Northern Ballet has arrived in China to bring Shakespeare’s most enchanting tale to audiences with a tour of David Nixon’s critically acclaimed production A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Company is the first British cultural organisation to tour to China following the signing of a new cultural agreement between the UK and China by UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller and Chinese Minister for Culture, Minister Cai Wu.
Northern Ballet, who has previously completed successful international tours to China, Hong Kong and Thailand, will perform this magical production from 15 to 25 January 2014 at venues in Xiamen, Guangzhou and Beijing. The Company will also be holding a pop-up performance at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Hangzhou which will feature excerpts from The Great Gatsby, Cleopatra, and two pieces, Man I Love and Three Preludes, from the Gershwin spectacular I Got Rhythm. The pop-up performance has been arranged to coincide with a visit to Hangzhou by Leeds and Partners who are sponsoring the tour and will host a business event in the city.
Northern Ballet’s Chief Executive, Mark Skipper, says: “I am delighted to announce that Northern Ballet return to China in January 2014. We will give our first performance in Guangzhou for more than a decade and we will be the first European company to perform a full-length ballet in Xiamen.
Northern Ballet is a passionate cultural ambassador for Leeds, Yorkshire and the UK and we are pleased to be working with Leeds and Partners to give the legal and financial services sectors, plus the universities in Yorkshire, an opportunity to cultivate business relationships between Leeds and China to further benefit the city and the region. Northern Ballet would like to thank Leeds and Partners and Arts Council England for supporting the tour.”
Lurene Joseph, Chief Executive of Leeds and Partners said, “Culture is a key contributor to the Leeds City Region’s economy and a key asset in investors’ decision making. The city is perfectly placed to capitalise on the popularity of UK culture throughout China and this mission will boost the number of cultural exchanges between China and the UK.”
Northern Ballet’s tour, which follows Prime Minister David Cameron’s trade envoy to China in December 2013, has required a substantial amount of planning; three containers of sets and costumes left in October on a six-week voyage by sea to the Far East. It will showcase the talent and innovativeness of one of the UK’s top professional ballet companies.
Following Northern Ballet’s return from China, UK audiences will have the opportunity to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream as it tours to Norwich, Milton Keynes and Southampton in May.