Big on ballet

OVERSIZE alternative Russian ballet company, The Big Ballet – where the dancers each weigh at least 15 stone – are back in the UK with a tour which brings them to Worthing’s Pavilion Theatre on Sunday, April 10.

This time they are slightly lighter.

Dion Clements, their UK publicist, explained: “The Big Ballet has recently been forced, for the first time ever in its 16-year history, to lower its strict minimum weight requirement from 17 stone, back to the original requirement of 15 stone, due to a surprising drop in the average weight of auditioning hopefuls.

“Comprising 16 female dancers The Big Ballet has toured the UK twice before, in 2007 and 2008, at a time when the average weight of the dancers stood at a fraction under 20 stone.

“The minimum weight of 17 stone was so strict, a principal dancer with the show, Tatyana Gladkih, was even temporarily excluded from participating in pre-tour training sessions after dropping beneath the minimum requirement in 2008.”

The Big Ballet UK Tour Producer Alexej Ignatow said: “While many of the original dancers are retained for the forthcoming tour, open auditions regularly take place in Russia; events which were initially so heavily oversubscribed with potential dancers weighing the original required minimum of 15 stone, that the level was actually raised to 17 stone.

“However, the number of hopefuls weighing 17 stone has dropped significantly in the past two years, coinciding with sustained global campaigns for healthier eating, perhaps most notably spearheaded by celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver.”

Tickets on 01903 206206.