Not all fairies are fairy tales or cartoons. There are flesh and blood, demanding, tender if appropriate, but with their feet on the ground. This is the case of Billy Elliot’s ballet teacher, the dancing boy, who plays the Madrid actress Natalia Millán in the fabulous musical that is staged at the Victoria del Paral·lel theater in Barcelona. With a score by Elton John, the montage is own, by SOM Produce, from the libretto by the film’s authors, Lee Hall and Stephen Daldry.
Millán has been playing the role of Mrs. Wilkinson, the ballet teacher who discovers little Billy’s talent for more than three years: almost three years in Madrid and since September in Barcelona, in the skin of this prodigious character, a counterpoint to the adventures vital of the dancing child.
“This function is very much enjoyed and the reception of the Barcelona public has been spectacular – says the actress. It is said that the public in Catalonia is a bit cold, but here it is super hot, because children always move a lot with emotion. And if these children are with this talent and this professionalism, the result is that the public ends up standing up at all the functions ”.
The journey of the boy and the teacher drags the whole town with a change of mentality “
“I have worked a lot with children, I love it, but never before in theater or with this intensity, because here the child is the protagonist,” says Millán. A child is the one who endures this behemoth of function, this great montage, and there are also other boys and girls who have relevant roles. Not every little one can do this job assuming so much responsibility. His seriousness and rigor set the bar very high for you ”.
The children’s cast is prepared for a year and a half at the Billy Elliot Coco Comín School and the result can be seen every day at the Victoria Theater. “They are children who learn various disciplines: classical ballet, modern dance, jazz, tap, acrobatics, singing and acting. They have to do everything and very well. They play all the sticks, as in Billy and Michael’s dream number, an exceptional passage ”.
The role of Mrs. Wilkinson, the ballet teacher, is that of the good fairy: “Yes, but with the appearance of a kinky witch. She is a tough woman, who is fed up with the fact that her work is not valued in that town. Of course it is a very bitter people, because they are experiencing a difficult professional moment due to the closure of the mine ”.
The action takes place in a town in central England in the 1980s, when British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher closed the coal mines and put thousands of people out of work. The protests and strikes lasted for months and it is in this context that Billy Elliot discovers his passion for dance.
Mrs. Wilkinson discovers his family situation and pushes him to continue because she knows that this talent can help him get out of that situation “
“It is a rigid, macho town where boys go to boxing and girls to ballet. It works by inertia ”, details the actress. And a special boy appears: “The desire to dance appears because she sees that talent in him and insists on it. Mrs. Wilkinson discovers his family situation and pushes him to continue because she knows that this talent can help him get out of that situation ”.
What Natalia Millán likes the most about her role is that “that journey, which begins between the two of them giving each other cane, ends up dragging the whole town, with a change of mentality, abandoning intolerance, and supporting the child so that he ends up dancing at the Royal Ballet School ”.
The actress believes that the play has a very current reading today: “We need to be tolerant at all levels, and it’s not just about homophobia. We have to respect each other even if we think differently. We all fit here, fortunately. Billy Elliot it is a hymn to freedom and tolerance ”, he concludes.
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Natalia Millán, Billy Elliot’s good fairy