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White Doves cast spotlight: Introducing Harry Nicholson, Georgia Crawford and Oscar Hunter

As we come to the end of the first week of White Doves rehearsals, we're sharing our catch up with local dancers Harry Nicholson, Georgia Crawford and Oscar Hunter who are performing principal Junior Company roles in the new ballet which will be performed at The MAC Belfast from 3-5 August 2023.

White Doves Junior Company members Leah McNally and Niamh Scates. Both dancers perform classical ballet solos in tutus.

A portrait of dancer Leah McNally from Belfast
Newtownabbey dancer Harry Nicholson.

Introducing Harry Nicholson, who will be dancing the role of 'Ciaran' in White Doves this August.


Harry attends Belfast Royal Academy and trains in ballet at High Points Youth Ballet and in performing arts at the JH Academy.

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get here?

I have been dancing on and off since I was 11 years old but it’s only since joining High Points Youth Ballet this year that I have been properly introduced to the world of ballet, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I have always loved dancing and it has now become a really important part of my life because of my involvement in High Points and now with the White Doves Junior Company! What are some recent performance highlights?

Harry performing in 'Paquita' with Amelia Larmour. Image by Sofia De Vasconcelos for High Points Youth Ballet.

Dancing in ‘Paquita’ as part of HYPB’s Spring Gala was definitely a highlight for me. I had the opportunity to perform with the incredible High Points dancers as well as dancing my own variation. The experience was very memorable and rewarding for me as my first show with High Points.

What are you most looking forward to about the performances? I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to dance with some amazing young dancers as well as professionals. I’m very excited as this dynamic will motivate me to achieve my best while having fun throughout my time at the company!

In White Doves, you will be performing as a character based on a real person from history. Is this different from your previous roles? I’m excited about the unique opportunity to perform as a character created from history and I hope to do my character justice. This is a story that is undoubtedly close to everyone’s hearts and it will be unlike any part I have ever danced before and so I can’t wait to learn and grow through this experience.


 

Dancer Niamh Scates. She is smiling to the camera. She wears a deep purple lyrical costume.
Ballymena dancer Georgia Crawford performing a variation from the Nutcracker Suite at YAGP. Image by LK Studio for YAGP.

Introducing Georgia Crawford, who will be performing in the role of 'Anne'.


Georgia is a student at Belfast Royal Academy and trains in ballet with High Points Youth Ballet.


Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get here?

I began ballet when I was 3 at Ballymena Dance Academy, where I also trained in lyrical,

modern, and tap. After dancing Swan Lake with the English Youth Ballet in 2017, I decided I

wanted to focus more on ballet and High Points was the perfect opportunity. I have been dancing with them ever since and have loved every minute.


What are you most looking forward to about performing White Doves?

I am really looking forward to getting to share the stage with other very talented dancers,

both professionals and the rest of the junior company, to perform a ballet which is unique to

Belfast. Getting to perform with live musicians is also a new opportunity for me which I am

very excited to take.


Georgia performing 'Lost Youth' at YAGP. Image by LK Studio for YAGP.

What has your proudest moment been?

Based on my performance of Ruaidhrí's contemporary piece, Lost Youth at the YAGP semi-finals in Barcelona, along with a classical ballet piece, I was selected for a masterclass with Gennadi Saveliev from which I won a scholarship to attend Nervi Festival. I recently travelled to Italy to take classes with world-renowned teachers and perform in the Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow gala that featured international ballet stars, such as Natalia Osipova!


Favourite dance performance?

I love watching anything by Marianela Nuñez, especially her interpretations of Giselle, Kitri,

and Odette. Her dancing is such an inspiration and she really captivates the audience,

making them feel every emotion. Another of my favourites is Nikiya's Death Scene from LaBayadere, especially Svetlana Zakharova's version, as it'ss such a beautiful and emotional

piece of choreography.


 

Belfast dancer Oscar Hunter performing in High Points Youth Ballet's 'Paquita'. Image by Sofia De Vasconcelos for High Points Youth Ballet

Introducing Oscar Hunter, performing as 'Jacky' in White Doves.


Oscar attends Methodist College Belfast and trains in ballet at High Points Youth Ballet and in performing arts at the JH Academy.

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get here?

For my entire life I have loved playing sports and being active. I played rugby all the time until 15 years old so switching to ballet was a huge change! I began attending ballet in late 2022 with no previous dancing experience and have loved every moment of it since, although it is certainly tough work. Ballet was definitely a big plot twist in my life but I am delighted that I started doing it. I hope to go as far as I can with it.

Over 60 dancers auditioned to be in the production. How was that experience?

The audition was a very new experience and nervous experience for myself, as I was in a studio with 35 others just as eager to perform in White Doves. Once I began I found it very relaxed as the teachers were super friendly and helpful.


Oscar in 'White Doves' rehearsals. Image by Amelia Clarkson.

In White Doves, you will be performing as a character based on a real person from history. Is this new to you?

Like everything else related to ballet, performing a character created on a real person will be a completely new experience. I really hope that my performance will effectively portray the real life emotions and feelings.






Catch Harry, George and Oscar in White Doves at the MAC Belfast from 3 - 5 August 2023. Learn more and book tickets here.


White Doves web banner reads 'Six Dance Collective presents White Doves, a new ballet for Belfast. 3-5 August 2023, The MAC Belfast. Tickets on sale now.'


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