Star dancer cannot wait for south coast return

Reginald D Hunter

Reginald D Hunter: ‘All you have to give is an honest opinion about anything and someone, somewhere will be offended’

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Everyone remembers the iconic moment at the end of Billy Eliot when, as an adult at the Royal School of Ballet, and to the amazement of his family and friends in the audience, the camera cuts to Billy jumping in slow motion across the stage in Swan Lake. That dancer was Adam Cooper.

Similarly trained at the Royal School of Ballet in London, and named as their principal dancer from 1994 to 1997, Cooper is coming to Chichester Festival Theatre for the summer to play the lead role of Don Lockwood in Singin’ In The Rain.

Today he says: ‘They thought Billy Eliot was going to be tiny, not turn into a blockbuster. I had no idea it would turn into something so iconic. To me it felt like doing a lot of jumps in one day.

‘Its a great piece of British cinema and has done a lot for dance for boys in this country.

‘I never told anyone I danced, I thought people would take the mick out of me.’

Cooper has since performed hundreds of times all over the world, including tours all over the UK, the West End, LA & Broadway.

‘It was an amzing time,’ he says,’dancing all over the world and dancing with amazing performers.’

He may have been one of the best ballet dancers in the country but Cooper always had a passion for musical theatre.

He said: ‘I found myself in ballet because I followered my brother.

‘Musical theatre was something I always wanted to do actually.’

However much he may have performed throughout his life, Cooper is looking forward to his Singin’ In The Rain debut at Chichester.

He said: ‘The great thing about this show it’s got the excitement and the variety that the film has and that’s iconic.

‘It’s one of the great roles for a male actor, full of dancer numbers by Gene Kelly.

‘There are some amazing performers and i’m just working hard at it to be honest.

‘It brings it to life, with a brilliant company of dancers, musicians, singers, and we even have some real rain. Maybe even some splashing.’

Although originally from London, and currently living there now, Cooper lived in Rake outside Petersfield with his wife for over four years.

He added: ‘I’m a London lad and my wife and I decided to move out in 2005, and we went to live down South.

‘I’m looking forward to being down there. It will be great to be near the South coast again.’

Tickets: Chichester Festival Theatre (01243) 781312 or cft.org.uk.

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