Published: 29/12/2013 14:07 - Updated: 30/12/2013 16:46

Highlanders urged to swap rugby boots for ballet shoes

A cast of boys is sought for Eden Court's Lord Of The Flies
A cast of boys is sought for Eden Court's Lord Of The Flies

A NEW role at Eden Court will attempt to persuade Highlanders to swap their rugby boots for dancing shoes.

Together with acclaimed director and choreographer Matthew Bourne’s own dance company New Adventures, the Inverness theatre is beginning a search for young men and boys to join professional dancers on stage at Eden Court this spring.

Bourne’s previous hits include Highland Fling, which visited Eden Court earlier this year (2013), and his version of Swan Lake with its all male swan chorus.

Now he is on the hunt for more male dancers for his adaptation of Lord of The Flies, William Golding’s novel about a group of school boys marooned on a Pacific island by an aircrash and who quickly degenerate into savagery.

To help him, Eden Court is appointing a dance “ambassador” to inspire men and boys from across the region to take part.

“For this show, we are looking for a cast of boys and young men to perform alongside the professionals,” Eden Court Creative dance artist Louise Marshall explained.

“They don’t need to have had any formal dance training before — they could even be a rugby team. They just need to be physical and willing to get involved.

“The ambassador will go out and connect with boys and young men, but not scare them off with the dance word.”

It seems that Highland blokes are, more than most, scared of the dance word. Though the popularity of street dance, for example, has broken down some of the traditional male resistance to dance, that has not yet translated into any upturn in interest in performance dance among young males.

“We have to realise that in Scotland, and particularly in the Highlands, we are a step behind when it comes to dancing for boys,” Marshall said.

“People see certain role models. The see street dance and understand that and they see ballet and understand that too, but they don’t understand contemporary dance.

“The challenge for us is getting the numbers and getting the boys inspired. Matthew Bourne was originally talking about how he would like to have 120 at the auditions and, particularly in the Highlands, that’s quite a challenge, so the ambassador we are looking for will really need to be quite inspirational.”

The ambassador can be either male or female, but with the necessary dance background that allows him or her to convey the ideas involved in bringing Bourne’s ideas to the stage.

After they are appointed, the ambassador will then travel down to a Lord of The Flies “boot camp” in London in February to get to know the production and what will be needed from the show’s Highland recruits.

With the ambassador’s help, Marshall hopes that The Lord of The Flies will achieve or at least get close to its aim of 25 to 30 local young men and boys aged from 10 to 25 joining the professionals at Eden Court.

“They have to be willing to get in there and get physical,” Marshall added.

“So from that point of view, a rugby team would be good. And a rugby player has won Strictly in the past!”

• Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Company and Reborn present Lord of The Flies will be at Eden Court Theatre in Inverness from Wednesday 28th to Saturday 31st May 2014.

Anyone interested in the post of ambassador can contact Louise Marshall at lmarshall@eden-court.co.uk for further information.

For a job pack call Cheryl Nicol or Cara Briggs on 01463-239841 or email admin@eden-court.co.uk

The deadline is 10th January 2014.

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