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New York, U.S.A. -Â There’s not much call in the world ballet repertoire for dancing in clogs. The exception: The much celebrated “clog dance” performed by the character of the Widow Simone in Act II of “La Fille mal gardee,” the perfect ballet for first-timers of all ages, and one to which ballet lovers will return again and again with renewed pleasure at every performance.
On May 16, 2012 Philip Mosley, the real life inspiration for the character “Billy Elliot” of film and musical theater fame, will be the person dancing in clogs on the stage of London’s Royal Ballet. American audiences will see Mosley joined by Royal Ballet principals and corps members dancing the exhilarating, energetic choreography of Frederick Ashton when Ballet in Cinema from Emerging Pictures brings this comedic romantic ballet to the big screen Live in HD from London’s Royal Ballet.
The live performance will be seen simultaneously in nearly 150 of Emerging’s network of 300 theaters; the others theaters in the network will show “La Fille mal gardee” “captured live” in the weeks following the live performance.
Choreographed by international star choreographer Frederick Ashton for a world premiere at the Royal Ballet in 1960, the cast stars Steven MacRae as Colas, the country boy in love with Lise, played by Roberta Marquez, the daughter of the Widow Simone, played by Mosley, who attempts to thwart the young lovers by promising Lise in marriage to the simpleton son of a wealthy nearby vineyard owner.
A member of the Royal Ballet since the age of 19, Mosley, now in his mid-forties, said of the Widow Simone’s clog dance in a 2010 interview with Britain’s “Ballet Magazine,” “One of the nicest things ever was the first time I ever did it,” because members of the orchestra remarked that they had never heard the clog dance so clearly. The clogs he will be wearing were a gift from Ronald Emblen, one of Mosley’s ballet teachers when he was a young boy on dance scholarship.
He kept them, “â€¦and no one else is ever having them, because he taught me and when you get a good pair of clogs you don’t want to lose them. The sound [in other clogs] is not as good so I’ve kept on to those clogs and I am not going to let them go.”
Mosley holds the position of Artistic Administrator for the Royal Ballet, as well as Character Artist; he has played character roles in “The Nutcracker,” ” Don Quixote,” “Swan Lake,” “The Dream,” “Coppelia,” “Manon” and others. His performance as the Widow Simone in “La Fille mal gardee” will not be his first as a woman; last spring he played The Ugly Sister in the Royal Ballet production of “Cinderella.”
Image Courtesy ofÂ Â Billy Elliot the Musical