A classic novel retold in dance with themes of fate, redemption, sacrifice and revenge. The original story of A Tale Of Two Cities was written by Charles Dickens and first appeared in the late 1850s as more than 30 weekly episodes in a London magazine.
It’s a story that has been retold many times in film and on stage and now it is the turn of British choreographer Cathy Marston to redefine it for today’s audience.
This new, full length ballet premieres tomorrow (August 30) at the West Yorkshire Playhouse where it runs for a week before touring to Nottingham and Sheffield.
Cathy's interpretation of Dickens' literary masterpiece focuses on the relationship between the three central characters, Sydney Carton, Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette, whose lives are caught up in the French revolution.
Expect drama, a powerful new score and the best of both classical and contemporary dance drawn from Cathy’s background in both.
The ballet will be danced to a new score by the respected British composer Dave Maric. The production design combines the prolific talents of Jon Bausor who has created the set and costumes, and Peter Mumford who has returned to NBT to design the lighting, having previously worked on the company's productions of Swan Lake and Peter Pan (2004).
Cathy has worked on the scenario for the ballet with Edward Kemp, Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
It is a combination which sits well with Northern Ballet’s reputation as a touring narrative dance company whose distinctive blend of classical dance and theatre seems to be able to capture new audiences. Not an easy task for any dance company.
NBT’s company of 40 dancers spend 30 weeks of the year touring a combination of new work and acclaimed repertory pieces to all four UK countries and overseas.
Cathy, who was born in Newcastle and trained at the Royal Ballet School, is currently director of Bern Ballet in Switzerland. She was previously an Associate Artist of the Royal Opera House and toured the UK with her own company, The Cathy Marston Project. This will be the second time she has created a new production for NBT.
In 2004 she choreographed Dividing Silence, a short dance piece that the company presented as part of a triple-bill.
“The company has great experience in dramatic dance and you can't really compare it to any other company in the UK today. NBT’s dancers have good technique and are totally committed to what they are doing. I really enjoy working with them,” she said.
This is the first time NBT’s Artistic Director, David Nixon, has invited a guest choreographer to create a new full-length production for NBT.
He said: “I am delighted to welcome Cathy back to work with the company. We are thrilled to be a part of this very talented British choreographer’s career and development."
A Tale of Two Cities is performed as part of NBT’s eight-city autumn and winter 2008 tour alongside A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Nutcracker.