Hans Christian Andersen was born in Denmark in 1805 and, despite receiving little education is for many not just the best known Dane but the author of over 150 fairy tales and childrens stories. The Snow Queen is one of the longest and best loved of Andersen's fairy tales.
Essentially based on a Scandinavian legend it tells of the battle between the cold dark winter months and the warm colourful summer months. Warmth, goodness, purity and optimism are represented by Gerda, contrasting with the cold, dark, pessimistic selfishness of The Snow Queen and her entourage.
The 'roaring twenties' marked the high point of the Broadway show with colourful musical numbers, chorus girls and flappers.
The arrival of the 'talkies' and the depression era allowed Hollywood to come to the fore. Screen musicals made mega-stars of the likes of Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Gene Kelly; while the chorus metamorphosed into the elaborate patterns and choreography of the glamorous 'Busby Berkeley' girls. This was Broadway for the masses who, before the arrival of television, flocked to the movies in their millions every week to see the stars.
Decades later and it is George Gershwins music that evokes the spirit of that era like few others.
'Stepping out to Gershwin' allows us to celebrate the talent of George Gershwin dancing to his toe tapping and nostalgic melodies.
Fire Princess - Chika started her ballet training in Osaka, Japan before attending the Royal Ballet School and the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St Petersburg, Russia. She joined the St Petersburg State Academic Theatre, dancing at the Kirov and Bolshoi Theatres and touring in Germany, Poland, Finland, Spain, Malta, Taiwan and Korea.
She has danced all the major pas de deux as well as Odette/Odile in 'Swan Lake', Clara in 'The Nutcracker' and Swanilda in 'Coppelia'. Since 2000 she has been principal dancer at the Swansea Grand Theatre Wales. Chika performed with Duchy Ballet as Odette/Odile in our 2004 performance of 'Swan Lake' and as Mowser in our 2005 performance of 'The Mousehole Cat'.
Fire Prince - Denis started his training at the Vaganova Ballet School and completed his studies at the Perm Choreographic Ballet School in 1989. He has performed as principal dancer with many international companies including Gorky Opera and Ballet Theatre, Moscow Classical Ballet and Kazan Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet.
His previous roles include the Prince in 'The Nutcracker', the Joker in 'Swan Lake', Nurali in 'The Fountain of Bakhtchisarai', Solor in 'La Baradere', the Prince in 'Cinderella', Franz in 'Coppelia', Basil in 'Don Quixote', Blue Bird in 'Sleeping Beauty', Albrecht in 'Giselle' and Pan in 'Faust'.
Vocalist and Gerda - Robyn began her dance training at the age of three with Irene Luke and Mary Drake, she continued her studies with Maureen Pascoe, Kay Jones and Sianne Strasberg.
She followed training at the Dance College of Cornwall with a period of professional dancing before returning to Cornwall to continue her studies gaining her Musical Theatre Diploma in 2008 along with studying for a Degree in Law.
Robyn has performed in many Duchy Ballet productions including the role of Swanilda in the company's production of 'Coppelia' in 2001.
Vocalist - Tomas' love of dance began at the age of three with the late Miss Tresize. Under Kay Jones, he became a Junior Associate with the Royal Ballet School before winning a scholarship to the Arts Educational School, Tring Park.
Tomas subsequently toured with the English National Ballet before returning to Cornwall to continue his studies. Tomas has been associated with Duchy Ballet since its inaugural production of 'The Nutcracker' in 1998 and is a Director of Theatre and Dance Cornwall.