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Press Release: Northern Ballet announces plans for an epic 35 venue UK tour in 2014

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Northern Ballet announces plans for an epic 35 venue UK tour in 2014.


Northern Ballet has announced plans for its 2014 UK tour that will see the Company visiting 35 venues with a range of productions including the return of Northern Ballet’s most powerful heroine Cleopatra and the first UK tour of David Nixon’s new Cinderella. Dracula will return to the stage along with festive family ballet Peter Pan. The Company will take A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Great Gatsby on tour once more as well as performing a two new Mixed Programmes and their latest new ballet for children, Three Little Pigs


Following a tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in China planned for January 2014, Northern Ballet will open its UK season with a revival of Cleopatra, a passionate portrayal of a courageous and compulsive woman whose legacy has inspired generations. Set to an original score by Claude-Michel Schönberg (Les Misérables, Miss Saigon) and choreographed by Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director, David Nixon OBE, and, Cleopatra returns to Leeds Grand Theatre from 6 - 15 March and later to The Lyceum, Sheffield from 25 - 29 March.


Northern Ballet will also bring the enchanting A Midsummer Night’s Dream to audiences in Edinburgh, Norwich, Milton Keynes and will perform in Southampton for the first time at The Mayflower Theatre. Dior-inspired costumes and stylish black and white sets provide a dazzling contrast to the glorious technicolour dream-world as the romantic antics of a touring dance company are played out on stage. David Nixon’s choreography brings out the comedy, romance and entanglements to rapturous effect in this adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays. 


Premièring in Leeds in December 2013, Northern Ballet’s new production of Cinderella will tour to Hull New Theatre and Cardiff New Theatre in April before an autumn tour at Norwich, Newcastle, Belfast, Manchester and Sheffield between October and November. This ultimate rags to riches tale is set within a fantasy world of Imperial Russia where Cinderella’s life is turned upside down following the death of her father. Subject to the coldness and cruelty of her step-mother, and kept as a servant by her family, Cinderella’s life is transformed once again following a magical encounter in a market place. As romance blossoms, can Prince Charming see beyond the servant girl and fall in love with the real Cinderella? With a twist to the traditional presentation of this magical tale, Northern Ballet is collaborating with Sheffield-based Greentop Circus to develop unique stunts and exhilarating circus skills to surprise and delight audiences. Cinderella is Northern Ballet’s fourth new full-length ballet to tour in as many years.


In May, Northern Ballet will travel to London to perform a Mixed Programme at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre from 8 - 10 May. This will be the first time the Company has presented a mixed bill in London since 2009. The Mixed Programme will feature Hans van Manen’s Concertante, a piece by one of the USA’s foremost dance makers Lar Lubovitch, and Luminous Junc·ture, a critically acclaimed piece choreographed by Northern Ballet Premier Dancer, Kenneth Tindall. Northern Ballet will also present a Mixed Programme at their own Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre in Leeds from 18 - 21 June which will include a new piece by Kenneth Tindall.


Following a successful UK tour of Northern Ballet’s first ballet for children, Ugly Duckling, the TV adaptation of which has won a Children’s BAFTA, the Company will return to theatres nationwide with Three Little Pigs in 2014. This production, made specifically for children, sees three little pigs set out into the world where they build houses out of straw, sticks and bricks before they each encounter a hungry wolf intent on having them for lunch. With a running time of 35 minutes and priced at just £5 for adults and £4 for children, Three Little Pigs is designed to introduce young children to the magic of live ballet, music and theatre.


Northern Ballet will open their autumn tour with Dracula at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in September. Last performed by Northern Ballet in 2009, this popular production reveals the tormented world of the immortal Count Dracula as Bram Stoker’s legendary novel is brought to life in a sensuous and sinister performance uncovering our most basic fears and desires.


Northern Ballet will head out of Yorkshire once more with a tour of their 2013 box office smash The Great Gatsby. Audiences in Woking, Nottingham, Canterbury and Bradford will see the heady, indulgent days of New York’s Long Island during the glamorous 1920s, brought to the stage in this adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel. The seductiveness of the era is recreated through stunning sets and costumes in one of the most stylish adaptations of Fitzgerald’s work. The Great Gatsby has been nominated in the Achievement in Dance category at the UK Theatre Awards and Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director and choreographer of The Great Gatsby, David Nixon OBE, has been nominated for Best Classical Choreography at the 2014 National Dance Awards.


Northern Ballet’s final production of the year will see Peter Pan return to the Leeds Grand Theatre stage in December, as the Company wrap up their jam-packed year with a revival of this family classic. Audiences will join Wendy, John and Michael as they soar into the night sky with Peter, to a magical land of mermaids and fairy dust, where children can fly and adventures happen every day.


Following a short break, Northern Ballet will be back in the studio in late December in preparation for the coming 2015 season.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Yes I'm hoping to catch Three Little Pigs and Midsummer Nights Dream at the Mayflower in Southampton at the end of May.


It will have completed a circle of sorts. As the original company was the first one I saw on the Wirral near Liverpool circa '71 '72 also on a summer evening as the beginning of my seeing ballet as an Adult so am looking forward to this.

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It has just been pointed out to me that if you read the media release on Northern Ballet's website there is a sentence at the bottom which invites you to download the full release.


If you read the downloaded PDF and scroll to the bottom it has the full tour listings, including those for the Autumn Tour!  I think we must assume that these dates may be subject to change but it is a decent indicator of the plans.


These are the dates and rep currently announced for the Autumn Tour:



02-13/09 - West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds - Dracula


23-27/09 - Woking - Great Gatsby


30/09-04/10 - Nottingham - Great Gatsby


07-11/10 - Norwich - Cinderella


21-25/10 - Newcastle - Cinderella


28/10 - 01/11 - Canterbury - Great Gatsby


04-08/11 - Belfast - Cinderella


11-15/11 - Bradford - Great Gatsby


18-22/11 - Manchester - Cinderella


25-29/11 - Sheffield - Cinderella


09-20/12 - Leeds -Peter Pan



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  • 2 weeks later...

I've just noticed that Northern Ballet are now performing Cinderella in Edinburgh in March (rather than the previously announced MSND).


Northern Ballet has issued a press release about why MSND could not be shown in Edinburgh:



January 2014
For immediate release
Northern Balletstuck on the high seas

Not so much drama on the high seas than dancing on the high seas. Northern Ballet will tour A Midsummer Night’s Dream to China in January 2014 and the production was due to return to the UK in time for performances in Edinburgh in March. Due to a lack of available ships however the set and costumes won’t now make it back to the UK in time for the Company’s scheduled performances at Edinburgh Festival Theatre. Northern Ballet will instead perform Cinderella, a new ballet which received its world première in Leeds in December 2013, from Thursday 20 – Saturday 22 March.



Mark Skipper DL, Northern Ballet’s Chief Executive explains further,


'We had been advised that there was sufficient shipping time to return the sets and costumes to the UK for our performances in Edinburgh, we have now been informed that this will no longer be possible due to lack of availability of ships coming from China to Europe during that period. Unfortunately reservations on such vessels can only be made 2 months in advance.


'I am very pleased that people in Edinburgh will have the opportunity to see Cinderella, the first opportunity to do so following its world première in December. I can only apologise for the inconvenience this causes any of our audiences who had already booked to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream.'



Performance dates and times will not change. Tickets already bought for A Midsummer Night’s Dream remain valid but if anyone would like a refund they should contact the Edinburgh Festival Theatre box office on 0131 529 6000.



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Northern Ballet takes the Dream to China


Northern Ballet has arrived in China to bring Shakespeare’s most enchanting tale to audiences with a tour of David Nixon’s critically acclaimed production A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Company is the first British cultural organisation to tour to China following the signing of a new cultural agreement between the UK and China by UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller and Chinese Minister for Culture, Minister Cai Wu.


Northern Ballet, who has previously completed successful international tours to China, Hong Kong and Thailand, will perform this magical production from 15 to 25 January 2014 at venues in Xiamen, Guangzhou and Beijing. The Company will also be holding a pop-up performance at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Hangzhou which will feature excerpts from The Great Gatsby, Cleopatra, and two pieces, Man I Love and Three Preludes, from the Gershwin spectacular I Got Rhythm. The pop-up performance has been arranged to coincide with a visit to Hangzhou by Leeds and Partners who are sponsoring the tour and will host a business event in the city.


Northern Ballet’s Chief Executive, Mark Skipper, says: “I am delighted to announce that Northern Ballet return to China in January 2014. We will give our first performance in Guangzhou for more than a decade and we will be the first European company to perform a full-length ballet in Xiamen.


Northern Ballet is a passionate cultural ambassador for Leeds, Yorkshire and the UK and we are pleased to be working with Leeds and Partners to give the legal and financial services sectors, plus the universities in Yorkshire, an opportunity to cultivate business relationships between Leeds and China to further benefit the city and the region. Northern Ballet would like to thank Leeds and Partners and Arts Council England for supporting the tour.”


Lurene Joseph, Chief Executive of Leeds and Partners said, “Culture is a key contributor to the Leeds City Region’s economy and a key asset in investors’ decision making.   The city is perfectly placed to capitalise on the popularity of UK culture throughout China and this mission will boost the number of cultural exchanges between China and the UK.”

Northern Ballet’s tour, which follows Prime Minister David Cameron’s trade envoy to China in December 2013, has required a substantial amount of planning; three containers of sets and costumes left in October on a six-week voyage by sea to the Far East. It will showcase the talent and innovativeness of one of the UK’s top professional ballet companies.


Following Northern Ballet’s return from China, UK audiences will have the opportunity to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream as it tours to Norwich, Milton Keynes and Southampton in May.





Notes to Editors

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 24 weeks of the year. The Company of 40 dancers tours a combination of new works and established repertoire to cities throughout the UK and is the only large scale ballet company to do so.


Northern Ballet’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic play A Midsummer Night’s Dream sees the romantic antics of a touring dance company play out on one midsummer night as the company travels by sleeper train from London to Edinburgh. Dior inspired costumes and stylish black and white sets provide a dazzling contrast to the glorious technicolour of the dream-world, whilst David Nixon’s choreography brings out the comedy, romance and entanglements of this delightful story. 


Northern Ballet has secured financial support from Leeds and Partners to help make this tour possible. Leeds and Partners is the strategic organisation responsible for attracting inward investment, supporting trade, promoting tourism, and raising the profile of the city of Leeds where Northern Ballet is based.




A Midsummer Night’s Dream – China Tour

Xiamen Banlam Grand Theatre                                                 Guangzhou Opera House

Wed 15 Jan                                                                                         Fri 17 – Sat 18 Jan

Box Office +86 400 880 2281                                                        Box Office +86 20 3839 2888

www.mndxy.org                                                                              www.gzdjy.org


National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing

Thu 23 – Sat 25 Jan

Box Office +86 10 6655 0000




Pop-Up Performance – China Tour

Hyatt Regency Hotel, Hangzhou

Tue 21 Jan

Box Office +86 571 8779 1234



A Midsummer Night’s Dream – UK Tour

Norwich Theatre Royal                                                                 Milton Keynes Theatre

Tue 13 – Sat 17 May                                                                        Tue 20 – Sat 24 May

Box Office 01603 630 000                                                              Box Office 0844 871 7652

www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk                                              www.atgtickets.com


The Mayflower, Southampton

Wed 28 – Sat 31 May

Box Office 02380 711 811




Leeds and Partners

Leeds and Partners is the strategic organisation responsible for attracting inward investment, supporting trade, promoting the visitor economy, and raising the profile of the Leeds City Region. Our focus is on driving sustainable economic growth, creating jobs, and promoting the region as vibrant, dynamic and competitive, as well as having global reach. To achieve this, we work with our public, private and third sector partners.


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