Last night Northern Ballet staged their first mixed programme in the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre, and what a treat! A mixed programme gives the dancers an opportunity to work with other artists and explore their own range and creativity

It was made up of four pieces by four different choreographers. Perpetuum Mobile, choreographed by Christopher Hampson, was to JS Bach’s Violin Concerto in E Major. It was a gently, bright piece – the nine dancers constantly interweaving in a perfect interpretation of the music – although I do wish they hadn’t smiled so much!

Kenneth Tindall’s Project #1 was absolutely stunning. Here six dancers combined truly innovative movement and the most amazing flexibility to music by Alva Noto, Lykke Li, Max Richter and a beautiful Dinah Washington song. It was beautiful, intricate, emotional and absolutely riveting. Kenneth is a Premier Dancer with Northern Ballet – I hope he creates many more ballets in this genre – and when he does I’m there!

Daniel de Andrade chose the fun, infectious music of the Klezmer band Moishe’s Bagel for his Glass Cannon. And, that is what it was – colourful, high energy and fun. It was like a bunch of young dancers having a whale of a time at a village fete somewhere in Eastern Europe!

And, Rhapsody in Blue? It was magic. Choreographed by Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director, David Nixon, it was romantic, flirtatious, elegant and plain beautiful. Of course the fabulous, duelling grand pianos of Grant Green and Chris Hobson and Joanne Rozario’s clarinet opening of George Gershwin’s beautiful music was the icing on the cake. Absolutely fabulous.

Rhapsody in Blue forms part of a full-length work called I Got Rhythm which will be performed by Northern Ballet at Leeds Grand Theatre in May. Guess who’s going to be there!

Perpetual Motion is at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre until 18th February


Photos: Brian Slater

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