Inspired by the beautiful swans in Galway’s Claddagh shoreline, the talented dancers from Youth Ballet West will perform “Claddagh Swans” in the Town Hall Theatre on Saturday, November 6th and Sunday November 7th. The cutting-edge approach to a classic theme has been choreographed by Judith Sibley, who interchanges from a contemporary vision of the traditional Swan Lake ballet to mesmerizing underwater scenes.
“It’s very different to what people expect of a ballet,” says Eimear Gillen, soloist in The Claddagh Swans, Youth Ballet West company member. The young dancer had also participated in the original film, Dancing by Distance, forCruinniu na nÓg 2020, commissioned by Creative Ireland and aired on RTE 2. “It’s nice to connect the dance with Galway, where the company is based.” The seventy-minute piece includes an eclectic mix of composers, including Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saens as well as Declan O’Rourke BellX1 and The Corrs, that will set the tone for the combination of classic and new portrayed in the performance.
In an effort to introduce ballet to diverse audiences and raise the profile of ballet in the West of Ireland, Youth Ballet West (YBW) offers young dancers in the west of Ireland the opportunity to audition for and perform professionally choreographed ballets of the highest standard. Claddagh Swans is the organisation’s first performance after the stop of rehearsals during the pandemic. “It was amazing to be back at the studio after Covid, knowing that we would be up on stage for the first time in so long. I think that’s the best part of it, getting back with the people of the company, working with them and helping create the dance,” Eimear mentions.
Choreographer Judith Sibley, one of Ireland’s most prestigious ballet artists, puts this ornate and edgy piece together seamlessly. Having choreographed for Cork City Ballet, Baboro Festival, Macnas, Cuirt Festival, and Catastrophe Theatre Company, her broad experience in the dance industry gives her works a level of creativity that is hard to find in the West Coast. Judith has toured internationally, performing principal and soloist roles in all the major classical ballets including Swan Lake, Giselle, La Bayadere, Cinderella, Coppelia, and The Nutcracker.
Tickets for the show can be bought on the Town Theatre website, which has now increased audience size to 60% of venue capacity where all patrons are immune (fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 within the previous 6 months).