Doomed romance

Northern Ballet's Ondine - Martha Leebolt as Ondine
Northern Ballet's Ondine - Martha Leebolt as Ondine

northern Ballet give a UK premiere to a dance version of Ondine when it launches its new season in Leeds in September.

Ondine will be performed at West Yorkshire Playhouse on September 8-15, telling the story of a doomed romance between a mermaid and a nobleman.

Artistic director David Nixon originally adapted this traditional tale for Ballet du Rhin in 2005. Despite being raised by humans, Ondine retains the mysticism of her own kind. When she falls deeply in love with a mortal, Brand, she is transformed from a water nymph to a woman.

In time Brand grows fearful of the otherworldly creature he has married and finds himself drawn to a previous love, but he knows that should he break their bond, a watery grave will seek him out.

The production features original music by Hans Werner Henze, with sets and costumes created by Jerome Kaplan.

The season continues with Nixon’s Madame Butterfly at Sheffield Lyceum from September 18 to 22, Puccini’s classic opera score set to dance, telling the story of innocent geisha Butterfly, who falls for American sailor Lieutenant Pinkerton, only for her love to be betrayed by his desertion.

East meets west in this tragic tale, which blends classical ballet with Japanese-style dancing, and Puccini’s score is intersperse with tradional Japanese music.

Beauty and the Beast will be performed at Bradford Alhambra on October 24-27, telling the story of a young prince who is magically transformed into a beast and cursed to live alone until the enchantment is broken by the sacrifice of true love.

The show is accompanied by a score from Saint-Saens, Bizet, Debussy and Glazunov, with an elaborate mirrored set and haute-couture style costumes.

Northern Ballet returns home to Leeds for Christmas with The Nutcracker at Leeds Grand Theatre from December 18 to 30. A festive favourite, Tchaikovsky’s ballet tells of Clara’s Christmas Eve adventure as she is swept away by her Nutcracker Prince to a magical winter wonderland of dancing snowflakes and the Sugar Plum Fairy.