Richard Trinder, Editor

Three Short Ballets

Ballet Black. Photo by Rick Guest
Ballet Black. Photo by Rick Guest
Three Short Ballets marks the opening of the new Autumn 2019 season at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre in Leeds and a taster of the delights to come.

The action takes place largely inside a constraining, but not limiting, white square in strongly vertically and horizontally lit stage. Monochrome costumes become prominent when picked out by the front of house spotlights and the most exquisite soundtracks accompany every one of the three pieces, and indeed the award winning Silenced - an award winning Northern Ballet original dance film.

The Kingdom of Back, a ballet by Morgann Runacre-Temple tells the story of composer Wolfgang Mozart’s exceptional but overshadowed sister, Nannerl. Frank Moon provides the music. Rooted in J.S. Bach and W.A. Mozart, Moon's music adds layers of found sounds and Bowie standards to fully underpin the beautiful harmony on stage. The Kingdom of Back is a timely narrative piece addressing the disparity of opportunity between men and women.

Here’s a trailer for The Kingdom of Back:

Full of punch, drive and energy, Powerhouse Rhumba (David Nixon OBE) serves up a visual feast fusing modern ballet, Latin-American dance and gymnastics in a heart-thumping, music-pumping fiesta.

For an Instant (Amaury Lebrun) is a brand new ballet, strangely described by the company as 'poetry in motion' (although, what ballet isn’t). It is both poignant and moving. Driven by some astonishingly beautiful music (Heinrich Biber and Henri Purcell), the piece offers fleeting glimpses of a progress through a human life. Personally I wouldn't get too hung-up about any possible narrative, just enjoy the extraordinary visual feast of Northern Ballet in full flow.

The Autumn season at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre continues as follows

Phoenix Dance Theatre will bring their ninth annual Phoenix at Home 25 – 28 September 2019 features their celebrated reworking of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and an exclusive excerpt of new piece Black Waters, as well as performances by Phoenix Youth Academy.

Families can look forward to the world première of Northern Ballet’s children’s ballet Little Red Riding Hood from 28 October to 02 November 2019.

On 15 and 16 November 2019, long time favourites Ballet Black return for the eighth year running with a new triple bill of dance to celebrate their 18th anniversary.

To close the dance season, Rosie Kay Dance Company will bring ballet and tutus into the 21st century in Rosie Kay’s Fantasia. Combining choreography and science to explore what makes dance beautiful to experience, Rosie Kay’s newest work will be performed for one night only on 21 November 2019.

The theatre will also host festive performances by Leeds’ own Northern Opera Group on 21 December 2019. The Christmas Elf by Hans Pfitzner is an enchanting opera suitable for the whole family to enjoy and will be performed in English.

Tickets can be booked online at, by calling the Box Office on 0113 220 8008 or in person at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre, Northern Ballet, Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7PA.