NORTHERN Ballet return home from December 17 for the festive season in Leeds with artistic director David Nixon’s enchanting adaptation of Cinderella at the Grand Theatre.
In the Canadian-born choreographer’s account of “the world’s most famous rags-to-riches fairy tale”, he combines dance with magic and circus skills, as seen on tour already at Nottingham Theatre Royal and Norwich Theatre Royal last month.
In Northern Ballet’s Cinderella,a tragic end to a perfect summer’s day leaves Cinderella with no choice but to accept a desolate life of servitude. At the mercy of her wicked Stepmother, Cinderella seeks joy where she can but, after encountering the handsome carefree Prince skating on a glistening lake of ice, she yearns for another life.
Despite her sadness, Cinderella never forgets to be kind and her generosity is repaid when a chance encounter with a mysterious magician changes her destiny forever.
Cinderella is not only choreographed and directed by Nixon, but he has designed the opulent costumes too. The ballet is performed to an original score by Philip Feeney, played live each performance by Northern Ballet Sinfonia. Duncan Hayler has designed the transformative sets, complemented by Tim Mitchell’s lighting design.
Nixon says: “This production of Cinderella, while being immediately recognisable as the famous fairy tale, offers something different to other traditional ballet adaptations.
“We have staged our ballet in the winter wonderland of Imperial Russia, opening up the possibilities of this colourful world as a new setting for Cinderella to make her journey. “Audiences will see the dancers skate on a glistening lake of ice, stilt walkers entertaining in a marketplace and the fateful Ball held in a Fabergé-inspired ballroom.”
He concludes: “Cinderellais ultimately the story of a young woman who must travel a challenging road to achieve happiness and our ballet is a joyful adaptation filled with action, magic and fun.”
Northern Ballet’s Cinderella runs at Leeds Grand Theatre, December 17 to January 2 2020, 7pm (not December 24 or 31); 2pm matinees, December 18, 21, 24, 27, 28 and 31, January 2; Sunday shows at 4pm, December 22 and 29; no Sunday evening shows. No performances on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Box office: 0844 848 2700 or at leedsgrandtheatre.com.
Cinderella production credits
Choreography, Direction and Costume Design: David Nixon
Music: Philip Feeney
Set design: Duncan Hayler
Lighting design: Tim Mitchell
Associate and original scenario: Patricia Doyle
Costume design assistant: Julie Anderson
Circus skills training: Greentop Circus
Magic consultant: Richard Pinner