Madame Butterfly: Acclaimed ballet has happy Leeds homecoming

WELCOME RETURN: Northern Ballet's production of Madame Butterfly at Leeds Grand Theatre. PIC: James Hardisty

WELCOME RETURN: Northern Ballet's production of Madame Butterfly at Leeds Grand Theatre. PIC: James Hardisty

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An artistic homecoming has left culture lovers in Leeds feeling all of a flutter.

Northern Ballet’s acclaimed version of Madame Butterfly made its keenly-anticipated return to Leeds Grand Theatre last night. (February 29)

Running until March 10, it is the first time the version has been performed in the city since 2002.

Based on the play that inspired the Puccini opera of the same name, Leeds-based Northern Ballet’s Madame Butterfly was created by the company’s artistic director, David Nixon.

It tells the story of a young Japanese geisha, Butterfly, who marries a dashing American naval officer but is abandoned by him while carrying his unborn child.

David said: “When creating Madame Butterfly, I wanted to incorporate an aesthetic of the traditional Japanese culture and music.

“I wanted to portray the dilemma of Butterfly who tries to change the perception of her culture, only to be betrayed by her newly adopted beliefs.

“Her freedom is only achieved by returning to her roots.

“Our re-orchestration of Puccini’s wonderful music, to which we have incorporated traditional Japanese music, has resulted in a fluid and dramatically powerful score for this ballet, which blends traditional Japanese dance styles with classical ballet.”

Former Northern Ballet principal artist Keiko Amemori will be dancing the role of Butterfly.

The production made a successful visit to the Chinese capital of Beijing last year.

It is due to tour the UK later this year, with runs scheduled in Sheffield, Manchester and Nottingham.

Tickets for Madame Butterfly are priced between £8.50 and £39.50.

For more information, visit: www.leedsgrandtheatre.com website or ring the box office on 0844 848 2700.