Review: Northern Ballet – Mixed Programme

[Image: Northern Ballet dancers in Concerto Six Twenty-Two. Photo Emma Kauldhar]

Wednesday 18th June 2014, 7:30pm
The Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre


It’s always a treat to attend the Ballet, to watch inspiring young and talented artists take to the stage to put on a show one could only dream to undertake themselves. Ballet is an art form, something elegant and magical and Northern Ballet’s Mixed Programme ticked off every one of these boxes and more.

Tonight’s performance consisted of three very different pieces. Concerto 622 (premiered 1986). Concertante (premiered 1994) and finally The Architect (premiered 18th June 2014). I think it’s quite safe to say that the dancers of Northern Ballet excelled themselves.

Concerto 622 choreographed by Lar Lubovitch with its theme of supportive and caring relationships between men contrasted very well with the second piece Concertante with the theme of humour and aggression. The first piece moved us, held us close and eased us into the wonderful world of expression through the body. Dressed in white attire, the dancers were a whole; not one of them singled out, not one better than the other, each dancer on the same level as the next. The white attire signified an angelic unity. The piece conjured up peace; the ability to freely express desires and hopes for life.

The Adagio between Giuliano Contadini and Matthew Koon completely blew me away, such strength, poise and grace. It was an inspiration to the young dancers who attended the performance sitting quietly at the back. Both men held the audience close and in suspense, it was a beautiful moment and something I will never forget. Brava!


Credit: Northern Ballet dancers Giuliano Contadini and Matthew Koon inConcerto Six Twenty-Two. Photo onEdition.


Concertante on the other hand re-jigged our emotions, instead of feeling at peace I felt as if it was somewhat out of place. However, audience members are there to be challenged and they sure did that. Concertante contains slapping of the chest, strangling of the female and close contact work. The dancers performed with maturity to convey both humour and aggression I just felt uncomfortable…so maybe it worked!


Credit: Northern Ballet dancers Martha Leebolt and Giuliano Contadini inConcertante. Photo onEdition.


Concertante sure prepared me for the Northern Ballet Premiere of this evening – The Architect choreographed by Kenneth Tindall. The Architect is Tindall’s 3rd commission for the Northern Ballet based on the Genesis story of Adam and Eve and it’s only fair to mention that I have never seen something so thrilling, so tantalising and breathtaking that it was hard to get up out of my seat after the performance finished. The use of the pointe shoes worn by the females added the extra elegance of the beginning of life and not to mention the music – the Icelandic touch of Olafur Arnalds added bite and tenderness. A whirlwind of emotion portraying ‘The Fall’ was so excellently executed that the audience were left struck by the devil himself. Tindall excelled himself yet again. ‘The Architect’ will go far – that is very clear.


Credit: Northern Ballet dancers Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley in Kennth Tindall’s The Architect. Photo Emma Kauldhar.


The Northern Ballet are a ballet company of sheer excellence. What a pleasure it is to have them on our doorstep.

Catriona Chadderton


Look out for Catriona’s interview with Northern Ballet dancer Matthew Broadbent, coming soon to the site.

Filed under: Theatre & Dance

Tagged with: