Cinderella skates into Manchester
Northern Ballet will bring the ultimate rags to riches fairytale to the Manchester Palace Theatre stage from 18 – 22 November 2014 with a magical new production of Cinderella by David Nixon OBE. It held its World Première at Leeds Grand Theatre in December 2013 and tours to Manchester for the penultimate stop of its first national tour. To mark the occasion, dancers from the Company paid a visit to Manchester Ice Rink at Spinningfields, the city centre’s only outdoor ice rink.
Ice skating plays a key role in David Nixon’s ballet which is set within a fantasy world of Imperial Russia. Cinderella’s life is turned upside down following the death of her father and, subjected to the coldness and cruelty of her Stepmother, she is kept as a servant by her family. Looking to escape the drudgery of her life, Cinderella finds a moment’s freedom as breathtaking dance recreates the grace of ice-skating on the Crystal Lake where she returns for a fairytale finale.
Duncan Hayler’s (Beauty & the Beast, A Midsummer Night’s Dream) fantastical set designs transport the audience through a Russian-inspired landscape where Cinderella marvels at the magician and circus performers at the winter fair, and finally, magically, arrives at the ball, a palace of elegance and wealth where Prince Mikhail has eyes for no one but Cinderella. As romance blossoms, can Prince Mikhail see beyond the servant girl and fall in love with the real Cinderella?
Choreographer David Nixon has placed some universal themes at the heart of his ballet: the contrast between the lives of those who experience freedom, warmth and love and those who experience loneliness, unable to enjoy their liberty; the many faces of love, the love of our family and the love of those who will become our family; the absolute darkness of grief and the transforming power of generosity.
David explains, “My Cinderella strays far from the pantomime interpretation. Amidst all the action, magic and fun lies the story of a real woman and man who must travel their separate roads to ultimate happiness even though that journey is fraught with challenge. Cinderella is ultimately a joyous story but it is not without pain, grief and loneliness.”
Northern Ballet is renowned for creating unique interpretations of classic stories and Cinderella will be no exception. The colourful tapestry of Russia will lend new magic and wonder to this very traditional story. Rather than a fairy godmother, a magician is one of the central protagonists, and in preparation for the production Northern Ballet’s dancers have been learning magic and circus skills.
Northern Ballet commissioned Philip Feeney to write a new score for the production which will be played live by Northern Ballet Sinfonia at all performances. Tim Mitchell (Hamlet and Dracula) has created the lighting and Julie Anderson assists David Nixon in costume design.
Cinderella is David Nixon’s fifteenth new full-length production for Northern Ballet where he has been Artistic Director since 2001. It was his second new ballet for 2013 which also saw the World Première and national tour of The Great Gatsby.
Tickets for Cinderella at the Palace Theatre in Manchester are on sale now at atgtickets.com/manchesterpalace or by calling the box office on 0844 871 3019.