Thursday, 16 June 2016

To Boldly Go - Northern Ballet's Sleeping Beauty Tale

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If I get a chance to ask a question at tonight's Tell Tale Steps #2  I shall ask the panel which includes Northern Ballet's artistic director, David Nixon, about reinterpreting well known ballets. The thought occurred to me while writing about Akram Khan's Gisellebut Nixon can talk about the subject too as he reinterpreted Swan Lake and created a completely different version of The Sleeping Beauty which he called A Sleeping Beauty Tale.

That ballet was described as "A Sleeping Beauty Tale for the twenty-first century…"   According to Northern Ballet's website:
"Aurora's birth brings a fragile peace between two neighbouring planets. When the peace is shattered on her wedding day, the only man to truly love her must undertake a life-threatening quest to prevent beauty being lost forever."
It was a full length ballet with a running time of 2 hours and 30 minutes. Nixon used Tchaikovsky's music arranged by John Longstaff. Sets and costumes were designed by Jéerôme Kaplan, lighting by Olivier Oudiou and Nixon collaborated with Patricia Doyle on the libretto.

The production opened in Leeds in February 2007 and went on to Nottingham and Woking later that year. I don't think it has ever been revived.   I have googled for reviews but have been able to find only two: Charles Hutchinson's in The Press (see Review: A Sleeping Beauty Tale, Northern Ballet Theatre, Leeds Grand Theatre, until March 3 28 Feb 2007 and Luke Jenings's in The Guardian May the Froth be with You 4 March 2007.

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