Review: Northern Ballet – Casanova @ New Theatre

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Northern Ballet – Casanova
New Theatre, Cardiff
Tuesday 25th April 2017

Having the story of Casanova in ballet form is an inspired idea and would perhaps work better than in opera form. This labour of love dedicated to the greatest lover ever, is well crafted and also does justice to the Italian as an intellectual talent of his era. No words are needed, even if this is a ballet to portray the sexual joys and stimulating inquires into science and literature. Casanova would be best remembered for his History of My Nice, were it not for his reputation for love making and cavorting.

With choreography by Kenneth Tindall, he wonderfully incorporates ballet with elements of physical theatre and other arts forms. There is a vibrancy seen in the troupe of dances and the leads as well. Ian Kelly, the writer has kept the truth of the real story grounded and there are no calls of “this never happened”. The music by Kerry Muzzey is accessible, caught up in baroque bliss, gentle minimalism and the ambitious scope of a film score (the final melody was beyond catchy). Sets and costumes by Christopher Oram keep things in the period details and beautifully evokes the time spent in Venice and Paris. Alastair West’s lighting is vivid and compliments the stage and figure well, without being overblown. Wigs and makeup by Richard Mawbey are also stylised and maintain the elegance of the proceedings.

Jailer Torres is sensational as Casanova. These fire starter Cuban ballet dancers are taking over and we are very pleased they are. He is a towering presence, highly sexualised in the expectation of the themes and wows audiences with his bravado movement and character. The other dancers are a joy, each one playing real people from history. This world class troupe have many things to be proud about. Their time spent on stage can’t be undervalued and dry eyes are not welcome from their tenderness and poetry.

Go see now.

The great lover, now a great ballet. 

Rating: 4 stars

Casanova continues at the New Theatre till 29th April 2017. Northern Ballet also tour the UK with the world premiers of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Little Mermaid this summer and fall.

Weeping Tudor Productions returns with their next project: Jamais vu [Brexit means Brexit]. Come join us at the Wales Millennium Centre on Wednesday 31st May as we musically trigger Article 50. Expect flashes of Gertrude Stein, John Cage, Steve Reich, Luigi Nono, poetry, performance art and the joy that is Theresa May. Don’t be left behind. Tickets available soon.


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