Dark journey for dancing Hamlet
Feb 8 2008 by Val Javin, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
A NEW dance version of one of literature’s classic stories opens in Leeds next weekend.
Northern Ballet Theatre’s artistic director David Nixon has spent two years working with company associate artist Patricia Doyle taking a new look at the story of Hamlet.
“I have wanted to create a dance version of Hamlet for a long time. Hamlet is a young man who starts out with everything but loses everything. It is a story that people immediately identify with and there is much about it that has resonance in our darker corners,” said David.
So just what are the challenges of writing a scenario based on such a well-known literary work? Patricia Doyle said: “It is daunting as we won’t have any of the text - the famous soliloquies - but we must express these in dance and with emotion.
“Through dance, we can interpret the story and its central character in another way.”
It is set in early 1940s occupied Paris.
We see Hamlet's mind unravel against a backdrop of one of the most terrifying periods of the 20th century. In this new version, a young man arrives back from the front to find his home and world is not the one he left behind. His father is dead, his mother has married his uncle and the enemy occupies his city. As his world descends into chaos, the boundaries between truth and deception, sanity and insanity become distorted.
Powerful material then which has been set to a specially commissioned score from British composer Philip Feeney. Tim Mitchell has designed the atmospheric lights and stunning sets and the costume designs are by former NBT dancer Christopher Giles.
Hamlet will open at the Grand Theatre in Leeds on February 16.
Evening performances are at 7.30pm with matinees on February 21 and 23 at 2.30pm.
Tickets are £8 to £31. Box Office: 0844 848 2701.