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Madame Butterfly - A Japanese story straight from Beijing

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As promised here are the Madame Butterfly photos of our tour to Beijing. We started our tour with 3 performances of Romeo & Juliet. Toby Batley performed Romeo and Hannah Bateman performed Juliet on the opening night at the Opera House in Beijing and both were absolutely outstanding.

Other dancers performing were Victoria Sibson (nurse), Hiroanao Takahashi (Mercutio), Ashley Dixon (Benvolio) and Yi Song (Tybalt). The Opera House is without doubt the biggest stage I have ever had the pleasure to dance on, the backstage is huge too and I’m sure I wasn’t the only person to get completely lost numerous times over our time there!! The same cast performed on the second night, but the third night was performed by Martha Leebolt (Juliet) and Yi Song (Romeo). Again both were outstanding and well deserved their rapturous applause at the end of the evening!! Other performers were Christie Duncan (nurse), Giuliano Contadini (Mercutio) and Darren Goldsmith (Tybalt).

Then came two days of work, work, work. As there were two new casts going on for Madame Butterfly, both needed a full technical rehearsal before their show in the evening. Both casts were outstanding, Kenny Tindall (Pinkerton) and Julie Charlet (Madam Butterfly) performed on opening night and Michela Paolacci (Madam Butterfly) and John Hull (Pinkerton) performed our final show in Beijing. A stand out performance was Julie as Madam Butterfly. I joined the Company with Julie back in 2003 and I’ve never seen her perform with such beauty, precision and passion. She definitely rose to the occasion and to be honest, completely nailed it!!! As I’m sure all aspiring photographers will know you can capture some odd angles and miss some opportunities occasionally, but literally every time I pressed the shutter there was a moment to capture. This is because this ballet has everything, great set, beautiful dancers, it’s superbly lit and of course the choreography, especially the pas de deux at the end of act 1, is out of this world.

I’ve included a few photos of our trip to the Great Wall as well as some of my favourites of the two shows of Madam Butterfly.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the photos.

Martin Bell

Photo: Martin Bell
Photo: Martin Bell Photo: Martin Bell Photo: Martin Bell
Photo: Martin Bell Photo: Martin Bell Photo: Martin Bell
Photo: Martin Bell Photo: Martin Bell Photo: Martin Bell
Photo: Martin Bell Photo: Martin Bell Photo: Martin Bell
Photo: Martin Bell Photo: Martin Bell Photo: Martin Bell
Photo: Martin Bell

 

Former dancer, Photographer

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