Audiences to the Australian season of the English National Ballet can be forgiven for thinking they are seeing double; the company features identical twin brothers from Brazil, reports Michelle Hanna.
When 20-year-old brothers Vitor and Guilherme Menezes were growing up in Brazil, their mother would play them classical music and take them to acting classes. It wasn't long before they discovered a combination of the two and started taking ballet lessons.
The twins were soon performing at competitions such as the prestigious Prix de Lausanne and were offered a place at the English National Ballet School. They recently joined the Company and are on their first international tour with the company in Australia.
However, they are not the only international artists in the company, with many of the 67 dancers being from over 20 different countries. Artistic Director Wayne Eagling explains that not everyone is happy with the multi-cultural nature of one of England's flagship companies, particularly the English government funding body.
The English National Ballet was set-up in the 1950s as a UK regional touring company and now tours internationally. In Australia they are the first major company to appear at the new performing arts centre in the Sydney suburb Chatswood, in keeping with their remit to take ballet to audiences who might not normally have access.
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