Corowa dancer Nathan Pavey has been casted in award-winning production West Side Story, which will premiere in Melbourne this April with an all Australian cast.
Pavey will perform the iconic choreography by Broadway legend Jerome Robbins as one of the ‘Jets’ members, both at the Melbourne Arts Centre then Sydney Opera House in October.
Pavey’s role will be his professional debut since graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School in dance.
The Times (UK) has hailed West Side Story as the “greatest musical of all time”. It is set in a New York city enveloped by bitter tension between two teenage gangs: the Jets – self-styled ‘Americans’ – and the Sharks – a group of young Puerto Ricans – and remains as important and relevant today as it was when it was first created.
Director and choreographer Joey McKneely, a former pupil of Jerome Robbins, said he was blown away by the Australian talent during auditions.
“After an exhaustive search, I am so pleased to have found these amazingly talented young artists to play these career-defining roles,” he said.
“Each one possesses such extraordinary naturalism in their acting, that it was captivating to watch them embody these characters.
“I cannot wait to bring their thrilling performances to Melbourne and Sydney stages.”
Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini reiterated what a wonderful opportunity this will be for Australian audiences.
“West Side Story is one of the greatest pieces of musical theatre ever written, which is evidenced by its continuing success around the world. We are honoured to be providing the platform for showcasing the talents of these rising stars of Australia.”
Pavey, 18, attended the Judy O’Malley School of Dance since the age of four until he joined the Victorian College of Arts in 2015. He also received a scholarship to dance in New York at the end of 2014.