A Tale of Two Cities

September 2, 2008 at 3:33 pm (General Information, Marketing and PR News, Tour News) (, , , , , , , , , )

Here are some production images from A Tale of Two Cities. All photos are by Alastair Muir.

Keiko Amemori as Lucie and Tobias Batley as Charles 

Hironao Takahashi as Dr Manette and Keiko Amemori as Lucie

Kenneth Tindall as Charles and Keiko Amemori as Lucie

Tobias Batley as Charles and Victoria Sibson as Madam Defarge 

Kenneth Tindall as Sydney and Martha Leebolt as the girl at the docks

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A Tale of Two Cities Première at the WYP

September 1, 2008 at 12:37 pm (Company News, Events, Marketing and PR News, Tour News) (, , , , , , , , )

A Tale of Two Cities programme cover - Photography HANSON - Design Mick Schofield

Saturday the 30th of August saw NBT’s brand new production, Cathy Marston’s A Tale of Two Cities ballet, première at Leeds’ West Yorkshire Playhouse. Photographs of the production should follow tomorrow, here are a few other photos of the event.

Photography - Mick Schofield

The West Yorkshire Playhouse

Photography - Mick Schofield

Photography - Mick Schofield

Photography - Mick Schofield

Speech: Artistic Director David Nixon thanks choreographer Cathy Marston

Photography - Mick Schofield

Judith Donovan CBE (from the Board of Directors) wishes NBT Chairman, Councillor Bernard Atha CBE, a happy 80th birthday!

Photography - Mick Schofield

…cutting the cake.

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A Tale of Two Cities Première – Cast

August 28, 2008 at 2:05 pm (Artist's News, Casts, Tour News) (, , , , , , , , )

A Tale of Two Cities - A ballet by Cathy Marston. Poster design Mick Schofield. Photography HANSON

Northern Ballet Theatre’s latest production, A Tale of Two Cities
by Cathy Marston, premières this Saturday (30th August), at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds.
The following cast list is for the Première night only and is provisional, Northern Ballet Theatre reserves the right to make alterations without notice.

LUCIE – Keiko Amemori
MdM DEFARGE – Victoria Sibson
THERESE – Michela Paolacci
PROSS – Ginnie Ray
VENGENCE – Martha Leebolt
AGNES – Pippa Moore

CHARLES – Tobias Batley
SYDNEY – Kenneth Tindall
MANETTE – Hironao Takahashi
LORRY – John Hull
DEFARGE – Darren Goldsmith
GABELLE – Michael Berkin
MARQUIS – Steven Wheeler
YOUNG MANETTE – David Ward
DENIS – Thomas Aragones
YOUNG CHARLES – Ben Mitchell

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A Tale of Two Cities update

August 18, 2008 at 9:45 pm (Artist's News, Company News) (, , , , , , , )

Cathy Marston with dancers of Northern Ballet Theatre

It really is a tale of two cities for Cathy Marston at the moment. Last week she was putting the finishing touches to A Tale of Two Cities with NBT in Leeds and this week she is back in Bern for the start of the new season with Bern Ballet, of which she is Artistic Director.

Hear an interview with Cathy as well as Principal Dancer Keiko Amemori and Soloist Kenneth Tindall, and watch exclusive rehearsal footage on the Yorkshire Post TV website: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/video/Sneak-preview-A-Tale-of.4397133.jp

Talking about the production in an interview with the Yorkshire Evening Post Cathy says, “Purely from a dance point of view this love story offers plenty of opportunities for pas de deux. But even though it might not seem as obvious a choice to many people it makes a fantastic story to tell through any medium.” On working with NBT she says, “They’re an absolute delight to work with, not just in terms of ability but also because they don’t just wait for you to dictate steps to them they actually work with you making suggestions, developing the choreography and characters which is why the finished product is so special.”

Cathy will return to Leeds next week for the run-up to the world premiere of A Tale of Two Cities at the West Yorkshire Playhouse on Saturday 30 August. If you haven’t got your tickets yet, time is running out so book now.

To further whet your appetite here are some images of Cathy working with the Company. Photos by Merlin Hendy.

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Interview with David Maric

August 11, 2008 at 3:05 pm (Artist's News) (, , , , , , , , )

Photography - Clare Park, HANSON. Design - Mick Schofield

Composer and pianist David Maric has created a full evening orchestral score for Northern Ballet Theatre’s (NBT) forthcoming production of A Tale of Two Cities. Here he talks to us about composing for ballet.

 

You were keen for some time to compose for dance. Why?

 

From about the age of 22 I became rather obsessed with the works of Igor Stravinsky. Through picking up various books about his life and work, I began to encounter images taken from various staged works of his that were created within the first seven decades of the 20th century and included set designs, dancers, costume designs etc. This excited me and I longed to see these productions live.

 

Finally in 1999 I watched my first ballet which was The Rite of Spring; ENO’s production of the Kenneth MacMillan version. Naturally it blew my head off. I loved the choreography, costume and lighting. Adored the orchestra’s ridiculously intense enthusiasm for the score. A year later I saw a triple bill of Firebird, Agon, and Les Noces all in their original forms and all with brilliantly performed live music. This left me utterly astonished and inspired; particularly the work of Nijinska and Balanchine. In between I witnessed Michael Clark’s company performing to loud distorted rock musicians, which turned me on so much I had to go again the following night.

 

All this took place before Cathy Marston had by chance found a piece of music of mine which inspired her to choreograph a duet to, and since then we’ve collaborated on a number of far more ambitious projects. Also since then I’ve spent far too much money on tickets for various dance events and have found myself in recent years much more deeply acquainted with this intriguing art form that inspires me and fills me with a desire to contribute something towards a resurrection of original music with dance that attempts to somehow aspire to the monumentally high standards that were set almost a century ago now.

 

What are the main challenges working on a ballet such as A Tale of Two Cities?

 

Apart from the usual challenge of coming up with interesting material when writing any music, an additional challenge when writing a 90 minute orchestral narrative ballet score is to ensure that a sense of flow and the impression of a coherent whole is maintained through such a fragmented and episodic structure (a structure which A Tale of Two Cities certainly has).

 

Whilst it may help maintain the audience’s attention by having shorter “movements” I felt that the weight of Dickens’ epic novel should also be captured  – especially its deeply moving sacrificial ending, but without ever over-doing the potentially heavy and portentous mood that long winded and lugubrious approaches would evoke.

 

The rich tapestry of the novel has been concisely captured within the scenario, and the structure of the music is essentially dictated by it. The novel also has a number of features that help to inspire musical ideas. One is the persistent theme of duality, which often manifests itself in the novel as contrasting imagery (and in the score is symbolized in a number of different ways). Another feature is the late 18th century period itself, which is referred to stylistically within the classical and folk idioms. The famous “Carmagnole” revolution song mentioned in the novel appears in the score on many occasions in various forms and its slightly unorthodox structure helps to underpin and inform many scenes. So the real challenge is to contend with all this information whilst simultaneously creating evocative and “danceable” music, and it is one that I immensely enjoyed tackling.

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NBT presents A Tale of Two Cities

May 29, 2008 at 9:26 am (Marketing and PR News) (, , , , , )

A Tale of Two Cities poster

British choreographer Cathy Marston is creating a new full-length production for Northern Ballet Theatre (NBT) based on Charles Dickens’ epic novel A Tale of Two Cities. The ballet has its première at the West Yorkshire Playhouse from Saturday 30 August to Saturday 6 September before touring to Nottingham and Sheffield.

Cathy’s interpretation of Dickens’ literary masterpiece focuses on the relationship between the three central characters, Sydney Carton, Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette, whose lives are inextricably caught up in the French revolution. Drawing on Cathy’s background in both classical and contemporary dance, A Tale of Two Cities will explore the central themes of fate, redemption, sacrifice and revenge.

Read the rest of the press release here…

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