Northern Ballet has announced plans for its 2014 UK tour that will see the Company visiting 35 venues with a range of productions including the return of Northern Ballet’s most powerful heroine Cleopatra and the first UK tour of David Nixon’s new Cinderella. Dracula will return to the stage along with festive family ballet Peter Pan. The Company will take A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Great Gatsby on tour once more as well as performing a two new Mixed Programmes and their latest new ballet for children, Three Little Pigs.
Following a tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in China planned for January 2014, Northern Ballet will open its UK season with a revival of Cleopatra, a passionate portrayal of a courageous and compulsive woman whose legacy has inspired generations. Set to an original score by Claude-Michel Schönberg (Les Misérables, Miss Saigon) and choreographed by Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director, David Nixon OBE, and, Cleopatra returns to Leeds Grand Theatre from 6 - 15 March and later to The Lyceum, Sheffield from 25 - 29 March.
Northern Ballet will also bring the enchanting A Midsummer Night’s Dream to audiences in Edinburgh, Norwich, Milton Keynes and will perform in Southampton for the first time at The Mayflower Theatre. Dior-inspired costumes and stylish black and white sets provide a dazzling contrast to the glorious technicolour dream-world as the romantic antics of a touring dance company are played out on stage. David Nixon’s choreography brings out the comedy, romance and entanglements to rapturous effect in this adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays.
Premièring in Leeds in December 2013, Northern Ballet’s new production of Cinderella will tour to Hull New Theatre and Cardiff New Theatre in April before an autumn tour at Norwich, Newcastle, Belfast, Manchester and Sheffield between October and November. This ultimate rags to riches tale is set within a fantasy world of Imperial Russia where Cinderella’s life is turned upside down following the death of her father. Subject to the coldness and cruelty of her step-mother, and kept as a servant by her family, Cinderella’s life is transformed once again following a magical encounter in a market place. As romance blossoms, can Prince Charming see beyond the servant girl and fall in love with the real Cinderella? With a twist to the traditional presentation of this magical tale, Northern Ballet is collaborating with Sheffield-based Greentop Circus to develop unique stunts and exhilarating circus skills to surprise and delight audiences. Cinderella is Northern Ballet’s fourth new full-length ballet to tour in as many years.
In May, Northern Ballet will travel to London to perform a Mixed Programme at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre from 8 - 10 May. This will be the first time the Company has presented a mixed bill in London since 2009. The Mixed Programme will feature Hans van Manen’s Concertante, a piece by one of the USA’s foremost dance makers Lar Lubovitch, and Luminous Junc·ture, a critically acclaimed piece choreographed by Northern Ballet Premier Dancer, Kenneth Tindall. Northern Ballet will also present a Mixed Programme at their own Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre in Leeds from 18 - 21 June which will include a new piece by Kenneth Tindall.
Following a successful UK tour of Northern Ballet’s first ballet for children, Ugly Duckling, the TV adaptation of which has won a Children’s BAFTA, the Company will return to theatres nationwide with Three Little Pigs in 2014. This production, made specifically for children, sees three little pigs set out into the world where they build houses out of straw, sticks and bricks before they each encounter a hungry wolf intent on having them for lunch. With a running time of 35 minutes and priced at just £5 for adults and £4 for children, Three Little Pigs is designed to introduce young children to the magic of live ballet, music and theatre.
Northern Ballet will open their autumn tour with Dracula at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in September. Last performed by Northern Ballet in 2009, this popular production reveals the tormented world of the immortal Count Dracula as Bram Stoker’s legendary novel is brought to life in a sensuous and sinister performance uncovering our most basic fears and desires.
Northern Ballet will head out of Yorkshire once more with a tour of their 2013 box office smash The Great Gatsby. Audiences in Woking, Nottingham, Canterbury and Bradford will see the heady, indulgent days of New York’s Long Island during the glamorous 1920s, brought to the stage in this adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel. The seductiveness of the era is recreated through stunning sets and costumes in one of the most stylish adaptations of Fitzgerald’s work. The Great Gatsby has been nominated in the Achievement in Dance category at the UK Theatre Awards and Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director and choreographer of The Great Gatsby, David Nixon OBE, has been nominated for Best Classical Choreography at the 2014 National Dance Awards.
Northern Ballet’s final production of the year will see Peter Pan return to the Leeds Grand Theatre stage in December, as the Company wrap up their jam-packed year with a revival of this family classic. Audiences will join Wendy, John and Michael as they soar into the night sky with Peter, to a magical land of mermaids and fairy dust, where children can fly and adventures happen every day.
Following a short break, Northern Ballet will be back in the studio in late December in preparation for the coming 2015 season.