Madame Butterfly by NORTHERN BALLET

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21, 22, 23 Dec 2007, Poly Theatre, Beijing, closing performance of the 5th BEIJING INTERNAITONA DANCE FESTIVAL  

Leeds based Northern Ballet was formed in 1969 and was the first national ballet company in England to be based outside London. It is one of the four large-scale ballet companies regularly funded by Arts Council England.

Northern Ballet is the only English dance company to tour every country in the UK including capital cities of Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and London and almost every major city in between, for up to 26 weeks every year. When the company isn’t on tour, it’s back at base in Leeds, creating new work or rehearsing its acclaimed repertoire. Northern Ballet creates at least two major new works eachyear that are usually premiered in Leeds. The company does not set out to be a “traditional” ballet company and has developed a unique style of “ballet-theatre” in recent years, based on strong movement-based story-telling, rarely drawing on traditional ballet titles, preferring subject matter frequently derived form novels, plays or opera. HRH Prince Edward is now the Royal Patron of Northern Ballet Theatre.

Madame Butterfly 

Innocence, love and betrayal unfold in the picturesque gardens of a Japanese Villa. Butterfly is fragile, unworldly, and prepared to sacrifice everything for the love of the handsome American Lieutenant Pinkerton. He deserts her and their child, only to return years later with his new wife. Abandoned and betrayed, Butterfly is left with only one honourable course of action.

East meets west as the soaring melodies of Puccini’s emotive score are interspersed with traditional Japanese music. Japanese-style dancing is blended with classical ballet, capturing the pain and passion of the conflict between Butterfly’s Japan and Pinkerton‘s America that lies at the heart of this tragedy. Northern Ballet’s Madame Butterfly, choreographed by David Nixon, has captivated audiences across the world.