IT IS a classic story, one that balances the forces of good and evil and the idea that love can conquer all.
Terrific ingredients for anyone with the creative touch and there are plenty of those at Leeds-based Northern Ballet.
It is hardly surprising that the company’s artistic director David Nixon has decided to add the story of Beauty And The Beast to Northern Ballet’s repertoire.
“I wanted to create a family show which would be equally popular with both children and adults alike, he said.
“Beauty And The Beast is a classic fairytale of good versus evil, exploring the concept of beauty on the inside and the outside.
“This is not an adaptation of the Disney version of the story – it is based on the original tale and will embrace the darker elements of the tale as well as the lighter moments,” he said.
“As a family ballet Beauty And The Beast follows in the footsteps of The Nutcracker, Peter Pan and A Christmas Carol.
“It is also dynamic and sexy, taking the inspiration from the recent success of Cleopatra.”
This new production is running at the Grand Theatre in Leeds until December 31.
It is the company’s second premiere of the year following the highly successful production of Cleopatra, which has taken over £1m at the box office since its world première in February 2011.
The company says this new production of Beauty And The Beast rediscovers the enchanting and magical aspects of this traditional fairy tale, exploring the values that lie at its heart – in the battle between the forces of good and evil.
It returns for inspiration to the story’s original themes telling of a young prince who is transformed into a beast as punishment for his arrogance.
He is cursed to live alone in his castle until the spell is broken by the sacrifice of true love.
In Beauty’s presence the Beast remembers the joy he once had and his willingness to sacrifice his life for her permits his final transformation back to a handsome Prince.
Audiences will be transported into an enchanting world of colour, inhabited by fairies, goblins and sprites, with an elaborate mirrored set from Duncan Hayler and haute couture-style costumes designed by David Nixon.
The leading dancers are Martha Leebolt as Beauty and Ashley Dixon as Beast.
They dance to a score which combines the music of Saint-Säens, Bizet, Debussy and Glazunov, played live by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia.
This new production is choreographed by David Nixon and makes an exciting addition to the company’s repertoire.
After performances in Leeds it will tour to Edinburgh, Sheffield, Hull, Milton Keynes and Cardiff next spring with further dates across the UK in the autumn.
Check the company’s website, northernballet.com for more details.