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Group bookers delighted at Beauty & the Beast launch event

On 20 October group bookers from Leeds, Sheffield and Hull were invited to a very special evening at Northern Ballet. The atrium of our new home was buzzing as over 130 guests gathered – champagne flowed as anticipation rose.

Getting ready for the fashion parade - Pippa Moore, Hannah Bateman, Lori Gilchrist & Victoria Sibson. Photo Martin Bell.

David Nixon OBE mingles with guests. Photo Martin Bell.The entertainment hors d'oeuvre was presented in the form of the adagio from The Nutcracker danced beautifully by Julie Charlet and John Hull.  Performed in plain dance wear this stripped down version lost none of its beauty and elegance.

With appetites whetted, and just eight weeks away from the première of Beauty & the Beast at Leeds Grand Theatre guests were then treated to the first major insight into this new production.  The man behind the ballet, David Nixon, spoke passionately about his reasons for choosing to create a new version of this classic fairytale and talked the audience through the look and setting for his ballet.

Guests enjoy a closer look at costumes during the building tour. Photo Martin Bell. Martha Leebolt as Beauty in the fashion parade. Photo Martin Bell. Victoria Sibson getting into character of the Evil Fairy. Photo Martin Bell.

The Audience. Photo Martin Bell.The scene was further set with a fashion parade of some of the stunning costumes inspired by haute couture fashion designers including Thierry Mugler.  There were a lot of envious gasps from the ladies in the audience – I think we’d all happily have made space in our wardrobe for some of these gorgeous frocks!

We were then treated to our very own première as eleven dancers performed the Prologue from the production – this was the first time anyone (including Northern Ballet staff) had ever seen it. The action unfolds as the narcissistic Prince (Kenneth Tindall) is surrounded by his equally proud friends desperate to feed his vanity. But with the arrival of the Evil Fairy (Victoria Sibson) the Prince’s life is changed forever...

Some may have questioned whether we need another Beauty & the Beast?  But from what we all saw this is one story worthy of retelling and this version is not going to disappoint.

With excitement still in the air guests then had the chance to mingle with the dancers involved before being taken on a guided tour of our new home, and a chance to get even closer to some of those gorgeous costumes.

As the final guests left, goody bags in hand, we were all left wanting more. Roll on 17 December I say!

More photos photos of the Beauty & the Beast costumes and fashion parade.

Excerpt from the Prologue with Kenneth Tindall as the Prince. Photo Martin Bell.

The views expressed in blogs are those of the author and not necessarily of Northern Ballet.