Tuesday, 24 May 2016


Giacomo Casanova
Author Francesco Giuseppe
Source Wikipedia

Yesterday's announcement of a new full length ballet on the life of Giacomo Casanova by Kenneth Tindall cheered me and perhaps a lot of other well wishers of Northern Ballet. With the exceptions of Jonathan Watkins 's 1984 and Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre which are about to appear in London there seem to have been rather a lot of revivals, and not always my favourite ones. I have often heard it said that narrative ballets are the company's strong suit but the performances that I have enjoyed the most have been the mixed programmes which are normally staged at the Stanley and Audrey Burton and Linbury at this time of the year. Two of the best ballets from those programmes have been  Luminous Junc*ture and The Architect both of which were created by Kenneth Tindall.

A ballet created on a biography rather than an English literature set book makes a refreshing change in itself. Tindll's collaborator on the scenario is Ian Kelly who has written a biography of the adventurer (see Kathryn Hughes's Naughty nuns and peeping Toms, Kathryn Hughes admires the energy and brio in a new life of Casanova 16 Aug 2016 The Guardian). For the score Tindall has chosen Kerry Muzzey who contributed The Architect of Mind to Tindall's Architect  (see Kerry Muzzey’s “The Making of: The Architect” on Vimeo). Christopher Oram will design the sets and costumes.

The ballet will open in Leeds on 11 March 2017 and then tour the country before finally reaching London on the 9 May 2016. Interestingly it will visit The Lowry rather than The Palace where the company usually perform when it passes through Greater Manchester. Parking is better there and the booking fees are much more reasonable. It is not clear who will dance the ballet but as Tobias Batley and Martha Leebolt will be on leave of absence next year Javier Torres would be an obvious candidate for the the title role. There should also be a fair number of female roles too.  As and when I get more info about this work I shall let you know.

In the meantime, if you want to know more about the subject of the ballet Giacomo Casanova was a prodigious autobiographer, A translation of his autobiography can be downloaded from the Gutenberg Project.

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