Northern Ballet brings history’s greatest lover back to Leeds with the return of Casanova
Northern Ballet is bringing history’s most notorious lover back to Leeds with their sensual ballet Casanova, returning for the first time since 2017.
The production will transport audiences to 18th century Venice, telling the story of the infamous Italian adventurer in a seductive masquerade of passion and politics.
In Northern Ballet’s Casanova the fiercely intellectual Giacomo Casanova leads a controversial life consumed by his desires. He dabbles in careers as a scam artist, violinist, alchemist and church cleric but with a penchant for gambling and women, his exploits lead him into a whirlwind of scandal and excess resulting in imprisonment and exile.
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Complex emotional themes from love and longing to insecurity and depression, as well as the deep connection to the women in his life, are explored in a true story so sensational you won’t believe it’s real - showing Casanova is so much more than the infamous lover.
Casanova is choreographed by award-winning Kenneth Tindall, ex-Northern Ballet Premier Dancer and current Artistic Director of Digital and Choreographer in Residence at the Company. Tindall co-created the scenario with actor, dramatist and historical biographer Ian Kelly, author of the 2008 Sunday Times Biography of the Year Casanova.
The production is set to an original score by modern classical, film and television composer Kerry Muzzey, played live by Northern Ballet Sinfonia.
"Casanova was my first full-length ballet for Northern Ballet and I'm delighted that it will be touring again in 2022." Kenneth Tindall, said.
"When we created Casanova myself and the creative team were dedicated to telling the story behind the legend - showing that Casanova was so much more than what his name has come to mean. In this revival we have expanded sections of the ballet with new music by Kerry Muzzey, one of the joys of reviving is the ability to revisit and refresh the work, repainting it for the new generation of dancers that will bring the characters to life on stage.”
This revival of the production includes new sections of music and choreography which offer a deeper insight into the man behind the ‘lothario’ image, a glimpse into the depression that haunted his later years and an all-consuming yearning for connection which motivated him throughout his life.
For co-creator Ian Kelly, he was left deeply impressed by the discipline and commitment to their craft of the production's dancers.
"Dance is so impressively disciplined. We’re kind of lazy in the theatre; there are an awful lot of coffee breaks and chats. But gosh, the dancers are phenomenal." he said.
"It’s been fascinating to see the logistics and the military planning involved in a classical company of this standard; theatre and film seem so simple in comparison. I am also very aware that although the dancers are athletes and disciplined beings, they also want to tell a story and inhabit a character."
Sets and costumes have been designed by Tony and Olivier award-winning Christopher Oram (Frozen, Broadway and West End), and wigs and make up are designed by Richard Mawbey, who has worked extensively on the West End and Broadway.
Lighting is designed by Alastair West whose Northern Ballet credits include Jane Eyre and Geisha.
Casanova will open Northern Ballet’s spring season at Leeds Grand Theatre from 10 - 19 March 2022.
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