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A dancer from Singapore will play the Queen in the Platinum Jubilee pageant later this year, in a move to represent the Commonwealth chief as a global icon.
Janice Ho, 22, a third-year student at the London School of Contemporary Dance, will open the ‘Let’s Celebrate’ part of the show, playing the young Princess Elizabeth before she became queen.
The dance, titled Princess and the Dragon, will feature a 14-foot-tall dragon puppet to symbolize that the princess recognizes her impending power and responsibility.
Trigger, the artistic group that created the Mrs. Ho act, hoped that their ‘Bridgerton casting’ would result in a woman of color taking on the role.
Singaporean dancer Janice Ho, 22, will play the young Princess Elizabeth before she became queen.
The Netflix drama Regency has been praised for its various actors, including Simone Ashley, who takes on the lead role of Kate Sharma in her recently released second series.
The contest will be Ms. Ho’s first professional role, having been selected from open auditions.
“I’m really excited to be able to perform to such a huge crowd in Commonwealth countries,” she told The Sunday Telegraph.
“London is such a diverse place and to be able to represent that is a great opportunity.”
Ms Ho said it is “very important” to her that actors from the “global majority” are able to showcase their talent and said she was pleased with Bridgerton’s choice.
She hopes to bring a “sense of playfulness” to her portrayal of her princess, before facing “the reality” of becoming queen.
Angie Bual, artistic director of Trigger, said it was Ms. Ho’s “dynamic” auditions that landed her the part, and that she didn’t want to cast one who looked like Queen Elizabeth.
“She is a woman of color and that is something we strongly advocate,” she told the newspaper.
Ms Ho is the only dancer to portray Queen Elizabeth
The aim is for the performance to be “relevant to our time” and reflect the “diverse voices of our country”, celebrating multicultural Britain in a similar way to the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony.
Ms Ho is the only dancer to portray Queen Elizabeth, with the remaining roles based on queens from all walks of life, but drawing inspiration from the monarch’s 70-year reign.
Alongside her dragon will be other giant puppets, including one of Her Majesty walking her pet corgi, and a bust in a coronation robe made up of dancers.
The entire parade, divided into four parts, features more than 100 ‘national treasures’. It will travel down The Mall to an expected crowd of 10,000, with a grand finale outside Buckingham Palace.
Janice Ho Quick and Facts
- Singaporean dancer Janice Ho, 22, will portray the Queen in the jubilee pageant
- She will depict the princess coming to terms with her imminent role as monarch
- Arts group cast Ms Ho in the role to show the Queen as international role model
- It was inspired by ‘Bridgerton casting’ to create a diverse depiction of Britain