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Dance Education Officer

A year of new dance from Northern Ballet

Press release date 
Tue 15 Mar 2011

In an unsettling time for the arts, Northern Ballet is excited to announce two further new productions for 2011: Giselle and Beauty & the Beast.

This announcement comes hot on the heels of the launch of Cleopatra, the Company's first new full-length ballet in almost 3 years, which opened to a rapturous response from audiences and critics alike in Leeds in February, and which is touring extensively around the UK over the coming year.

Giselle is known as one of the greatest romantic ballets in the world, and makes a rare appearance in Yorkshire when Northern Ballet performs it at the Leeds Grand Theatre for 6 performances only from Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 May.

Incorporating all the original choreography by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, Giselle is restaged for Northern Ballet by Yoko Ichino, who has danced the lead role many times for some of the world's greatest companies.

Northern Ballet's Giselle follows the traditional story of the young, sickly peasant girl Giselle who falls in love with the handsome Prince Albrecht. On finding her love is unrequited, and weakened by her ill health, Giselle dies. She is summoned from her grave by the Wilis, the spirits of women betrayed before their wedding days who return to take vengeance on men by dancing them to death. Giselle saves the remorseful Albrecht from his certain fate proving that love can conquer all - even death.

Sets and costumes are supplied courtesy of English National Ballet, and the score, by Adolphe Adam, will be performed live by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia.

This is an opportunity for ballet lovers to see Giselle as never before, with Northern Ballet's stunning dancers performing the traditional classical steps combined with the passion and emotion for which the Company is renowned.

In December Northern Ballet brings a fairytale favourite to the stage a unique and magical new production of Beauty & the Beast, which will run at Leeds Grand Theatre from 17 to 31 December 2011.

Choreographed by Artistic Director, David Nixon OBE, to an infectious score comprising music by Bizet, Debussy, Poulenc and Fauré, this ballet rediscovers the enchanting and magical aspects of the traditional story, exploring the values that lie at the heart of the tale - the battle between the forces of good and evil.

Beauty & the Beast tells the story of a young prince who is magically transformed into a beast and cursed to live alone in his castle until the enchantment is broken by the sacrifice of true love. In Beauty's presence the Beast remembers the joy he once had and his willingness to sacrifice his life for her permits his final transformation back to a handsome Prince.

Beauty & the Beast is the second entirely new production to be created in Northern Ballet's new home in Leeds and makes an exciting addition to the Company's repertoire of family ballets which already includes The Nutcracker, Peter Pan and A Christmas Carol.