Northern Ballet announces busy season

Four tours, two world premieres and 115 performances – Northern Ballet has announced its autumn 2015 season, and it’s a busy one. Building on the success of 2014 when it won Best Company at the Taglioni European Ballet Awards, the Leeds-based group are touring 1984, Madame Butterfly, Wuthering Heights and The Nutcracker to venues across England.

Jonathan Watkins’ adaptation of 1984 has its world premier on 5 September at West Yorkshire Playhouse. This is the second classic of English literature that the choreographer has developed, following his 2014 production KES – based on Barry Hines’s A Kestrel for a Knave – that premiered at Sheffield Crucible.

Northern Ballet is also creating work from within: dancers Dreda Blow and Sebastian Loe have choreographed children’s ballet Tortoise & the Hare, which receives its world premiere at Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre on 22 October.

A more experimental side is on show with Perpetuum Mobile, a physically demanding non-narrative piece from Scottish Ballet artistic director Christopher Hampson. The company is pairing it with Madam Butterfly, a double bill that it has toured previously.

Seasonal favourite The Nutcracker also makes it into the schedule, with the show travelling to Woking, Newcastle and Norwich before returning to Leeds Grand Theatre as part of the Northern Ballet’s annual festive celebrations.