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Northern Ballet and The Royal Ballet back on stage in October 

Posted on September 29, 2020

Elite Syncopations. Tierney Heap and David Yudes. c ROH 2018. Photographed by Tristram Kenton.

In addition to Birmingham Royal Ballet, which announced it will be returning to the stage for live performances at the Birmingham Rep and Sadler’s Wells later this month, Northern Ballet and The Royal Ballet are also scheduled to appear before live audiences in October. First up is The Royal Ballet: Back on Stage at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, on October 9. This special performance – which will also be live streamed – features the entire company in highlights from The Royal Ballet’s extensive repertoire before a specially-invited audience, including students and health workers. The Royal Ballet is also preparing to present further programmes that will include Kenneth MacMillan’s Elite Syncopations and Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour in November, and a re-worked, COVID-safe version of The Nutcracker in time for Christmas.

Martha Leebolt as the Marquise in Northern Ballets Dangerous Liaisons Photo Merlin Hendy

In Leeds, Northern Ballet will be presenting no fewer than four programmes at the Leeds Playhouse from October 21 to 31, its first performances since the premiere of Kenneth Tindall’s Geisha on March 13. From October 21 to 24, the company will offer three one-off evenings of dance – Iconic Classics on October 21 featuring excerpts from Don Quixote, Swan Lake and Giselle; A Celebration of Artistic Director David Nixon on October 22, with extracts from The Great Gatsby, The Little Mermaid and A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and Contemporary Cuts on October 23 and 24, including numbers from 1984, I Got Rhythm and a new work choreographed by Tindall. The following week, from October 28 to 31, the company will revive Nixon’s Dangerous Liaisons. Based on the novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, the ballet has not been performed by the company for ten years. Tickets are now on sale at


Photographs: Top Tierney Heap and David Yudes in Elite Syncopations. Photographed by Tristram-Kenton. Above Martha Leebolt as the Marquise in Northern Ballet’s Dangerous Liaisons. Photographed by Merlin Hendy.


Jonathan Gray is editor of Dancing Times. He studied at The Royal Ballet School, Leicester Polytechnic, and Wimbledon School of Art where he graduated with a BA Hons in Theatre Design. For 16 years he was a member of the curatorial department of the Theatre Museum, London, assisting on a number of dance-related exhibitions, and helping with the recreation of original designs for a number of The Royal Ballet’s productions including Danses concertantes, Daphnis and Chloë, and The Sleeping Beauty. He has also contributed to the Financial Times, written programme articles for The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet, and is co-author of the book Unleashing Britain: Theatre gets real 1955-64, published in 2005.

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