A Prince of England meets the Queen of the Nile
30 September, 2011
Earlier this year Northern Ballet's Royal Patron, Prince Edward, or to give him his full title, HRH The Earl of Wessex KG GCVO, attended a performance of Cleopatra with his wife The Countess of Wessex at Sadler's Wells.
Following the performance the couple went backstage to meet cast and crew. So what happened when the Prince of England met the Queen of Egypt? Martha Leebolt, our premiere dancer and lead Cleopatra, said "Prince Edward is always so lovely when we meet him. He told me how much he enjoyed my performance and how he didnít know where I found the energy to perform on stage for so long."
Their visit came towards the end of a very busy and successful week for Northern Ballet in London with our celeb-packed opening night to a successful fundraising dinner and a lunch hosted by HRH The Earl of Wessex for Northern Ballet and our supporters at Buckingham Palace.
HRH The Earl of Wessex has been Royal Patron to Northern Ballet since 2003, it was a position formerly held by his late aunt, HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. He has been a great supporter of Northern Ballet and regularly attends performances by the Company. In January this year he officially opened our new home in Leeds.
20 May, 2011
Through the night of the London premiere the stars told us what they thought of the production...
I thought it was absolutely fantastic. Absolutely stunning. I have played Cleopatra so I followed every single moment and wish that in my dreams I could have ever been as elegant as the Cleopatra tonight. It was absolutely marvellous. Loved it.
I went to the British Museum exhibition on ancient Egypt just before Christmas and saw all the hieroglyphs, and the stances of the figures. The choreography is amazing – it echoes all that perfectly. I think itís a great hybrid of classical ballet with contemporary movement and dance. Iím loving it! ... I love the modern twist. I think the young lady playing Cleopatra is amazing Ė sheís absolutely incredible.
Iím enjoying it tremendously. I think itís a very strong piece. I think the costumes are fantastic. I think itís great.
Iím thoroughly enjoying it. Iím a huge fan of Claude-Michel Schönbergís music. The dancing is incredible. I donít really go to the ballet very often but when I do go I love it. I can really adopt the language of the dance and itís incredible the way theyíre telling the story with the choreography. Iím absolutely thrilled to be here and this is really inspiring me to come to the ballet more.
Craig Revel Horwood
Iím absolutely loving it! I think the dancers are spectacular, I absolutely adore the music Ė I think Claude-Michel Schönberg has done an incredible job with the score. Itís hypnotic, itís glamorous Ė I just love it.
I think itís absolutely fantastic, itís a real spectacle, very moving, and Iím totally absorbed. Iíve just been completely fixated, I havenít thought of anything else other than what Iím watching, theyíve completely drawn me in and the skill is just astounding, itís absolutely incredible. I love the music, I absolutely love the music and the story is such a brilliant story anyway but theyíve just done it so well, itís just absolutely amazing, Iím in awe.
I loved it. I really loved it.
The company are dancing brilliantly. They look so clean, so together. Canít fault it.
I was completely mesmerised and enchanted. Claude-Michelís music was just wonderful. It was enchanting. I loved it.
I only know the story through the Shakespeare play and Iím used to seeing actors playing this. Whatís so lovely is seeing an artform that you know nothing about but it being as expressive and moving and Iím really enjoying it
I think itís amazing, I mean I think itís beautiful the way theyíve taken the ballet and twisted it and made it a little more modern and more unique.
Above photos RH.
18 May, 2011
The London premiere of Cleopatra on 17 May brought out the stars to enjoy Northern Ballet's new production. From Beverley Knight to Chloe Moretz, Lorraine Kelly to Elen Rives, all came to Sadler's Wells Theatre to see our new production.
Went to the opening of Northern Ballet's Cleopatra at Sadlers Wells last night and it was amazing! If u get a chance go see it a real treat
Craig Revel-Horwood via Twitter
Well northern ballets cleopatra was astounding - sexy, emotional and a true spectacle - incredible original score too!
Lorraine Kelly via Twitter
The #NorthernBallet's rendition of Cleopatra was utterly amazing, so beautiful so intese, so epic. Such an amazing night :)
Chloe Moretz via Twitter
All photos RH
4 April, 2011
Filmed Zsolt Sándor
4 March, 2011
Want to read what people are writing about Cleopatra? We've a Reviews page set up just for you...
1 March, 2011
Bill Cooper's photography has captured the beauty and grace of Cleopatra, take a closer look at some of the amazing images he took.
28 February, 2011
Cleopatra – the Soundtrack
26 February, 2011
Be among the first to own the sensational new score for Cleopatra by Claude-Michel SchŲnberg - the award winning composer of Les Misťrables, Miss Saigon and Northern Ballet's Wuthering Heights, played by Northern Ballet Sinfonia. Due for release in early April 2011 - pre-order your copy now.
Interview with projection designer, Nina Dunn
26 February, 2011
Cleopatra makes use of projection to enhance the lighting and sets. Nina Dunn is the projection designer and in this interview talks about her involvement and the benefits of projection to a production like this.
Walk Like an Egyptian
25 February, 2011
With only a day to go before the première we're really getting in the Cleopatra mood. So much so we've a competition to help get you in the mood too!
Cleopatra, the music
24 February, 2011
The queen of media – the changing images of an icon
23 February, 2011
David Nixon & Martha Leebolt on Radio 4
16 February, 2011
You can listen to the feature on the BBC iPlayer until 22 February. PM on BBC iPlayer. The piece on narrative ballet begins about 26 muinutes in.
15 February, 2011
Click on an image for a closer look at Christopher Giles' costume design illustrations for our Cleopatra ballet.
The images are a detailed look at the characters from Mark-Antony & Caesar to the gods Wadjyt and Apis.
Not all these designs are finalised; they may change a little before you get to see them on stage.
Cleopatra – the icon
6 January, 2011
What do Elizabeth Taylor, Kim Catrall, Angelina Jolie, Claude Michel Schönberg and David Nixon OBE have in common? Just the most powerful woman in history: Cleopatra.
Elizabeth Taylor famously portrayed her in the 1962 film Cleopatra; Kim Catrall of Sex & the City fame recently took on the role at the Liverpool Playhouse; Angelina Jolie will play her in a new film, rumoured to be directed by Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum, Green Zone, United 93). Now composer Claude-Michel Schönberg and Northern Ballet's Artistic Director, David Nixon, turn their hands to telling her story through dance.
Cleopatra is the woman of the moment. Her appeal is obvious – her beauty, her intelligence, her power and strength of character have made her an icon who continues to captivate.
In this new ballet, Cleopatra, his first new full-length work in over two years, David Nixon is keen to do her justice.
“I have been fascinated by the story of Cleopatra for a long time. There is little factual information about her yet she managed to hold in her grasp two of the most powerful men in history. She was in some ways beautiful and unbelievably sensual for the almost barbaric Romans but she was also a woman, mother and above all a queen.”
Claude-Michel Schönberg, composer of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, has written the music for the ballet.