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George ready to set ballet world on fire
A FORMER Worcester dance student has become the youngest person to choreograph a professional ballet production in England.
George Williamson, aged 21, has choreographed the English National Ballet’s The Firebird, which had its world premiere at the London Coliseum.
The Firebird, scored by Igor Stravinsky, was first seen at the beginning of the 1900s, but Mr Williamson re-created it and brought it up to date.
Despite now living in London where he trained at the English National Ballet School, Mr Williamson said it was training at Academy Dance in Worcester under principal Helen Leek that ignited his passion for choreography and dancing.
He said: “I cannot really remember how I got into dancing, I went with a friend and she quit after a month but I carried on.
“Working with Academy Dance creatively – I started doing shows when I was six – and working with Helen who does all her own choreography, working in a really creative environment that’s what did it for me.”
He was asked if he wanted to choreograph The Firebird about a year ago by the artistic director of the English National Ballet School.
“It was amazing, a dream come true,” said Mr Williamson. “It’s a great first opportunity for me.
“I would much prefer to choreograph than dance. This is a big first start to put my name on the map so we’ll see what happens from there.”
Miss Leek, who attended the premiere, said it was an incredible achievement.
She said: “It’s a major ballet for the second biggest company in the country and most people never do that in their lifetime.
“To do that at 21 is just incredible really.
“I’m thrilled for him and just so proud to think he comes from our school.
“He’s a fantastic dancer and a very intelligent young man and that’s part of being a choreographer really.
“There’s a lot more to it than just dancing – the story behind it, that shows his intelligence.”