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Ballet company’s Northern Stage debut

Published: 12 April 2019
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Leeds-based Northern Ballet is to perform at Northern Stage for the first time next week, presenting two separate shows, one specifically aimed at children and the other a triple bill of new works.

The triple bill is something of a new venture for the company which is best known in the region for its full-length narrative ballets, performed at Newcastle Theatre Royal every year. The triple bill of short new pieces by young choreographers, first performed in October 2918, has not been seen outside of Yorkshire before.

The choreographers are Morgann Runacre-Temple, formerly Choreographer in Residence at Ballet Ireland; Mlindi Kulashe, a dancer in the company, and Kenneth Tindall, who also created Northern Ballet’s award-winning Casanova.

“We are delighted to be making our debut at Northern Stage with this exciting triple bill,” Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director David Nixon OBE said. “We have built a loyal audience in the North East with our narrative ballets and now I am looking forward to offering something new to audiences in the region. As a company, we pride ourselves on being world-class storytellers but this triple bill also showcases the other face of Northern Ballet, shining a light on the outstanding technical abilities of our dancers in a programme that is contemporary, emotive and powerful.”

Morgann Runacre-Temple’s The Kingdom of Back is an intimate portrait of Wolfgang Mozart’s elder sister, Nannerl Mozart, a musical genius in her own right. Its inspiration comes from the family’s letters and it explores the complex relationship between Leopold Mozart and his two children, both musical prodigies. The piece features music by Frank Moon, JS Bach, and the music of Leopold and Wolfgang Mozart recorded by The Swingle Singers.

Mlindi Kulashe’s Mamela… (meaning ‘listen’ in his native language, Xhosa) expresses themes of frustration, escapism and imprisonment, and encompasses the feeling of being trapped in the unknown whilst exploring how society’s expectations affect us as individuals. Mamela… is performed to original music by Jack Edmonds, incorporating multi-lingual voices.

Finally Kenneth Tindall's The Shape of Sound, performed to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons reimagined by Max Richter, is an abstract piece inspired by the seasons and our human responses to them.

The triple bill is at Northern Stage from Tuesday 16th to Thursday 18th April.

Also on 18th at 12:30 and 2:30 Northern Ballet presents Puss in Boots, a ballet for children. Puss in Boots is no ordinary cat. He’s clever and charming, takes life in his stride and befriends everyone he meets. The only thing is, he always seems to bring bad luck to his master, Jack.