Northern Ballet announces new season
Highlights include a new triple-bill, Romeo & Juliet, Christopher Gable CBE’s A Christmas Carol, a new children’s ballet and Jane Eyre.
Northern Ballet has announced their full programme through to spring 2025.
Developing new voices in dance
Highlighting its commitment to elevating new voices in the sector, May 2024 will see the return of Sketches, a creative lab and performance opportunity for new choreographic talent which made a sold-out debut last year. This year, along with talent from within Northern Ballet, DeNada Dance Theatre’s Carlos Pons Guerra will have the opportunity to create and experiment at Northern Ballet’s studio.
This will be followed by a new triple-bill that will première at Northern Ballet’s studio theatre in Leeds before performances at the Linbury Studio Theatre, London in 2025. The programme will include a newly commissioned original response to Romeo & Juliet by Olivier Award-winning choreographer Mthuthuzeli November.
“I am so happy to be back making a new creation with Northern Ballet. This time we are making a work inspired by R.L. Peteni’s novel titled Hill of Fools. Which is about two villages in a bitter rivalry, some people consider this to be South Africa’s version of the Romeo and Juliet story. For me this feels like a world of possible new discovery. How can we make something that feels familiar to all of us but have it rooted in a different world. Northern Ballet is a great storytelling company and I look forward to this new challenge ahead.” - Mthuthuzeli November, Choreographer
Alongside this new commission, the dancers will perform Four Last Songs, choreographed by former Artistic Director of Dutch National Ballet Rudi van Dantzig to Richard Strauss’ score. Never before performed in the UK, Four Last Songs is an ensemble piece, widely considered one of van Dantzig’s best works. The third piece in Three Short Ballets, a new commission, will be announced soon.
In a Company first, a run of Christopher Gable CBE and Massimo Moricone’s Romeo & Juliet, will be performed at the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon from the 19 – 28 September. It will then visit Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre, the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury and Newcastle Theatre Royal.
In November the Company will revive their festive classic A Christmas Carol, also directed by Christopher Gable CBE and choreographed by Massimo Moricone. A Christmas Carol reimagines Dickens’ timeless tale through dance, music and storytelling. The production was created during the height of Gable’s collaborations with award-winning designer Lez Brotherston OBE and features music from Carl Davies.
A Christmas Carol will open at the Sheffield Lyceum Theatre on 7 November, touring to Hull New Theatre, Norwich Theatre Royal and Nottingham Theatre Royal before a final two week run at Leeds Grand Theatre from the 18 December to the 4 January.
These performances will take place to recorded music.
Spring 2025 will see the creation of a new children’s ballet, a welcome addition to the Company’s award-winning ballets for children repertoire. These short ballets are specially designed to introduce little ones to dance and live music and are based on classic tales and fables.
In spring 2025 the company have announced the return of Cathy Marston’s acclaimed Jane Eyre. Based on the infamous novel by Charlotte Brontë, the ballet was last performed in 2018 and brings one of literature’s greatest heroines to life on stage as she overcomes all odds to find her happiness.
Jane Eyre will tour with live music performed by Northern Ballet Sinfonia.
Stories that connect
In the past 12 months, Artistic Director Federico Bonelli has combined revivals of popular Northern Ballet repertoire from the Company’s rich history with new commissions, bringing varied voices to the stage. Bonelli continues to cement the Company’s 55-year history of quality contributions to the theatre landscape, making way for commissioning new full-length ballets.
“I am delighted to announce the return of Christopher Gable CBE & Massimo Moricone’s A Christmas Carol and Cathy Marston’s Jane Eyre to stages over the coming year. Both of these productions hold a special part in Northern Ballet’s history and exemplify our mission to tell stories that connect. September will also see the return of our hugely successful Three Short Ballets series that lends the talent of our dancers and creative team to three artists from across the sector, bringing new voices and perspectives to the fore. Live music is central to our storytelling and to our artistic vision. Due to unprecedented rises in operating costs however, some performances this year will be to recorded music and some to live music from our Sinfonia. We remain as passionate as ever about the importance of live music and its role in our ballets past, present and future.” -Federico Bonelli, Artistic Director
Romeo & Juliet, makes its long-awaited return to the stage next month at Leeds Grand Theatre. Over the last year Bonelli has led the Company in bringing this landmark production to life after sets and costumes were destroyed in 2015’s Boxing Day floods. From the painstaking restoration of Les Brotherson OBE’s intricately crafted costumes and sets, to working with original creatives to recapture the ballet’s iconic drama.
To find out more and book tickets visit northernballet.com
Audio Described Performances
An audio described performance will be offered at most venues. Co-written by former Northern Ballet Premier Dancer Pippa Moore MBE and VocalEyes, audio descriptions provide a unique insight into Northern Ballet productions and bring performances to life for those living with visual impairments. Visit northernballet.com/accessible-performances/ to find out more.
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