Arriving at the Orpheum Theater on December 16, “Billy Elliot” has swept hearts across the state of Minnesota. The production unleashes a heart-warming tale about an 11-year-old boy growing up in a small town in northern England during a coal minors’ strike in the early 1980s.
On his way to oblige his spurring masculinity at a weekly boxing class held in the towns community center, Elliot stumbles upon his purpose when left to deliver the building’s keys to the evening ballet instructor. These are keys, he quickly realizes, are a metaphor for the necessity of unlocking his potential as a ballet dancer.
Billy’s desire to be a ballet dancer is met with disapproval and criticism by his family, who live in this hyper-masculine town of coal minors and old-fashioned souls. In this town, a boy who dances might as well throw himself into a well or don a dress in the summertime. Yet Billy is not just feeding a curiosity or rebelling against his father’s disapproval of the art, he’s merely stepping into his own portrait, and here, pirouettes serve as brushstrokes across a limitless canvas.