search
date/time
Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
frontpagebusinessartscarslifestylefamilytravelsportsscitechnaturefictionCartoons
Richard Trinder
Managing Editor
@richardtrinder
6:00 AM 5th June 2024
arts

The Beauty, The Beast And Northern Ballet

A perfect fairy tale to kick off the summer season
Dancers of Northern Ballet in Beauty and the Beast. Photo Tristram Kenton
Dancers of Northern Ballet in Beauty and the Beast. Photo Tristram Kenton
Choreographed by David Nixon CBE, Northern Ballet's Beauty and the Beast is a delightful re-imagining of the classic fairy tale story in a world suffused with vibrant colours and populated with fairies, goblins and sprites. A world where magic hides around every corner.

Kevin Poeung as the Beast. Photo Tristram Kenton
Kevin Poeung as the Beast. Photo Tristram Kenton
The story of Beauty and the Beast tells of Beauty's unselfish decision to leave her family and move into the castle of the terrifying Beast in return for her father's life. As time passes, she learns that her host is hiding a remarkable secret and begins to develop a surprising fondness for him. This is a fairy story, so, once upon a time, there was this charming prince... but he was not a perfect prince, far from it. He had been cursed for his conceit and haughtiness - a curse that can only be lifted by pure love. Great stuff.

Jackson Dwyer as the pompous Price Orian, Harris Beattie as The Beast, and Saeka Shirai as Beauty were all excellent and drove the story along with the sheer clarity of their movement. Saeka Shirai could have narrated the piece on her own with her wonderfully clear facial expressions.



Although it clings to the fairy-tale narrative that drives this production, David Nixon has brought it firmly into the modern era. With more than a hint of the posy posturing of a TV dating show, thankfully trashed by a high moral backbone, after some fun, frivolity and a few high jinks, the vacuous exhibitionists are kicked into the long grass and the prince moves on to better things. Hurrah!

Kevin Poeung and Dominique Larose. Photo Tristram Kenton
Kevin Poeung and Dominique Larose. Photo Tristram Kenton
This beautifully lit ballet features elaborate mirrored sets by Duncan Hayler, kaleidoscopic haute couture-style costumes by David Nixon, and is set to an infectious score of romantic French and Russian music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the likes of Bizet and Debussy, all played live (as I hope they always will be) by Northern Ballet Sinfonia.

Beauty and the Beast is a colourful, lyrical, heartwarming treat for all the family.

This production contains short periods of flashing and strobe lighting.

Running time 2 hours 5 minutes (approximately)
Visit northernballet.com/beauty to find out more and secure tickets.