Mr Lowe only took up ballet at the age of 79, but has landed a starring role to celebrate his remarkable life in Strauss’s An Artist’s Life. The retired soldier, art teacher and theatre director will join dancers more than half his age to perform a routine at Ely Cathedral, in Ely, Cambs.
Mr Lowe, who will perform with the Lantern Dance Theatre Company, only got his first starring role three years ago aged 88. The grandfather of 11, who fought in Malaysia and India in the Second World War before being captured by the Japanese, said he loved performing on stage.
He said: ”Dancing is the most amazing feeling and you come home mentally uplifted after listening to all this brilliant music. It’s fantastic exercise too and I remember being in the prisoner of war camp starving and doing hard labour and thinking I might not make it. But look at me now. I love dance and it’s going to be a magnificent day at a magnificent venue.”
”You have to be incredibly fit and I see these people crawling around, hunched over smoking a cigarette. They should be doing ballet.”
To maintain his fitness, Mr Lowe has even installed a trapeze on his living room ceiling and hangs from it each morning to increase his muscle power. He also practices three times a week in Ely’s Chequer Studio, as well as perfecting his pirouettes and pliés each day at his home in Witchford, near Ely. His home also boasts a ballet bar where he hones his knee-bends and arm movements so he can prime his body for the demands of dancing.