Shane Lavelle on INYB’s Cinderella

Shane Lavelle is a Senior Company member with Irish National Youth Ballet. This season INYB will performing a new ballet, Cinderella, choreographed for the company by Kilian O'Callaghan. Cinderella will be performed at the Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire, 14 - 16 December. See here for booking.

Between rehearsals, Shane took some time out to chat with us.


Tell us about what it is like working on a new ballet created by Kilian O’Callaghan?

I have never worked with a choreoghrapher quite like Kilian. His passion and enthusiasm towards the music we are dancing to, sparks my imagination and gives me the necessary motivation to perform my best.

When did you start working on this ballet?

We began working on this ballet during the last week of August 2018.

We would love to hear about your rehearsals. Are there moments that stand out to you that you will always cherish?

There have been countless moments that have filled me with awe each week. This is my first year in INYB, the rehearsals have been the first time I have had the chance to see the other dancers dance. I can remember vividly how mesmerized I was when I saw the Prince and Cinderella’s pas de deux. The way they glided effortlessly across the floor, looking only into each other’s eyes, filled me with excitement and motivation as I hope to play a lead role someday.  

As far as moments that have made me laugh, there has been several. For example, watching the two stepsisters develop their characters has been very amusing.
As these charcters are quite clumsy and awkward, one day in rehearsal one sister fell flat on the ground but continued dancing as it fit the role so perfectly. I don’t think there was anybody who didn’t laugh!

I do not play the role of the Prince although I do enjoy both of the prince’s solos in the ballet. Thanks to Kilian, during one of the rehearsals he gave me the oppurtunity to perform the prince’s solos with the other boys. This was one of the best memories I have had dancing as I put my heart and soul into that performance. The feeling I got as I danced, reinforced in me, why I truly love ballet.

What role(s) are you performing?

I play the role of the Dancemaster. This role has been intriguing to take on, as he is a more  comedic character, so I have had to spend some time and put thought into how I believe this character should act and how he would react to what is happening around him.

I also play one of the three prince’s friends which has been a very enjoyable experience. In this role, I get to perform along side two of the other boys in the company. As there is a clear lack of boys doing ballet, I don’t get usually get to dance along side other boys my age. Thus, this has been a fun-filled experience.

How long have you been with INYB for? 

This is my first year in INYB and so I have been in this company for roughly four months.

What do I love most about it?

That’s a tough question. There is a lot to choose from.  I understand that dancers can be a bit territorial at times yet I was pleasantly surprised to be welcomed so warmly and kind-heartedly. 
The part I love the most, is getting to dance with such great people who are just as passionate about ballet as I am.

As a young dancer, what have you learned from dancing in other pieces with INYB that have helped you in this new work?

As this is my first year in INYB, I haven’t had the chance to compare this year to previous years. Despite this, I hope to build bonds and have great memories in this company.

What are you looking forward to the most when you perform in the Pavilion 14 – 16 Dec?

Personally, I can’t wait to just get out onto to that stage, along side people that I now call friends.  This show has been four months in the making, it would be a disservice to not go out with a bang! I am looking forward to stepping into my character’s shoes and watching the events of Cinderella unfold as if it was my first time seeing it. This is the true beauty of performing.

Performing is my passion and now that I have done the talking, hopefully you will see what I truly mean on the 14-16 of December.