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Northern Ballet announces all-MacMillan triple bill

Posted on February 27, 2017

Northern Ballet has announced a triple bill of works by Kenneth MacMillan this autumn, with further performances in spring 2018. The programme will consist of MacMillan’s Las Hermanas, Gloria and Concerto, and will be performed in Bradford and Leeds. This programme is the first time Northern Ballet has danced ballets by MacMillan, and marks 25 years since the choreographer’s death.

David Nixon, Northern Ballet’s artistic director, said: “I have long desired to perform a programme of Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s work. It is of the utmost importance for dancers and audiences not only to see the new, but to connect with our heritage. Thanks to the incredible generosity of Lady MacMillan, Kevin O’Hare [director of The Royal Ballet] and the Royal Opera House, Northern Ballet will be able to perform this programme of some of MacMillan’s greatest works. The programme shows the great depth and diversity of this choreographic master, and will demonstrate the strengths of Northern Ballet while providing new opportunities for growth.”

Created in 1963 for the Stuttgart Ballet, Las Hermanas (“The Sisters”) is based on Lorca’s play The House of Bernarda Alba, about a household of five unmarried sisters, and the tensions that erupt when the oldest sister becomes engaged. Gloria, danced to Poulenc’s Gloria in G, was inspired by World War I, and particularly Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth. It can also be seen as a testament to MacMillan’s own father, who fought in the war, and whose health never recovered from being gassed. Concerto was the first work MacMillan made as director of the ballet at the Berlin Opera House in 1966. Danced to Shostakovich’s second piano concerto, it’s an exuberant plotless work, famous for its central pas de deux, which was inspired by the sight of ballerina Lynn Seymour at work at the barre.

Northern Ballet will perform this triple bill at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford, from October 5 to 7, 2017, with more performances at the Grand Theatre, Leeds on March 16 to 17. Tickets go on sale on March 20, 2016. Visit northernballet.com for more information.

 

Picture: Northern Ballet’s Lorenzo Trossello and Ayami Miyata in Gloria. Photograph: Guy Farrow

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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