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Phoenix Dance Theatre returns

Posted on May 26, 2021

Dancers Natalie Alleston and Aaron Chaplin in rehearsal shot for West Side Story Symphonic Dances

This autumn, Phoenix Dance Theatre will return to the stage to present a double bill of works by Leonard Bernstein in collaboration with Opera North. This production had been scheduled to tour last autumn, but was postponed due the COVID-19 pandemic. West Side Story Symphonic Dances/Trouble in Tahiti marks Phoenix Dance Theatre’s second major collaboration with Opera North, following Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in 2019. Devised and choreographed by recently appointed artistic director Dane Hurst, the new production interprets Bernstein’s music outside of the narrative of West Side Story. It will play in a double bill with a revival of Bernstein’s short opera Trouble in Tahiti, directed by Matthew Eberhardt. Principal guest conductor Antony Hermus will conduct both productions.

Bernstein arranged the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story as a work to stand on its own terms, free of the story from which the music is derived. This new dance work explores the experience of young people through themes of group identity and family, conflict and violence. “It is fantastic for us to collaborate with Opera North on this new creation of Symphonic Dances,” said Hurst. “This will be my first choreographic work for Phoenix and our second collaboration with Opera North following the success of The Rite of Spring in 2019. I’m delighted that we can continue this partnership and look forward to starting the creative process with the team.” Tickets go on sale at the end of June, click here to book.

Pictured: Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Natalie Alleston and Aaron Chaplin in rehearsal for West Side Story Symphonic Dances. Photograph courtesy of Phoenix Dance Theatre.


Simon Oliver has been production editor of Dancing Times since 2010 and is highly experienced in design across print and online magazine production. Throughout his career, Simon has worked on a diverse range of subjects including music, family history, book collecting and poker.

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