Now, though, Northern Ballet comes to the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre with a triple bill, and although it contains a few narrative – but not literal – elements, this bill shows us a much freer approach to dancing.
The programme opens with The Kingdom of Back, a haunting account of the repressed life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s older sister, Nannerl. Herself an accomplished musician, Nannerl was forced to abandon her dreams and instead live in the shadow of her brother.
The work of the prolific choreographer and former dancer Morgann Runacle-Temple, The Kingdom of Back is set to an especially commissioned Frank Moon score. Often irreverent, at times shocking, the piece imagines a figure stuck in the shadows (the kingdom of back of her childhood), as her brother begins his journey towards immortality.
Mamela is an altogether different proposition, and marks the choreographic debut of Northern Ballet’s First Soloist Mlindi Kulashe.
Matthew Topliss and Minju Kang in Mamela, photo Emma Kauldhar
Mamela means ‘listen’ in South African Kulashe’s own Xhosa language, and this ballet, essentially abstract, explores themes of frustration, escapism and imprisonment.
Performed to music by Jack Edmonds, Mamela looks for the ways in which society affects each person; and it’s simultaneously oppressive and hopeful.
The mood of the evening lightens considerably with The Shape of Sound, a work that marks the return to Northern Ballet of the choreographer Kenneth Tindall, whose previous work for the company was an ambitious and eye-filling take on the life and loves of the 18th century libertine Casanova.
Matthew Koon and Riku Itu with Northern Ballet dancers in The Shape of Sound, photo Emma Kauldhar
In The Shape of Sound Kenneth Tindall draws inspiration from the seasons, and his choreography is set to Max Richter’s own interpretation of Vivaldi’s best know work, The Four Seasons.
Tindall’s The Shape of Sound is about emotions, more precisely our human emotional responses to the seasons. It will be joyful and melancholy, boisterous and pensive, probing feelings and emotions that will certainly be well served by Kenneth Tindall’s expressive and highly original choreography.
|What||Northern Ballet, The Kingdom of Back Triple Bill, Linbury Theatre|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
05 Nov 19 – 07 Nov 19, 19:45 Sat mat 15 14:00 Dur.: 2 hours 20 mins inc two intervals
|Website||Click here to book|