Ballerina in a different head-space

Bridgett Letters
Bridgett Letters
Dancing in an oversized mouse's head has been a challenge for Bridgett Letters.

One of three people performing the lead role in the Royal New Zealand Ballet's season of Angelina Ballerina's Big Audition, she says the padded head is hot to wear and she has to use her arms and shoulders more in order to convey emotions without facial expressions.

"It changes your balance so when you do a turn or a jump, you have to adjust your body weight," the Australian dancer adds.

"Also it's quite difficult to have any peripheral vision ... so to get into line you have to really make sure you know exactly where you're going."

A scene from Angelina Ballerina's Big Audition. Photo supplied.
A scene from Angelina Ballerina's Big Audition. Photo supplied.
But performing for budding ballerinas has its rewards. While audiences at Swan Lake are appreciative and applaud politely after a solo, Angelina fans are so excited to see their favourite television character come to life, they giggle and clap throughout the 75-minute-performance.

The 22-year-old was part of the company that toured the production to Australia, where it was seen by 62,000 people, and says many of those children left the shows wanting to take up dancing.

Originally an English National Ballet production, the show features ballet, hip-hop, contemporary dance and tap dancing, and sees Angelina prepare for her most important performance ever, in front of a judge from the Camembert Academy.

Designed for children aged two and over, the Meridian Season of Angelina Ballerina's Big Audition is at Dunedin's Regent Theatre on May 4 at 10.30am and 1.30pm.

To tie in with the Royal New Zealand Ballet's Meridian Season of Angelina Ballerina's Big Audition, the company has three Angelina Ballerina prizes to giveaway. They are a signed Angelina Ballerina Doll, and two Angelina Ballerina twirling ribbon wands. To go in the draw, write your name, address and daytime phone number on the back of an envelope and send it to Angelina Ballerina, ODT Editorial Features, Response Bag 500010, Dunedin, or email with Angelina Ballerina in the subject line, to arrive before Wednesday.

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