Spring 2015 season announced

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Press release date 
Thu 9 Oct 2014

Following the announcement that Northern Ballet is to première an adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 by Jonathan Watkins in September 2015, the Leeds-based Company, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary year, has released details of its plans for spring 2015 with a season of iconic love stories giving 134 performances across 28 venues in the UK. The Company, recently awarded Best Company at the Taglioni European Ballet Awards, will open its 2015 season with the UK première of Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Romeo and Juliet in February before bringing the torrid love affairs of Wuthering Heights and The Great Gatsby to audiences throughout the UK. Northern Ballet will also return to Leeds and London with a new Mixed Programme and will tour their latest children’s ballet Elves & the Shoemaker nationally.

After receiving an increase in funding from Arts Council England for 2015-2018, Northern Ballet will also introduce a new strand of touring, widening the reach of the Company and developing audiences across the UK. Northern Ballet will perform Madame Butterfly and Christopher Hampson’s Perpetuum Mobile at nine venues for the first time, providing the opportunity for an additional 18,000 people to see the Company.

Opening the season in Edinburgh in March, audiences will be swept away by the UK première of Jean-Christophe Maillot's Ballets de Monte Carlo production of Romeo and Juliet. This will be the first time that a British company has ever performed work by the acclaimed dance-maker who has recently been invited by the Bolshoi Ballet to create a new version of The Taming of the Shrew. Romeo and Juliet will also be performed in the Company’s home city of Leeds before returning to the repertoire for a national tour in 2016.

In celebration of its 45th anniversary year, Northern Ballet will hold a Sapphire Gala at Leeds Grand Theatre on 14 March 2015. The gala will include performances by international guest artists as well as Northern Ballet dancers. Further details will be announced.

Later in March, Northern Ballet will bring the spirit and untamed beauty of the Yorkshire Moors to the stage where the turbulent love affair of Cathy and Heathcliffe will come to a devastating climax in Wuthering Heights. Touring to Sheffield, Southampton and Milton Keynes, Wuthering Heights is set to music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, acclaimed composer of Les Misérables, Miss Saigon and Cleopatra.

To reflect the Company’s ambitions to have more of a presence in the capital Northern Ballet will tour to London twice in 2015. The jazz and sparkle of the roaring twenties will come to life in The Great Gatsby when it returns to Sadler’s Wells in March following a sell-out season in 2013. The Great Gatsby will also return to Norwich in April. In May, Northern Ballet will perform a Mixed Programme showcasing the artistic versatility of the Company at its home in Leeds and in London at the Royal Opera House's Linbury Studio Theatre following a sell-out inaugural visit to the theatre in 2014. The Mixed Programme at the Linbury will include the London première of Kenneth Tindall's The Architect.

In addition to working with new choreographers Maillot and Watkins, Northern Ballet will also hold a Choreographic Laboratory at its home in Leeds during May and June. Emerging choreographers will be invited to work with Northern Ballet’s talented dancers to create new narrative dance material. Further details will be announced.

David Nixon OBE said:

‘It’s an exciting time for Northern Ballet to be able to invest in the future of British dance by performing and creating new work and touring to new theatres bringing world-class dance to the doorsteps of people who may never have been to the ballet before. Broadening our range of work not only enriches what we are able to offer to audiences but also provides opportunities for our dancers to work with new choreographers and demonstrate the versatility of our company.

'The increase in funding we received will allow us to further our objectives which include working with new choreographers, touring more widely and developing audiences offering people everywhere more opportunities to experience captivating performances that are inspiring, emotional and intensely dramatic.’

For more details of Northern Ballet's spring 2015 tour, on sale dates and booking information, please visit northernballet.com/whatson.