So, this programme – Made in Leeds: Three Short Works – will give us a hint of the direction in which Bonelli intends to take the company. Under NIxon, Northern Ballet developed a solid reputation as a specialist in full evening narrative ballets: their latest foray into London brought us their thrilling account of the life and loves of the great seducer, Giacomo Casanova.
Interestingly, though this new programme of short works, which has its world premiere in Leeds in September, appears to be less dependent on narrative, one of the pieces, Dickson Mbi's Ma Vie (pictured top), is also inspired by Casanova.
Dickson Mbi is an electrifying dancer, a combination of hip hop and contemporary dance finding thrilling expression in his body and movement. Culture Whisper has seen him dance in a variety of contexts, but is less au fait with his choreography, so we're looking forward to Ma Vie, which is billed as exploring Giacomo Casanova's thirst for love, his complex relationship with the church and his eventual downfall.
Stina Quagebeur has developed her considerable choreographic skills while still a dancer with English National Ballet, where she is now associate choreographer. Among her growing portfolio, we would highlight the truly delightful Take Five Blues, created during lockdown. For Northern Ballet she's choreographed Nostalgia, an exploration of longing and poignancy, the force that holds us together.
Ballet Black's Mthuthuzeli November authors the third piece in the programme, Wailers. South African November has become a stalwart of Ballet Black, not only as a dancer, but also as a choreographer of note, his work in increasing demand. Wailers is billed as a piece that gives thanks to life, to its struggles, its beauty and its people.
Federico Bonelli says that he wants to work with a wide range of creative talent and allow his dancers to expand their horizons. Made in Leeds: Three Short Works will show whether he is on the right path.
|What||Northern Ballet, Made in Leeds, ROH Linbury Theatre|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
01 Nov 22 – 03 Nov 22, 19:45, Thurs mat at 14:00 Dur.: 2 hours inc one interval
|Website||Click here to book|