The Theatre at Chipping Norton in the heart of the leafy Cotswold countryside is a picturesque small venue, which provided the dancers of Ballet Central, the graduate performing company of Central School of Ballet, with a warmly welcoming family audience and an almost full house for their annual visit. The lopsided stage is narrow but deep, giving viewers in the side galleries problematic sightlines, but this is made up for by intimacy and potential connection between viewers and doers. The company earned my profound respect for their ability to fit energetic ensemble dancing into this space without any problems or collisions.

This year’s programme promised storytelling with iconic ballet titles such as Black Swan, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. These were not simply cut down versions of full-scale classics, but re-workings made for touring and playing to the strengths of this company of talented youngsters in an unashamedly narrative conception of ballet. All set against the neutrality of black drapes, enlivened and given a sense of place by the use of props, and designer Dante Baylor’s colourful often asymmetric costumes which brought both variety and a sense of overall stylistic unity to the evening. (more…)

Advertisements

Central School of Ballet’s renowned graduate performing company Ballet Central brings its annual nationwide tour to The Theatre, Chipping Norton on Saturday 2nd June at 7.45 pm. Under the artistic direction of Christopher Marney, Ballet Central’s diverse range of dance and theatre will be performed in 20 towns and cities in England and Wales across a five month period.

This season’s breadth of repertoire is testament to the distinguished choreographers that support the young dance company: Matthew Bourne of New Adventures honours Ballet Central with the Fairies Prologue from his gothic-reworking of Sleeping Beauty and, for the first time, Ballet Central will present an excerpt from FAR by multi award-winning choreographer and director Wayne McGregor.

After the success of last year’s Romeo & Juliet, choreographer Jenna Lee returns to Ballet Central with her brand new creation Black Swan, a dark twist on the iconic classic.

To celebrate the life and work of Kenneth MacMillan, Ballet Central introduces an excerpt from his rarely-seen 1983 ballet Valley of Shadows inspired by Georgio Bassani’s haunting novel The Garden of the Finzi-Continis.

And finally, to close this year’s performance, Christopher Marney will revive scenes from Christopher Gable’s Cinderella on the 25th anniversary of its creation. Set to an acclaimed score by Ballet Central’s resident composer Philip Feeney, this is a timeless version of a much-loved fairy tale.

Ballet Central is the touring company of Central School of Ballet in London, one of the leading centres for professional dance training and education. Students in the final year of their three-year BA (Hons) degree course in Professional Dance and Performance join Ballet Central to gain invaluable touring experience before graduation, enabling them to join premier dance companies.  Recent Central graduates are currently employed with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Company, English National Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Ballet Ireland, National Ballet of Estonia, Ballet Black, Northern Ballet, K Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Singapore Dance Theatre, Michael Clark Company, The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera and An American in Paris.

Performance:  Saturday 2nd June 7.45pm

Venue:  The Theatre Chipping Norton, 2 Spring Street, Chipping Norton, Oxon OX7 5NL

Tickets:  Adults £15.50, concessions £13.50

Book online here, or call the Box Office on 01608 642350

For more information visit: www.balletcentral.co.uk and www.centralschoolofballet.co.uk

Twitter: @balletcentral
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_ballet_central_/

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty is magnificently theatrical. The choreography, set, costumes, special effects and subversive humour bring a hint of macabre pantomime, and transform the ballet with a gothic twist.

I find it hard to tell whether or not I am reading too much into Bourne’s work. Is the fact that the infant Aurora is entertainingly represented in Act One by a marionette a way of showing that the baby girl is expected to be her parents’ puppet, or is it merely a bit of fun? To what extent are the choreographic references to Petipa’s work in the Fairies’ solos a joke, a send-up, a tribute, a witty criticism or just a starting point? (more…)

The Russian State Ballet and Orchestra of Siberia return to Oxford’s New Theatre for a short season 16th to 18th January. Formed in 1981, The Russian State Ballet of Siberia has quickly established itself as one of Russia’s leading ballet companies and has built an international reputation for delivering performances of outstanding quality and unusual depth. The soloists and corps de ballet are superb and never fail to delight audiences with their breathtaking physical ability and dazzling costumes.

“The dancing was sharp, precise and light of foot throughout…”  Oxford Times January 2010

Monday 16th, Tuesday 17th January 7.30pm:  Giselle

The most poignant of all classical ballets combines powerful emotions and visual splendour in a chilling and heart-rending tale of love, treachery and forgiveness from beyond the grave.  The story of Giselle and her aristocratic but duplicitous lover Albrecht is set to a glorious score and brought to life by the magnificent costumes and virtuoso performances of the Russian State Ballet of Siberia.

Wednesday 18th January 2.30pm and 7.30pm: The Sleeping Beauty

Every child’s favourite fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty is the classic story of love and magic set to Tchaikovsky’s sublime score featuring stunning choreography, sumptuous costumes and wonderful sets.

http://www.atgtickets.com/venue/New-Theatre-Oxford/245/