A mini-picket on the door of Leeds Grand is not the usual reception we might expect as Northern Ballet's Nutcracker returns this winter. Like a true perennial, the ballet itself pops with colour, joy, vivacity, and downright goodness.
Yorke Dance Project, the contemporary ballet company run by Yolande Yorke-Edgell, gave its world première of a new mixed bill called California Connections: Three Pioneering Women, at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre in Leeds last night before embarking on a UK tour in autumn 2023 and spring 2024. California Connections: Three Pioneering Women is a warm…
Northern Ballet’s new season, and their first curated by Artistic Director Federico Bonelli, begins with a triple-bill of breathtaking ballets by some of the world’s finest choreographers.
The last time I saw Kevin Clifton, of Strictly Come Dancing fame was when he starred in his spectacular show, Burn The Floor back in 2019 at Grand Opera House, York; the place was smoking after Burn The Floor Company’s exhilarating, energetic extravaganza. Kevin stunned us all at the time, when he clearly demonstrated that he could sing as well as dance.
Northern Ballet, under the guidance of their new artistic director Federico Bonelli, has announced a thrilling new season of works, reinforcing their aim of presenting "stories that connect with people of all ages and backgrounds".
Our winter love affair with ballroom dancing through the TV series Strictly Come Dancing seems destined to make this show a box office hit. Indeed, if this opening night audience is anything to go by, tickets are going to be at a premium, and the cast certainly deserve it. They turned up for a night in the spangled world of the dance floor and were not disappointed.
Joining the Company in the role of Gatsby for performances in Leeds and London is Principal of The Royal Ballet, Ryoichi Hirano. Hirano joined The Royal Ballet as a Prix de Lausanne apprentice in 2001, developing through the ranks of the company to Principal in 2016. He has also performed as Guest Principal for Norwegian National Ballet and Scottish Ballet.
Celebrating twenty years, Ballet Black are delighted to present two new works in 2022 – Black Sun and Say It Loud at York Theatre Royal on 11 October. Say It Loud is choreographed and directed by Ballet Black's Founder and Artistic Director, Cassa Pancho, and the BB Company artists.
Premier Dancer Javier Torres will retire from Northern Ballet this May, after 12 years with the Company. His final performance will be in the titular role of Kenneth Tindall’s Casanova at Sadlers Wells on Saturday 14 May, marking the end of his 22-year career as a professional ballet dancer.
Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Director Carlos Acosta promises entertainment for all ages when he brings an explosion of Spanish sunshine, spectacular dance and vivacious comedy to the Sunderland Empire. There are not that many ballet dancers from Newcastle.
Under the baton of Antony Hermus the Orchestra of Opera North has delivered an electrifying evening of Bernstein music at The Grand in Leeds. From the gloriously sad domestic drama of Trouble in Tahiti to the passion and relentless energy of the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, the orchestra is, frankly, superb.
From the startled gazelle-like opening sequence, via a prog-rock live-action video-style entertainment, to a silent movie - albeit with a tub-thumping sound track - Rambert's ramble into the Bradford's Alhambra has delivered three complex, physical and deeply abstract pieces of their art.
Phoenix Dance Theatre burst onto the Leeds Playhouse stage last night with their latest exploration of the lives and history of people of colour. Anybody familiar with the works of Phoenix will have been completely unsurprised at the power and uncompromising nature of the work.
Northern Ballet’s Cinderella is like an exquisite box of chocolates, beautifully wrapped and almost too good to eat. Considering this company gets just a fraction of the financial goodies doled out to the Royal Ballet, you would never know watching this elegant fairy tale, almost perfect in every detail.
Prokofiev. That's what I'd expect in a ballet featuring sunflower filled Russian meadows, elegantly dressed soldiers, a coalition of princesses and a castle. But no. Northern Ballet have chosen Phillip Feeney to create the dreamy, Vaughn Williamsesque, texture-driven soundscape to their Christmas special. And what a wise choice it is.
David Nixon's Dracula has drawn first blood on the Leeds Playhouse main stage. Accompanied by a fabulous sound track, which gave their new sound system a good run-out, the dancers of Northern Ballet were at their dramatic best, expressing the angst, the pain and the passion of Bram Stoker's eponymous novel with heart-pumping panache.
Dada Masilo’s Giselle takes no prisoners and certainly does not allow the main protagonist to die in a heap, broken-hearted and victim of two-timing Albrecht! In 90 minutes of dynamic, wonderful dancing, which rips the heart out of the traditional ‘classical’ version of this ballet, Masilo’s South African company brings a refreshing twist to this tale of love, loss and retribution.
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.
The distinguishing characteristic of any Shakespearean play is surely the richness of the text. In Romeo and Juliet - an early example of Shakespeare's work - words are used as metaphors, metrical rhythms and abstractions, with the playwright deftly switching between comedy and tragedy to twist the knife (sometimes literally) and to built the tension.
Much dance performance is rarely literal, interpretation invariably being left to the beholder and, even then, six people will give you six versions of what they think they have just seen!
I couldn't help overhear the enthusiastic audience as they left Leeds Grand's opening night of Northern Ballet's The Nutcracker. One phrase rang out above all the others; it was complimentary, succinct and very 'Leeds': It was simply "Well sparkly".
Ballet British Columbia is a happy contradiction that has just lost its virginity with UK audiences. This exciting, physical company is a fascinating hybrid that on the one hand carries the word ‘ballet’ in its name, and yet is clearly rooted in innovative contemporary dance.
The greatest testimony to an artistic luminary is the desire of future generations to either keep the memory of that individual alive, or to ensure that their work remains vibrant for future generations. Last night it was the turn of Northern Ballet to again pay tribute to a more recent master, choreographer Sir Kenneth MacMillan, widely regarded as a man ahead of his time.
Time is a barometer on life in the same way that true versatility is the ultimate arbiter of talent. So, four years on from when I first watched Northern Ballet's Beauty & The Beast, it was great to see so many familiar faces but, this time, in different roles and at a different theatre; Leeds Grand.