Gates scholar in West Side Story

  • March 15, 2011
Gates scholar in West Side Story

Eviatar Yemini takes to the boards as a member of the Jets.

A Gates scholar is ditching the academic tomes for the greasepaint as he takes to the boards in a production of West Side Story.

Eviatar Yemini [pictured bottom left] is appearing at Cambridge’s ADC Theatre as a member of the Jets in the famous musical. The show starts tonight and is sold out.

Eviatar, who is studying for a PhD in Molecular Biology, is interested in all forms of dancing, from ballroom to ballet. In the play he is on stage for around half the show.

“I am dancing, singing and acting. I have a few lines. It’s fairly intense,” he says, adding that he has to give a divisional talk on his research the day after the opening night.

The ADC Theatre has helped launch the careers of such theatre luminaries as Sir Ian McKellen, Rachel Weiss and Emma Thompson, but Eviatar plans to stick to academe for now and dance in his spare time.

He got into West Side Story after joining the Cambridge University Ballet Society and finding out through a friend that the show’s choreographer was looking for male dancers.

He went along to the audition, although he had never seen West Side Story before. He was also a little nervous about his singing and said after doing his dance audition he was asked to sing a song. He had been humming Michael Jackson’s Human Nature in the shower earlier so decided to do that. “I didn’t realise how difficult it is to sing a Michael Jackson song and how much worse it sounds when you are not in the shower,” he laughs.

He got into dancing after initially hating ballet classes when he was seven and turning to sport. A friend suggested he try dancesport and he fell in love with dancing after joining the University of California (San Diego) dancesport team. He then moved on to ballet.

Eviatar is just completing his PhD this year. He arrived in Cambridge in 2007 and is studying worm behaviour and how genetic modifications affect that.

 

Picture credit: Michal Marcol and www.freedigitalphotos.net.

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