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Cleopatra

This article was originally published in February 2011. Cleopatra may have been born in 69BCE but she has remained a powerful icon ever since. Arguably no other figure in ancient history has been depicted so widely as this fascinating, and powerful woman. Join us as we take a trip through her most enduring incarnations on stage, in film, fashion, the world of celebrity and, of course, dance.
Cleopatra's story has been retold for over 2,000 years, in this timeline we try to add a little historical perspective to the events in the ballet - a time of great turbulence across the major powers of the day - right up to the infamous bite which ended not only her life but the Pharaoh's rule of Egypt. From 69 BC Cleopatra born in Alexandria, Egypt to the house of Ptolemy. Her father, Ptolemy XII, dies in 51BC, leaving a will that states his daughter and son should be co-rulers of Egypt.
Cleopatra's influence on fashion, style and popular culture seems to be unending, with modern-day icons such as Elizabeth Taylor, Angelina Jolie, Katie Perry and Kim Kardashian taking inspiration from the last Queen of Egypt.  
Yesterday's PM programme on Radio 4 featured a piece about narrative ballet, Northern Ballet's new production of Cleopatra and the Royal Ballet's first new full-length work in 20 years, Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The report talks about the importance, and difficulty, in creating a full-length narrative ballet, something which Northern Ballet takes great pride in achieving.
Click on an image for a closer look at Christopher Giles' costume design illustrations for the Cleopatra ballet. The images are a detailed look at the characters from Mark-Antony & Caesar to the gods Wadjyt and Apis.
Tuesday 8 February 6.30pm – 8.30pm Location: Harvey Nichols Espresso Bar, Victoria Quarter Join us for an evening of beauty and fashion demonstrations inspired by Northern Ballet’s Cleopatra - the ultimate style icon, including mini masterclasses, complimentary champagne and sweet treats.
Nina Dunn
After starting her professional life in the fields of motion graphic design for film and broadcast, Nina now specialises in integrated projection design and content production for Theatre and Live Events. Recently, she designed projections for Die Frau Ohne Schatten at the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, which received 4 stars from the Financial Times and which, in addition to repertory performances, will be touring to Ljubiana, Tokyo and Edinburgh over the next twelve months. A DVD of the show is due to be released on the Mariinsky label within the next few months.
Claude-Michel Schönberg
Born in 1944 of Hungarians parents, Claude-Michel began his career in France as a singer, writer and producer of pop songs.
Returning in March 2014 to Leeds and Sheffield. The ultimate modern woman is an enduring icon of the ancient world. Beautiful, sensual, mother, lover, queen. In a world ruled by men she changed the course of history. Claude-Michel Schönberg (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables) and David Nixon OBE (Northern Ballet Artistic Director) present Cleopatra. Touring in 2014 to Leeds Grand Theatre from Thursday 6 - Saturday 15 March and to Sheffield Lyceum Theatre from Tuesday 25 - Saturday 29 March.
Christopher Giles
Current work includes: Cleopatra, Northern Ballet, Choreographer David Nixon; Bells are Ringing, Director Paul Foster, Union Theatre; Leonce und Lena (associate), Grands Ballets Canadiens, Montreal, Choreographer Christian Spuck.

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