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Press Release: Join the revolution with the London Première of Northern Ballet’s 1984

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Join the revolution with the London Première of Northern Ballet’s 1984


As one man risks everything to fall in love, join Northern Ballet for the London Première of Jonathan Watkins’ critically acclaimed 1984‘The ballet equivalent of a page turner’ (The Stage), Northern Ballet is bringing this cult-classic to life for seven performances only at Sadler’s Wells from 24 – 28 May 2016. Tickets can be booked by calling the Box Office on 0844 412 4300 or online at sadlerswells.com


In Northern Ballet’s 1984, Ministry of Truth worker Winston Smith lives in a world of absolute conformity, his every action scrutinised by Big Brother. Whilst outwardly conforming to Party doctrine, he is secretly disillusioned, illegally documenting his thoughts in a diary. When one day he receives a love note from Julia, the pair begin an illicit affair,leading a dangerous double life putting physical desire above Party discipline. As their romance develops and they prepare for an act of political rebellion, Winston and Julia discover that Big Brother is always watching and no one can be trusted; least of all themselves.   


Choreographed by Jonathan Watkins, whose recent credits include Kes for Sheffield Crucible Theatre, Northern Ballet’s 1984 is the first full-length ballet adaptation of George Orwell’s renowned novel. The production had its World Première in September 2015, and is set to an original score by Tony nominated Composer Alex Baranowski, who recently worked with Mercury Prize winning band The xx. The creative team also includes Set and Costume Designer Simon Daw, Lighting Designer Chris Davey, Video Designer Andrzej Goulding and Dramaturg Ruth Little.


Jonathan Watkins said: ‘George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four has been a constant inspiration to me since I first read it at 15. It is a powerful and thought-provoking allegory that now, more than ever, has resonance with the times in which we are living.’


Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director, David Nixon OBE, said: ‘This production challenges the idea of what stories can be told through dance and the dramatic talent of our dancers will draw the audience into the very core of this literary masterpiece.’


Tickets for Northern Ballet’s 1984 are on sale now and can be booked online at sadlerswells.com or by calling the Box Office on 0844 412 4300.




Notes to Editors


Praise for 1984

‘**** - Bold and inventive new dance-drama’ – The Stage

‘****’ – The Independent

‘This is gripping storytelling – the ballet equivalent of a page-turner.’ – The Stage

‘**** - Terrific’ – The Guardian

‘**** - Clever, consistent and powerful’ – The Telegraph

‘A brave new ballet’ – The Telegraph

‘An ambitious, compelling and, ultimately, moving new ballet’ – The Telegraph

**** - A masterstroke in dance,’ – Yorkshire Post

‘Powerful and thought-provoking’ – Yorkshire Evening Post

‘**** - A chilling climax’ – Financial Times

‘This is a slickly impressive piece’ – The Sunday Times 

‘A thrilling and chilling dance premiere’ – British Theatre Guide

‘A new dance drama that crackles with theatrical energy’ – Mail on Sunday

‘The most complete, most impressive production I have ever seen from Northern Ballet.’ – Manchester Theatre Awards


Production Credits

Choreography Jonathan Watkins

Music Alex Baranowski

Set & Costume Design Simon Daw

Lighting Design Chris Davey

Video Design Andrzej Goulding

Dramaturg Ruth Little


1984 – Tour Dates

Southampton, Mayflower Theatre

4 – 7 May 2016

Box Office 02380 711 811



London, Sadler’s Wells

24 – 28 May 2016

Box Office 0844 412 4300



Northern Ballet

For more details of Northern Ballet's tour, on sale dates and booking information, please visit northernballet.com/whatson.


Nominated for Best Company at the 2015 National Dance Awards and voted Best Company at the 2014 TaglioniEuropean Ballet Awards, Northern Ballet is one of the UK’s five large ballet companies. Based in Leeds it performs throughout the UK as well as overseas. Northern Ballet’s productions mix classical dance and theatre, embracing popular culture and taking inspiration from literature, opera, or giving a unique interpretation of popular classical ballets.


Northern Ballet is the busiest touring ballet company in the UK and is typically on the road for around 32 weeks of the year. The Company of 46 dancers tours a combination of full-length new work and established repertoire to cities throughout the UK. Northern Ballet also tours widely with its specially created ballets for children, the first three of which were adapted for TV by CBeebies, and also performs a mixed programme showcasing the versatility of its dancers.




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