped, but we all had high hopes of resuming it in the future. That’s why the premiere was even more exciting to see everyone’s dreams come true.
How many girls and boys are part of the musical?
AND AND: They are five groups of girls and five couples of Billys and Michaels, who are the protagonist and their best friend. There are so many children because legally children under the age of 16 can only do two functions a week, so they need to be warned to be able to perform the eight functions they have scheduled.
Billy Elliot’s story is well known but how would you tell it?
C.L: For me it’s a very beautiful story. It is about a child, whose mother has died, and begins to take boxing lessons. One day, he has to bring some keys to the ballet teacher and see how the girls dance and he likes it, but his father forbids him to practice it. Billy ignores him and starts taking ballet classes, until his teacher proposes to him to attend the Royal Ballet School in London. They didn’t have enough money, but he finally manages to raise them.
A.A: It also explains the difficult situation that the children of that time who liked to dance went through. I think it has nothing to do with the genre with dance. You have to be free and, if you like, do it.
AND AND: During my career I have met very few children. Fortunately, this is changing, but there is still a lot of taboo on the subject of dance and its possibilities. It also happens with girls, who believe that it is very difficult to make a living from this art.
How did you prepare your characters?
A.A: For me it was a challenge, as I don’t consider myself similar to Sharon, but I also like being able to play roles that have nothing to do with me. I was inspired by people around me, classmates… In addition, in the acting sessions we were also taught tricks to be able to play the characters.
C.L: Interpretation classes also helped me a lot. It cost me a bit at first, but then it ended up leaving me.
Evangelina, in addition to participating in Billy Elliot’s training, you have also trained for ‘Cantando bajo la lluvia’, the musical by Àngel Llàcer and Manu Guix that can be seen at the Teatre Tívoli.
AND AND: I was lucky that Àngel Llàcer suggested that I do the reinforcement in the tap part, since we knew each other from La jaula de las locas. We started auditions in September 2020 and rehearsals last July. The official premiere was on September 30th, but about two weeks earlier we had already done some pre-shows with audience to finish closing fringes.
What would be your advice for someone who wants to get where you are?
A.A: I would tell him never to give up. The thing is not to sign up for one casting and if you don’t come in stop trying. You have to be consistent and pursue your dreams always, because in the end everything comes.
C.L: My advice is to have a great time at all times, because it’s so much fun to dedicate yourself to that. They won’t always tell you yes, but you have to keep trying.
Source: Web de notícies de l'Ajuntament de Martorell by martorelldigital.cat.
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