VIDEO: Kes flies as dance show at Sheffield Crucible

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Kes, the iconic film based on a bestselling book, is to fly again - this time as a dance theatre production thanks to a real life Billy Elliot from South Yorkshire.

It’s the project of Barnsley born Jonathan Watkins, aged 29, who joined The Royal Ballet School aged 12 and is now an award-winning choreographer.

Kes the dance theatre production to get world premiere at Sheffield's Crucible on March 27.

Kes the dance theatre production to get world premiere at Sheffield's Crucible on March 27.

He is about to realise a lifelong dream after transforming Kes into Sheffield Theatre’s first ever dance production to play the main stage at the Crucible.

Jonathan, originally from Worsbrough, had lots of encouragement from the venue’s acclaimed artistic director Daniel Evans and the backing of Eleanor Hines, wife of Kestrel For A Knave author Barry, who now suffers from Alzheimer’s. She has attended a rehearsal.

A celebrated cast of dancers have been brought together and top secret puppet techniques are being developed to make the kestrel appear to fly, in the most eagerly anticipated reveal since marionette horses took to the West End stage in War Horse.

Featuring eight professional and 20 young local dancers, it will get its world premiere at the Crucible on Thursday, March 27,running until Saturday, April 5.

Jonathan Watkins, director and choreographer of Kes at the Crucible Theatre

Jonathan Watkins, director and choreographer of Kes at the Crucible Theatre

In an exclusive chat with The Star - watch the video ar thestar.co.uk/video - Jonathan, aged 29, said of his production of Kes: “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years. It’s in your blood when you grow up in Barnsley..

“The story is so poetic and expressive - showing two worlds, one the confinements of school and home, the other where the relationship develops between the boy and bird.

“It’s faithful to the book and the film, because Barry did the screenplay. But I wanted to reimagine it in a different medium, through dance.”

London based dancer Laura Caldow, who plays Billy’s mum, said: “Jonathan’s passion for this is overwhelming. He’s protective of the story but he’s very open to our input.

Kes director Jonathan Watkins with dancers Laura Caldow and Anton Skrzypiciel.

Kes director Jonathan Watkins with dancers Laura Caldow and Anton Skrzypiciel.

“It’s not abstract dance, or elitist. If you’ve never seen dance before, this is an amazing opportunity.”

Melbourne born dancer Anton Skrzypiciel, 53, who plays headmaster Mr Gryce, said Kes, about a boy who turns his life around after finding and training a kesterel, has universal appeal. He said: “It deals with the alienation kids can feel in their surroundings as they look for something to attach themselves to.”

* Tickets are £19 to £21, booking fees may apply. Buy in person, call the Box Office on 0114 249 6000 or visit www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.

Kes star David Bradley as Billy Casper  in the 1969  Ken Loach film

Kes star David Bradley as Billy Casper in the 1969 Ken Loach film

Sheffield's Crucible theatre

Sheffield's Crucible theatre

Dancer Laura Caldow playing Billy Casper's mother in  Kes at the Crucible Theatre

Dancer Laura Caldow playing Billy Casper's mother in Kes at the Crucible Theatre

Dancer Anton Skrzypiciel playing Mr Gryce the headmaster in  Kes at the Crucible Theatre

Dancer Anton Skrzypiciel playing Mr Gryce the headmaster in Kes at the Crucible Theatre