Northern Ballet Theatre will tour China for the 3rd time with Madame Butterfly

Following two successful tours to China with A Christmas Carole in 2000 and La Traviata in 2006, Milky War Arts & Communications Co, Ltd will present, for the third time, Northern Ballet Theatre in China in 2007 with Madame Butterfly.

As UK’s most successful touring companies for narrative full evening works, NBT has gradually become a familiar name among Chinese audiences after touring to Beijing, Tianjin and Guangzhou in 2000, and Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou earlier this year. After the performances, an article named “British-versioned La Traviata” on Beijing Youth Daily, the most popular newspaper in the City said:

“What is British ballet like? Beijing audiences had the answer last evening in Tianqiao Theatre from classical ballet La Traviata by Northern Ballet Theatre, which interpreted the tragic love story of Marguerite and Armand in such a moving way.” “Audiences were fully taken by the production on general and performance of Desiré Samaai and Jonathan Ollivier in particular, whose skills are simply astonishing. And more than the skill are the emotion in the performance. All pas de deux became the highlights of the evening.” “Swan Lake has always been the favorite of Beijing audiences. But NBT’s La Traviata made us realize there are good ballets from out of Russia.”

Beijing Morning Post, another most popular newspaper in Beijing said in “Audiences moved to tears by La Traviata”: “Northern Ballet Theatre from Britain presented La Traviata in Tianqiao Theatre last evening, adapted from the opera of the same name. Audiences of Beijing were deeply moved by the fresh dance style of the Company, high skills and particularly the emotional way the ballet was presented. The unique stage design and costume is another attraction, which perfectly combines the classical and fashionable. Although dancers are highly skillful in classical ballet, they did not deliberately show off toe dance. Style of the production is quite contemporary and very dramatic, esp. the pas de deux at ending is extremely elegant and sentimental, which moved many audiences to tears.”

With more and more audience become fans of NBT following its two Chinese tours, that due to time limited, NBT was not able to go to Guangzhou in 2006 greatly disappointed fans, who saw NBT’s A Christmas Carole in 2000. So, for the third time in 2007 NBT will come back with Madame Butterfly to Guangzhou, Beijing and other cities.

Chinese Diary of Mark Skipper, Chief Executive of Northern Ballet Theatre

2nd tour of Northern Ballet Theatre to China
15 – 27 January 2006

La Traviata

Cities/venues toured
Beijing, Tianqiao Theatre
Shanghai, Oriental Arts Center
Hangzhou (capital of Zhejiang Province), Grand Theatre

“The story of a young nobleman and a beautiful courtesan whose burgeoning love amidst an intoxicating 1800s Paris is doomed from the beginning. This timeless tale has been transferred onto celluloid in the 1930s film Camille starring Greta Garbo and most recently in Moulin Rouge with Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. Now, England’s Northern Ballet Theatre tells Verdi’s story through movement. Veronica Paeper’s choreography is expertly realized by the dancers and real-life husband and wife duo, Jonathan Ollivier and Desire Samaai, and won rave reviews at its UK premiere. The Northern Ballet Theatre has not announced who will dance the leading roles for its Beijing performances, but with Verdi’s moving score, the wrenching tug-o-war between family honor and the will of the heart is sure to get our blood circulating in the preparation for a long, cold Beijing winter.”

-------- That’s Beijing


1st tour of Northern Ballet Theatre to China
5 – 24 December 2000

A Christmas Carole, accompanied by the Chinese symphony orchestras

Cities/venues toured
Beijing, Exhibition Centre Theatre
Guangzhou (capital of Guangdong Province), Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
Tianjin, Grand Theatre

“A Christmas Carole”-A Lively and Beautiful Class of Arts

Beijing Evening Daily, December 2000

When one is growing up, he or she will come across with something deeply moving which would contribute to the forming of their world outlook. During the process, the influence of environment is of great importance.

So what is the environment expressed by ballet drama “A Christmas Carole” adapted in 1992 from Charles Dickens’ novel and what is its influence to Chinese people today?

Even without talking about the country or even the world in the 19th century, we could expect to be impressed by its content and style as following:

1. Literature
Although the audiences are going to watch a ballet drama, the novel adapted from provides the drama with a cultural environment easier to approach than the novel itself and more profound than a fairy tale. Enjoying the beautiful music, cleverly designed setting and lighting as well as the elegant ballet, audiences would have a better understanding of the contrast between hard life and dream for a bright future, and the distillation of human nature. The potential of this influence is enormous which has formed by the beauty of ballet as well as the literature.

2. Art
Lighting, costume, artistic standard and elegance of the dancers, and development of the story in “A Christmas Carole” are almost perfect which would help the audiences to enhance their level of appreciation. One could easily imagine a mean ballet theatre would never be able to create such a unique and profound artistic environment

3. Music
The music by Carle Davis has combined the style of the traditional and the contemporary, the peace of Carole and grandness of symphony. It fits so well with Dickens’ style. In fact, the music alone told a wonderful story of Scooge.

The wonderful production combining literature, stage performance and music is the creation of Northern Ballet Theatre, which will be on the stage in Beijing Exhibition Theatre from Dec 19 to Dec 21. It would be a lively and beautiful class of art to learn high-leveled music, ballet, literature and fine art.